The April meeting of the Garrett County Commission for Women was called to order at 5:05 P.M. by Chair Lisa Thayer Welch. Due to COVID-19, teleconference through Google Meet utilized. Also present were Sadie Liller, Erin-Ruth Natividad, Linda Carr, Caroline Blizzard, Juliet Sanders, Kristal Huber, Melita Friend, and Pam Trickett. Members not present were Maureen Sheaffer, Michelle Harman, Amanda Mattingly, Rachel Bruch, and Rose Gordy. No guests were in attendance.
A moment of silence was recognized, and the Pledge of Allegiance had been recited.
Secretary’s Report: No report other than the presentation of Minutes from the February 2, 2021 Meeting as prepared by Erin-Ruth Natividad.
Treasurer’s Report: Linda Carr reported a beginning balance of $4,757.24. Name tags for Trickett, Mattingly, and Harman were ordered for $26.54 A final balance was reported of $4,730.07. Linda Carr said the report sent today has the wrong date. She will revise. At the February meeting, Linda Carr highlighted her upcoming term ending, and she said we need to start to think about who is going to take over Treasurer. Melita Friend has expressed interest and will train further. As of now, GCCW will add Melita Friend to the account and debit card, and Linda Carr will provide mentorship for a smooth transition. There will be an official vote for this change at the June meeting.
1. Hall of Fame- Caroline Blizzard reported that the HOF committee met. The ceremony will be held June 19, 2021 at the Commissioner’s office from 10 AM-12 PM. It will be a limited attended event by invitation due to COVID-19, along with the event being live streamed. There will be no charge to attend the event as there will be no food being served. Nominations for Hall of Fame and Woman of Tomorrow are due May 10, 2021. Caroline Blizzard reported that contact has been made and awards are on stand-by. Lisa Thayer Welch will send Woman of Tomorrow criteria, etc to Erin-Ruth Natividad to post on website and social media and to Paul Edwards through the schools for nominations. Caroline Blizzard will let Erin-Ruth Natividad know what effects and sound equipment are needed, if any.
2. Scholarship- Lisa Thayer Welch reported the 5 general GCCW and Maureen Sharps Scholarship information had been sent out with a May 14, 2021 due date. Packets sent to the financial aid offices at Garrett College and Frostburg State University, along with the local libraries. Press release has been created, and the website and GCCW website have been updated. GCCW members to forward to necessary persons, as applicable.
3. Legislation- Linda Carr reported that MLAW is supporting 7 bills this session, including several GCCW voted on. Erin-Ruth Natividad reported that Heather Hanline of the Dove Center shared some urgent legislation that needs support as they affect women, and Erin-Ruth Natividad reported she shared the content on the Facebook page. Erin-Ruth advised she shares other legislation on the FB. Due to Linda Carr’s upcoming term ending, and GCCW Legislation Committee Lead will be discussed at the June Meeting.
4. Public Relations- Erin-Ruth reported she had been updating the website and is getting past the learning curve as it is not user friendly. Facebook is reporting insights that between March 1 and April 5, our page content reached 4,251 people, and we are up 252% in interactions and viewership. Erin-Ruth Natividad outlined awareness months in April, along with a National Drug Take Back Day information sent by Sadie Liller. Sadie Liller asked about sharing Narcan pick-up locations as Narcan is sometimes a controversial topic. Erin-Ruth pointed out that drug abuse and potential overdose affects women in Garrett County, and other members agreed that informational posts should be shared. Erin-Ruth Natividad went over the content schedule and heavily urged members to share GCCW posts, especially relating to the scholarships, Hall of Fame, and Woman of Tomorrow. Erin-Ruth Natividad suggested the creation of a GCCW Instagram to reach a younger audience and explained that it isn’t a difficult task as Facebook owns Instagram. There was no opposition to the idea of a GCCW Instagram.
5. Membership- Rachel Bruch was not in attendance. It was on the agenda to discuss a potential new Membership Committee Lead. Erin-Ruth Natividad said this role should be funneled through the role of Secretary to keep it organized. Linda Carr advised Rachel Bruch’s role for this committee was more about recruiting. It was agreed that all members have been actively recruiting. Lisa Thayer-Welch directed to add this matter to the “Old Business” part of the June meeting agenda.
6. Historian- Rose Gordy was not in attendance. Erin-Ruth Natividad said she spoke with Rose, and she Rose is still unable to get online for meetings. As the weather is improving, materials will be gathered from Kitty to Rose for the recording of history
7. By-Laws- Maureen Sheaffer was not in attendance.
8. Community Projects- Erin-Ruth Natividad said she went through all of 2020 Minutes and made a master list of tabled projects due to Covid-19. This list was sent to the members 4/6/2021. Kristal Huber said Karen Lewis, from Girl Scout Troop 55004 reached out last year and asked if they can help us or we can help them with badges/projects. Karen Lewis was interested in coming to a meeting so we can discuss involvement. Karen Lewis will be invited to the June 1, 2021 meeting by Kristal Huber.
Strategic Plan Guiding Principles:
- Promotion of Services/Issues/Activities-This will be achieved through our Public Relations and Community Projects this month and next.
- Political Participation/Leadership Roles- Erin-Ruth Natividad will create Facebook graphics and share regularly on certain days. Erin-Ruth Natividad has reached out to Nancy Brady and Peggy Jamison to record videos, while adhering to guidelines, so we get the content we want and could edit accordingly. Erin-Ruth Natividad was able to get ahold of Peggy Jamison and sent some sample questions. Peggy said she will schedule a time with Erin-Ruth soon. Erin-Ruth Natividad said she was unable to reach Nancy Brady but will continue trying.
- Pressing Issues affecting GC Women. Discussed in New Business Item 3
- Hall of Fame- 2021 Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 1.
- Higher Education/Scholarship-Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 2.
- Hall of Fame Plaque- Lisa Thayer-Welch will reach out as Maureen Sheaffer to get this project in movement.
- Use of Commissioner Tax Exempt Status-It was previously identified GCCW was using the Commissioner’s Tax-Exempt Number, and identified GCCW is no longer to do so. Lisa Thayer Welch said Mike Getty, attorney for county, agreed to assist to get this matter corrected and do the necessary filings. In the meantime, we will pay tax for goods.
- Tabled Activities- Last month for the Commissioners, Erin prepared a list of all of our tabled activities. Lisa Thayer-Welch made an official report to the GC Commissioners at their 3/1/2021 meeting on our activities and tabled activities. The list was sent to the GCCW Commissioners 4/6/2021 via email.
1. 2021 Hall of Fame and Scholarships- 2021 Discussed in Committee Reports, Item 1.
2. Letters to the Editor- Lisa Thayer-Welch identified she would write a letters to the editor on child abuse and sexual assault on a personal level personally. Lisa Thayer-Welch encouraged other GCCW Commissioners to write one on any other topic on behalf of the Commission, and email for approval of content.
3. Awareness Month- Erin-Ruth Natividad advised April is Celebrate Diversity Month, Child Abuse Awareness Month, Volunteer Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, along with other weekly and daily observances that relate to our role in the community. Content will be shared on social media.
4. Drug Takeback Day- Sadie Liller reported Drug Take Back Day is April 24, 2021 from 10-2. Health Department will address this event in newspaper and radio ads. Any social media graphics created by the Health Department will be shared on the GCCW page. Sadie Liller reported the Maryland State Police Barracks in McHenry is a drop-box site; however, the lobby is still locked to the public. This is causing a disadvantage to collect unused medications on the Northern-end of the county. Sadie Liller asked Lisa Thayer-Welch if she could provide a contact connection, as Sadie has been unsuccessful. Lisa Thayer Welch said she would call the MSP Barracks tomorrow (4/7/2021). Melita Friend suggested in relocating and inquired about requirements. Sadie law enforcement has to be involved to move any boxes, and the boxes need placed in a location where they can be protected from potential burglary.
5. Local Municipal Elections -Kitzmiller Town Elections are 4/13/21 and Grantsville Town Elections are 5/11/21. GCCW Social Media will make a push to remind the community.
6. Bios of Amanda Mattingly and Michelle Harman- Erin-Ruth Natividad needs content for social media, press release and website. Erin-Ruth Natividad will send emails to both.
Erin-Ruth Natividad motioned to adjourn the meeting, and Sadie Liller seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 5:47 P.M. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 1, 2021 from 5 to 6:30 P.M.