Suffragist dinner to honor seven remarkable volunteers

The League of Women Voters of Clermont County will honor seven remarkable women who have been nominated by citizens for their volunteer leadership and long time commitment to organizations in the county on Aug. 29.

Michelle Balside was named Citizen of the Year in 2011 by the Village of Amelia. She is being honored by the League for her commitment to the village, her leadership on the village Recreation Commission, membership on the Zoning Appeals Board and all the activities she has led for children and citizens in the village.

Lamonica Friedman, of Union Township, was nominated for her work on the Board of Ohio Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health, especially her outreach and support of families who have children affected by Autism. Lamonica helps them begin to deal with understanding and meeting their child’s needs. She has made these efforts as a worker and volunteer for Families Connected for many years because she recognized a serious need.

Sue Grone, of Milford, retired from teaching in Milford Schools only to continue educating Milford’s children in the history of Ohio. She leads the efforts of the Milford Historical Society to bring Promont history into classrooms with presentations and student participation in a quilting project in all Milford elementary schools. She is much appreciated and has been nominated for her dedication.

Candace Koch has been a supporter and volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Clermont Kids! for more than 10 years. She is the current Chair for the non-profit’s major fund-raiser, the Spring Charity Benefit, a time consuming effort that she has made hugely successful, enabling the organization to train and support volunteer advocates for abused and neglected children in the court system.

Mary Jo O’Brien is a parent representative on the Family and Children First Council and serves on the Parent Committee for FAST TRAC, a federally funded grant project of the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board. Mary Jo serves as a helping hand at events and participates in many work groups of the committee, taking the lead in the community project with Inter-Parish Ministries’ Food Pantry.

Jan Schoellman is a retired teacher from Batavia Township who has stayed very busy with the Clermont County Retired Teachers Association (CCTRA), Clermont County Farm Bureau, Friends of the Fair, working fulltime during and around fair week, and other organizations. The CCTRA nominated Jan for her proposal in 2010 and continued administration of a letter writing contest for all county third graders, the writing skill introduced in language arts during that academic year. This is a valuable educational project of which the CCRTA is especially proud.

Bobbie Tureen has been an active citizen and volunteer in Clermont county since 1977. She has worked for awareness of rape and battering issues, volunteering for and supporting the YWCA’s House of Peace (the county’s battered women’s shelter) and other YWCA efforts to empower women in their own lives, and currently serves on the Circle of Women Luncheon steering committee. Her efforts to raise awareness of mental illness include work with the Clermont Counseling Center and specifically with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), where she helped families find services and education. She also volunteered at Phoenix Place, a drop-in center for the mentally ill.

These women were all nominated to be considered for the League’s sixteenth Orpha Gatch Award. All will be recognized and honored for their work before the winner of the award is announced. This all happens on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at Receptions in Eastgate.

The League’s Annual Suffragist Dinner costs $35. All are invited. Reservations can be made online at no later than Aug. 24.

The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. For information call Yvette Duguay at (513) 752-8011.