From the spring into the summer months, the Knox County Democrat Woman’s Club continued to explore several timely and news worthy topics including: learning about Knox County’s Women’s Shelter, investigating the potential risks of GMO foods, seeds and the decline of our bee population, learning to use Knox County newest touch screen voting machines and congratulating and hosting Miss Hailey Bledsoe, KCDWC’s 2015 scholarship winner with a tea in her honor .
In April, the Knox County’s Democrat Women heard Ms. Jennifer Smith, from the Knox County’s Women’s Shelter speak on what the KCEOC (Knox County Economic Opportunity Council) agency provides as well as the services that the agency has available for helping women deal with homelessness and safety from spousal abuse. Jennifer gave the members hand outs which described items that were always needed at the shelter. All donations either material or financial were welcomed and could be brought to the shelter anytime, Jennifer remarked.
At the beginning of the May 12, 2015, meeting, Knox County’s County Court Clerk, Mr. Mike Corey, spoke to the group about the newest voting machines that the county had purchased. With some of the newest technology available, a new machine was brought into the meeting room and set up where members practiced using it to cast sample ballots. Mr. Corey told several amusing anecdotes concerning voting and others about some very interesting characters in Knox County’s history.
Later in the meeting, members investigated, questioned and studied the effects and potential dangers of GMO foods, GMO seeds, Franken Foods and the depletion of our bee population as well as the destruction of the plants that bees are dependent on for food. Kris Hubbard, PhD, owner and operator of Wildwood Farms and a board member and participant in Knox County’s Farmers Market, spoke on the inherent risks of using and consuming GMO plants, foods and seeds. Kris also spoke that we should contact our members of Congress by emails, messages and phone calls and ask them to support the labeling of GMO foods and products. He also spoke about local big chain stores which had been selling flowers earlier in the spring that had been sprayed with a pesticide that killed bees as well as other beneficial insects that happened to land on them. After citizens’ protests, these stores discontinued selling these plants. The group also discussed ways each member could help the bee population thrive by planting native wildflowers as well as other flowers on which bees are dependent. Along with the bee population, a discussion on the declining Monarch butterfly population followed. Kris presented each member present with two packages of heirloom seeds whose flowers and plants are both beneficial to bees as well as butterflies.
On June 16, 2015, Knox County Democrat Women held their second annual Scholarship Tea in honor of Miss Hailey Bledsoe, a graduating senior from Knox Central High School. At the tea, Hailey received a $500 monetary award along with an engraved plaque. As part of her scholarship requirement, Hailey gave a speech entitled Why I’m a Democrat. At the conclusion of her speech, Hailey received a standing ovation. At the 2015, Knox Central High School Honors Program, Hailey received a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky where she will attend this fall.
Following the Tea, the guest speaker for the evening was Estelle Bayer, President of Madison County Democrat Women, one of the largest Democrat Woman’s Clubs in the state of Kentucky. Estelle spoke on the progress that the Knox County Democrat Women had made since her last visit to address them nearly two years ago and praised members for their involvement in helping the club to grow and thrive. At the close of her talk, she presented each member with a miniature Winner’s Trophy Cup for all of the hard work and dedication each member had shown.
After a two-month summer recess, the Knox County Democrat Woman’s Club will resume its regularly scheduled meetings beginning on September 15, 2015, at 6:00 pm, at the Bluegrass Center for Teacher Quality located in the former Engle’s Studio Building on the Court Square. All area women are invited to attend this meeting and hear guest speaker, Democrat Candidate for Lt. Governor, Sannie Overly. Door prizes and gifts will be presented to all new members as well as current members who are in attendance.