Earlier this week we had an exciting event at Girls, Inc. You may recall from an earlier post that I am volunteering there and thoroughly enjoying it! For the most part, the Fall program involves after school care, help with homework, literacy and, as always, running their town of “Dream Harbor” where all of the girls have jobs, clubs and activities.
On Tuesday, November 7th, the same day as the rest of the country, Girls, Inc. held their own election for their new Mayor and other city officials of Dream Harbor. Girls voted using computer ballots and the results were electronically calculated to determine the winners.
This organization is held in such high regard and given so much support in the city of Sarasota that city officials took time to participate in this week’s swearing in ceremony. Ron Turner, the Supervisor of Elections, congratulated the winners and certified the election telling the girls that they had 100% participation! Everyone voted from the kindergarteners to the middle schoolers – they all took the election seriously and made their decisions.
Bernadette DiPino, Chief of Police for the Sarasota Police Department, swore in the fourth grader elected Chief of Police of Dream Harbor who in turn swore in her “Peacekeepers” whose job it is to help all girls be respectful and kind to each other and recognize good deeds. The Honorable Rochelle Curley, Judge of the Twelfth Circuit Court in Sarasota County, Fl, swore in the new Mayor and the rest of the elected officials. The girls also heard from the Honorable Shelli Freeland Eddie, Mayor of Sarasota City. How exciting for them that the Mayor would take the time to be part of their ceremony. All three of these strong and accomplished women and the Supervisor of Elections provided uplifting words to all of the girls and encouraged them to continue to be “strong, smart and bold” members of society.
I was so proud of each and every girl in attendance, the way they participated in and learned so much about the importance of our election process. Of course, the day ended with a party and congratulatory high fives all the way around! I am honored to volunteer at this organization and count among my blessings that I can be part of it. I hope you can find an organization that works for you – it will fill your heart with joy!