Garrett County Commission for Women
February 2, 2016

CALL TO ORDER: Ruth Umbel called to order the February 2, 2016 meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women (GCCW) at Garrett College, McHenry, MD.

Ruth Umbel
Robin McGill
BJ Gallagher (by teleconference)
Dorothy Walters
Kitty Lauer
Judy Carbone
Linda Carr
Cheri Krug
Traci Royce

The meeting started with a small Memorial to former member and friend Marilyn Moors. Each member spoke briefly of their connection to and favorite memory of Marilyn. Cheri Krug brought flowers in honor of her life.

There was a new guest and potential new member in attendance, Mrs. Traci Royce. Traci was introduced to the group by Dorothy Walters and spoke about herself and her commitment to Garrett County issues.

PRAYER: Dorothy Walters offered the prayer.

PLEDGE: Robin McGill led the Pledge to the Flag.

MINUTES: Minutes from the December 1, 2015 meeting were approved as submitted.

TREASURER’S REPORT: The current balance in the account is $3,077.54. This money includes the $2,500 from the Garrett County Commissioners. A motion was made, seconded and was carried to accept the Treasurer’s Report


Judy Carbone spoke briefly about the Women’s Empowerment Project which is slated for May 12, 2016. This will include two screenings of the documentary, one to 7th grade students in both middle schools during the afternoon and one evening screening that will also feature a panel including two of the filmmakers. Fund-raising efforts are underway. Judy returned the original $200 donation because the check was made out to Garrett College (who at the time was the sponsor partner) but needed a new one to be made out to AAUW, who was the lead sponsor organization. Judy asked that an increased donation to the project be considered by the group.


EDUCATION: Robin thanked the group for their work on getting Commissioner Edwards to speak at our last meeting and noted that she had received a great many comments about it because of the good publicity the Commission had received.

HALL OF FAME: Ruth reported that a lot of the work was done for this event. She has received a quote from MasterCraft printers to print 50 invitations for $35. Dutch’s has been reserved for April 30th and two nominations have already been received. BJ worked to correct the dates on the website so now applications are available to download. With the invitations, $50 for flowers, and $250 for bowls given to each recipient, and price for invitations, it is estimated we need at least $500 to cover the cost of this event. Ruth recommended that we try to collect money ahead of time for as many of our guests as possible, making it much easier day of to greet and check people in. Beverly Beard will lead the pledge and Dorothy Walters the Prayer day of event. Robin will get updated applications to the libraries and Joanne will send invitations to all previous recipients. Ruth will invite county and state legislators and will enlist three judges to review the applications and choose the recipients (if more than three nominations are received). Dorothy will write and submit press releases to local newspapers about both scholarship and Hall of Fame applications. Ruth will also let leaders of other organizations in the area know about application availability. Deadline for application for Hall of Fame will be April 1st.

SCHOLARSHIPS: A motion was passed to give out four $500 scholarships for the upcoming year (to be used in summer or fall of 2016) and to increase our donation from $200 to $300 to the Women’s Empowerment Project. This would leave us $500 to fund the Women’s Hall of Fame Breakfast and leave approximately a $500 cushion in our bank account. Deadline for application will be March 31st and Robin will enlist the help of three judges to evaluate the applications.

LEGISLATION: No report. Cheri Krug mentioned that Julianna Albowicz, who is a special assistant to Senator Mikulski, might be open to speaking to the group in the future about Legislative issues affecting women.

WEB: BJ has updated all information for both Hall of Fame and Scholarships and both applications are available to download. She is still working on the Committee information and asked that each committee head submit one or two sentences regarding the work that each is responsible for. She is looking for descriptions of the Education, Legislative, History, Hall of Fame, Publicity, Membership, and Mentoring Committees.

PUBLICITY: Dorothy will send information to local papers about both Hall of Fame and Scholarship programs.

MEMBERSHIP: It was voted unanimously to accept Traci Royce as our newest member, bringing total membership up to 12 women. It was noted that at least three memberships expire in September.

MENTORING: Cheri Krug reported that there was a mentoring program started at the Garrett College to mentor incoming freshmen. She explained that 46% of Garrett’s students were first generation college students and that 96% receive financial aid. They currently have 12 mentors that meet with selected students to help them with first year transition and are always looking for more help. Linda Carr reported that the Middle school mentoring project was still moving slowly but that there were now ten women helping twelve middle school students, six at each Northern and Southern Middle. There several other women still “in process” – getting fingerprinted, background checks, etc. but it was still a beginning.

HISTORIAN: The Library window is available for April and will feature the HOF.


Robin passed out information from the Garrett County Health Planning Council on a needs assessment survey currently taking place within the community. She is encouraging all members to not only take part in the survey but to encourage others. They are looking for at least 5,000 participants. The survey can be done anonymously and could be a great vehicle to get women’s voices heard in the County. It is being completed by the County Health Department in conjunction with the Dr. Brown of the University of Maryland and will help the county access specific grand funds and better spend the money they do have. They are looking for a cross section of county residents. The link for the survey can be found at www.healthymountainmaryland.com. The deadline to take this survey is March 15, 2016.

Judy related that because of the article in the newspaper about Senator Edwards visiting our group to talk about the effects of fracking on women and the subsequent story written by Mary McEwan in The Republican, she had been contacted by Rebecca Rare, a public health advocate, who was interested in speaking to our group. It was discussed whether the Commission for Women might be interested in hosting her and inviting other women’s organizations in the community to participate as well. While there was great agreement that this could be a good role for our organization to play, there was some concern about not wanting to appear one sided on this or any other issue. Judy offered to send information about this speaker to the group via email and we could discuss it at the April meeting and decide whether to go forward.

NEXT MEETING: The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Garrett College. PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME!!!

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 6:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Carr taking notes for Terry Riley