We want to see "The Voters" planted across the nation!
The Orange County League planted a living memorial, THE VOTER tree, Oct. 20 in an Orange County park to celebrate our precious right to vote.
The League of Women Voters of Orange County, Florida, is encouraging sister Leagues to plant Voter trees to celebrate 2020’s centennial year. “We are offering our Voter tree logo and other materials to any League that might find them useful in planting their own trees,” said Joan Erwin, chair of Orange County’s History Committee. Voter tree information is posted at History Committee, LWVOC.org, and questions can be sent to HistoryLWVOC@gmail.com.
The LWVOC planted the commemorative live oak beside a pavilion at Cypress Grove Park, 290 Holden Ave., in Orlando.
The tree was the League’s 80th birthday present to itself and a tribute to voters and democracy. The nonpartisan League’s mission is to empower voters and defend democracy. Dedication of the tree also prefaces the upcoming 2020 Centennial of women’s right to vote in the United States.
“People who plant trees believe in the future,” said former Orange County Mayor Linda Chapin, honorary event chair and Orange County League president in 1976-78.
“THE VOTER tree will be a living commemoration of our precious right to vote,” said League Co-President Gloria Pickar. “Live oaks can live for hundreds of years. THE VOTER tree can stand, spreading its branches with its tribute to democracy, long beyond the span of our lives.
“Now is our chance to set a living beacon that can carry our message forward to our grandchildren and future generations, heralding that the Warriors for Democracy of the Orange County League of Women Voters never give up.”
Event partners included Orange County District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe, Orange County Parks, and the League’s past presidents. Other speakers included Commissioner Uribe; Patricia “Patti” Brigham, President of the Florida League; and Joan Erwin, Chair of the Orange County League’s History Committee.
About 150 attended the ceremony, which included live music by the Citrus Singers Girl Scouts Chorus and giveaway trees that participants could take home to plant their own Voter trees.
The LWVOC’s Warriors for Democracy Marchers performed, and League members Betsy Fulmer and Gloriann Gaston surprised guests by appearing in costumes as historical social-justice leaders “Susan B. Anthony” (Fulmer) and “Sojourner Truth” (Gaston).
Other LWVOC centennial projects include an LWVOC history book (Warriors for Democracy, available through LWVOC.org), historical study groups, videotaped oral histories, an on-line illustrated timeline, a speakers bureau, and many events and collaborations.