Holidays in Huntsville

Although many of our fellow students had left town for SHSU’s Christmas Break, several of the LEAP Ambassadors joined the Walker County Republican Women (and one Alumnus) for a holiday celebration this December, where much fun was had by all.

With this year’s Christmas Party held at the Elkins Lake Clubhouse, the event also gave four of the Ambassadors a chance to check out a new (to them) local venue.  And, with elections around the corner, many elected officials and candidates showed up, allowing the Ambassadors to network and make new friends.

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

The evening began with mingling and introduction by WCRW President Terry Stivers.

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

Although this was a festive occasion, it was also a bit bittersweet.  It was Stivers last formal event as President of the WCRW.  She’s been a great mentor to the four Republican LEAP Ambassadors (and several alumni), a great leader, and it was sad to see her term expire.

Following dinner and with the new year upon us, it was a time for new officers, but that first means thanking the existing officers, who have served for the past two years: Terry Stivers, Sally Kelly, Carol Hays, and Pamela Turner.   And it means welcoming new officers; accordingly, a new slate was sworn in by County Court at Law Judge Tracy Sorenson: Katy Russell as President; Daiquiri Beebe as Vice-President; and Debbie Charbonneau as Treasurer.

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

Stephanie Fors, who was out of town and couldn’t make this event, will be the new Secretary.

Following the introduction of the new officers, all dues-paying members of the WCRW were sworn in as members…

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

…and then some fun commenced with the drawing of door prizes.  Christina Perez helped with this task…

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

and the first winner was…Kaitlyn Tyra!

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

It was a very enjoyable evening, made more enjoyable by the chance to celebrate Christmas in the presence of old friends…

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

…alumni…

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

…and just to catch up.

SHSU, LEAP Ambassadors, LEAP Center, Walker County Republican Women, Christmas Party

Many thanks to Terry Stivers for her service and for sponsoring our dinner tickets!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Citizenship and Engagement: Being an Informed Voter

As a public service to the community, the Walker County Republican Women hosted a “candidates’ forum” on Monday night, inviting candidates at all levels and of all stripes to meet the public. With five minutes to discuss their intentions and platform and an almost unlimited time to mingle, the forum provided a key service to the voting public.

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The Walker County Hospital District candidates were the first to speak. With three positions up for election and six candidates running for the position, the meet and greet was important to decide on who to elect this November. Two of the candidates currently serve on the board while the other four are seeking election for the first time. This was an informative meeting; we learned about the important distinction between the Walker County Hospital District Board and the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Board. The Hospital Board is a board of directors composed of community leaders who oversee the broad direction of the Hospital. The Hospital District Board, on the other hand, is made up of elected officials responsible for overseeing the District, its finances, its physical structures, and its health care.  Although this latter district has the ability to tax, such revenues only make up a small portion of the hospital’s overall revenues.

The Huntsville City Council candidates also participated with their own five-minute overviews.  They also engaged in a Q&A by the audience, and addressed the bond election.  The voters of Huntsville will decide on three bond propositions:

  • Proposition One: Improve Public Safety Facilities (not to exceed 31,000,000)
  • Proposition Two: Improve City Service Facilities (not to exceed 24,000,000)
  • Proposition Three: Improve City Waterworks and Sewer Facilitiies (not to exceed 73,000,000)

With these weighty matters on our minds, we thanked the Republican Women for organizing the event, and we exited pondering upcoming decisions.

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