The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 7, 2013

Lewisburg welcomes League of Women Voters convention

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — The League of Women Voters of the Lewisburg Area rolls out the welcome mat today as host of the annual statewide convention, a first for the nearly 60-year-old chapter.

About 100 conventioneers will begin gathering today at the Best Western Plus Country Cupboard Inn for the three-day event, a major “get” for the 90-member Lewisburg group. The  convention usually is held in larger areas, such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or the Lehigh Valley.

“All the stars were aligned to do this,” said Pam Mauger, first vice president of the local chapter and convention manager. “We are trying as a local group to do this and do it well.”

Doing it well indeed: Some pleasure before business for conventioneers will start with a walking tour of historic Lewisburg from 4 to 6 tonight, followed by a reception in the Packwood House Museum.

On Saturday and Sunday, about 40 volunteers each day will help as league business takes place. Saturday’s luncheon keynote speech by Lynn Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, will address “Co-equal branches: The cycle of scandals and solutions in Pennsylvania.”

There will be plenary sessions for usual league housekeeping and workshops on topics such as moderating debates, using social media, fundraising and growing and sustaining membership.

The Lewisburg chapter could teach that class. Organized in 1954, the local league has about 90 members and is known for its involvement throughout the Valley, particularly in keeping voters informed during elections and bringing newsmakers of the day to its luncheons. Recent big names include now-former state Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Michael Krancer, whom President Janice Bigelow kept on topic when he tried to avoid discussing the Susquehanna River’s health during a March 12 luncheon. About 70 people, members and nonmembers, attended.

Mauger said most members are active, especially if they’ve moved to the region from other areas for family or employment.

The Union County commissioners recognized the Lewisburg league’s major score with a resolution naming Saturday as League of Women Voters Day in the county, “in honor of the Lewisburg league’s work to promote citizen participation in government and its hosting of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania.”