Founded January, 1954
The League of Women Voters of Fairview Park was started in January, 1954 and was accepted as a full fledged Unit in December of the same year. The first slate of officers included: Mrs. Charles Scholti, President and the following Board Members: Mrs. James Gangler, Mrs. Richard Schaefer, Mrs. Harry Gerstenberger, Mrs. George Poltis, Mrs. Paul Nagle, Mrs. Benjamin Pinkel and Mrs. Thayer Landes.
This League actively served Fairview Park for thirty years, providing Candidates Night and Issues Forums and also periodically publishing a Know Your Town booklet. However in 1984 when a number of members were returning to work the Nominating Committee found itself unable to come up with a full slate of officers. Consequently the Unit closed. Well known members of this early League included suffragist Josephine Irwin who was also the first woman to serve on the Fairview Park City Council, Ann Dunson, wife of popular Mayor Jim Dunson, City Council member Mildred Nyland, West Life reporter Diane Mealey and School Board Member Helen Graham.
In 1995 a Member of the Fairview Park Board of Education, Ken LeSure, wrote letters to local newspapers and to the League of Women Voters of 0hio requesting that consideration be given to reestablishing a local LWV Unit in Fairview Park. The State League responded quickly sending its Membership Chair to host an organizational meeting at the Fairview Library. Eight persons responded. They were mostly members of the former League but also included a local judge and 2 National Members of the League (members who support the national organization but are not affiliated with a local chapter). Millie Nyland was elected Chair of the fledgling League at the September, 1995 meeting. Other persons who have since served as Chair or Co-Chair are Mary Jarmusch, Joanne Norenberg, Betsy Falkenstein (deceased), Jo Crabtree (deceased), Jan Reser, Jean Seasholtz and Nikki Salupo. Presently the group is headed by Anne Godhard and Nikki Salupo who serve as Co-Chairs.
The reorganized League essentially picked up where the old League left off or perhaps a little ahead. Returning members brought both experience and new skills they had learned on their jobs. One member brought funding from a major corporation that gave stipends to non-profit organizations in which their retirees or their families gave volunteer service.
The Fairview Park Chapter is most noted for its Candidates Nights and its Youth in Government Project. YIG was initiated in the year 2000 at the request of High School Principal Chuck Kullik. League member Jan Reser and high school Social Studies teacher, Jennifer Lechko played a major part in developing the concept. It is a week long program for high school government students to learn about local government and the election process. It has brought congressmen, county commissioners, legislators, judges and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist to the local campus to interact with students.. Throughout its nine year history Youth in Government has had overwhelming support from Fairview Park Mayor Eileen Patton, High School Social Studies teachers, City Council and the School Board. Financial legacies from two deceased League members secure the program for the future.
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