(Lori Piotrowski) – Thursday, July 8, was a history making day in Laughlin. Sue Lowden, former NRP chair and candidate for Senate, who is now living in Laughlin, kicked off a meeting to explore founding a Republican Women’s Club. More than 60 attendees crowded Granny’s restaurant in the Pioneer to learn more about the plans for this new club while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and a special cake.
The Laughlin women were supported in their efforts by elected officials from all over the state, including
- NRP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian
- Assemblyman John Hambrick (who joined as the first associate member)
- Constable Jordan Ross (who joined as the second associate member)
- Clark County Republican Acting Chair Woody Stroupe
- NRCC Secretary Carol Del Carlo
- UNLVCR President Mark Ciavola
Every Republican Women’s Club is a member of the state federation of clubs, and the Nevada Federation of Republican Women (NvFR) was well represented as these officers spent several days in Laughlin helping to organize the club. Pam Benzing, who has been active at the local and state level of women’s clubs, led the efforts to publicize the meeting and rally local residents to attend the organizational meeting.
First Vice President of the NvFR, Maraya Evans, talked to the group about the state organization. And Kay Butchko, vice chair of the National Federation of Republican Women’s membership committee, explained how the national organization operates and the type of help they may lend the fledgling club.
Amy Tarkanian, who drove down with Mari Nakashima, NRP communications director, in a torrential rainstorm, cheered on the group: “Women are multi-tasking warriors, and I’m happy to coordinate the state’s efforts with all the clubs to turn this state Red!” Republican Women’s Clubs develop and support candidates for all elections, from local to county to state to federal.
The following morning, interested members met again at the Pioneer to adopt standing rules and bylaws and elect the executive board of Nevada’s 21st Republican Women’s Club. The Laughlin Republican Women welcomed 19 members and 11 associate members; five patrons lend their support. The club’s founding members voted in:
- President – Cheryl Crow
- 1st Vice President – Pee Dee Leavitt
- Treasurer – Sunny O’Brien
- Secretary – Sharon Martinez
Members of the surrounding area’s Republican Women’s Clubs showed their support by attending the meeting, including Linda Bronstein, president, Boulder City Republican Women; Betty Rumford, president, Spring Mountain Republican Women; Lori Piotrowski, first vice president, and Priscilla Campbell, treasurer, Republican Women of Las Vegas; Carole Del Carlo, president, Incline Village Republican Women; Noreen Thomas, campaign chair, National FRW and past president of the Arizona Federation of Republican Women and Hildy Angius, president, Colorado River Republican Women, of Bullhead City.
As the meeting was about to adjourn, a rabbi broke into song, singing the praises of Laughlin to the tune of “God bless America.”