Pres. Laura Ferguson welcomed members of Kenton and Hardin Co. Soroptimist International to the Mary Lou Johnson Hardin Co. Public Library on October 3 at 6 p.m.
Nineteen members and guests Diane Paul, Melisa Ridinger, Samantha Gruber, Madelleine Foster, and Robin Oates were introduced by Annetta Holmes, Sue Lohrber, Karen Kier, and Laura Ferguson respectively. The hostess committee of Melinda McConnell, Missie Austin, and Sarah Johnson were thanked for the lovely arrangements. Cam Hemmerly led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sue Lohrber introduced speaker Robin Oates, who was the 2003 Soroptimist Live Your Dream Award winner. She was serious about using the Soroptimist award to further her education as she attained a degree of Human and Social Services in 2006. She has worked with a variety of agencies in both Hardin and Allen Counties. More recently she has been working with the Hardin Co. Community Coalition which meets at the Coleman Professional Service Building on the third Monday of each month. The next will be on October 21 at 775 Eliza Street. She enjoys helping people and began with her participation in the Hardin Leadership in 2010 as sponsored by Kenton-Hardin Co. Soroptimists.
Oates has worked with valuable experience being a part of Neighborhood Opportunity Center, LOVE INC (Love In The Name Of Christ), plus the various pantries. She stated that no one should go hungry in Hardin County. She is a certified prevention specialist. Her new job is called PASS (Prevention Awareness Support Services and call her at 419-549-8530) so she is a liaison for health partners for children. She has some goals: make adults aware of suicidal tendencies in schoolchildren, teaching children to be aware of peers not acting normal, teaching children to say NO to drugs and alcohol, and helping to make better communication for various ages of children through college. PASS is a non-profit that taxes help to fund. She stated that 90% of our schoolchildren are getting some help or are educated in these points. Karen Kier supported the purposes of PASS and especially the practice in how to react to a person who has harmed himself or herself. She was able to take the training with some of the ONU college students and could see the effect on them. It is hoped that all the Hardin Co. law enforcement will be trained soon to deal with such matters as the training acts as mental health first-aid.
Pres. Ferguson led the attendees in thanking Oates for her interesting information following a question and answer period. She began the meeting with the secretary’s minutes as digitally sent. It was accepted. A thank you was read by Sarah Johnson from Mary Roby of Angels for the Elderly. Treas. Ruth Ann Cook gave her report as digitally sent. It was filed for audit. Some extra funds were discussed as part of donations for former member Connie Fletcher’s funeral. It was voted to add this to the Violet Richardson award for the coming year as Connie most likely would have wanted.
Pres. Ferguson stated that all members should still be selling Club 250 tickets of $52 each until December 1. Contact Ferguson if one needs more tickets. There are Facebook advertisements that say that the profits are used for Soroptimist awards for Hardin County women and girls which should help as a selling point.
Other committees gave reports. Sue Lohrber reported that the rose garden at Hardin Hills has had a rough summer and 3 bushes need to be replaced. Project Care and Comfort, comprised of 6 members, met and assembled 90 personal hygiene packages: 30 each went to Kenton Soup Kitchen, Kenton Food Pantry, and Ada Soup Kitchen. Lohrber had no news about the mammogram fund being used by women who could not afford it.
Those who participated in the Ada Harvest and Herb Festival Parade had a great time throwing candy at the crowd along the way. No women have applied for the Live Your Dream Award according to Sue Lohrber. The application is online. Karen Kier announced that applicants need to apply for the Virginia Wagner by November 15.
Safe Haven’s Candlelight Vigil would be held on October 10 at 7 pm at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. All are to wear purple if possible. Little Pumpkin Festival is planned for uptown Kenton on October 12 from 5-9 pm. Several members will man the booth but more are invited. They will be in the children’s area. Soroptimist information will be distributed to attendees.
Missie Austin stated in new business that a second delegate is needed at district conference. After discussion, Hope Myers was voted to be the second delegate. It was brought to the club’s attention that Bahr is still collecting new or gently used bras for the one of two projects called Save the Girls. The other is to collect women’s underwear of sizes 12, 14, and 16 and various sizes of women’s clothing, washable cloth or wash rags in dark colors, travel soaps, and gallon freezer bags are being requested, too. Women around the world are being punished in violent acts against them for being in public during their menstrual cycle so women and girls miss out on educational opportunities. These donations are hoped to help these women or girls to be accepted by the men in their countries. Items will also be collected at the SI Fall District meeting for Days for Girls.
Bev Bahr announced that Safe Haven (no longer Crossroads Crisis Center), which is serving only Hardin County, will be holding its fundraiser at the Kenton Armory on Thursday, November 14. Special Occasions from Upper Sandusky will be providing the food. Pre-sale tickets of $20 each will be sold until November 1 so contact Bahr, Deb Oestreich, or Sue Lohrber. There will be a silent auction. The doors will open at 5 pm and serve dinner at 6 pm.
Ferguson completed this year’s final Club 250 drawing of winners for weeks 45-52. She also announced events of this region as follows: Oct. 5 is SI Flat Rock Rally for the Cure; Oct. 12 SI Fremont DIBI; Nov. 2 SI Indy Metro Handbag Bingo; Nov. 9 SI Hancock Co. Quarter Auction; and Nov. 18 SI Zanesville Uncorked Fundraiser. Oct. 25 & 26 is Dist. II and IV Fall Meeting and those who are attending would carpool. A vote was taken, after a short discussion, which decided that the club would continue to meet in the Mary Lou Johnson Public Library for the rest of this year if possible. Cam Hemmerly would check those reservations for the meeting room and notify Ferguson of the results.