The tenth annual Orpha Gatch Citizenship Award and Suffragist Dinner will be held at Eastgate Receptions Aug. 22.
Sponsored every year by the Clermont County League of Women Voters, the award recognizes and honors a Clermont County woman for exceptional and exemplary volunteer civic service in the community.
According to the League of Women Voters Clermont President Nancy Middleton, the League celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment (granting women the right to vote in 1920) each year with the award dinner as a reminder of the debt that we all owe to the early suffragists.
“Since 1997, the Orpha Gatch Citizenship Award has been given to a Clermont County woman who exemplifies the same energy, optimism, and trust of the early suffragists by being involved in activities to better her community,” said Middleton.
Mrs. Orpha Gatch (1892-1991) voted for Warren G. Harding in the 1920 presidential election, the same year that the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which finally gave women the right to vote, was ratified on Aug. 26.
During WWI, she was a volunteer for the American Red Cross and was sent to France in 1918. It was there that she met her husband John, who was a second lieutenant in the infantry; they married in 1919.
In 1920, Gatch was the first woman elected to the Milford School Board (1920-1931) and she served as PTA President in the the 1930’s. In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Gatch moved to Milford where they raised their seven children. In 1958, Orpha Gatch helped create the Clermont County League of Women Voters and in 1997, the award was named in her honor.
In reverse order, the winners from the past 10 years have been Mia Supe in 2005, Karen Jesse, Debbie Siegroth, Cindy Jenkins, Anna Campbell, Noreen Dawson (posthumously), Lois Brown Dale, Deb Carter-Baker, and Martha Dorsey.
According to Middleton, the winner is based upon careful review of all the nominations submitted.