THE VOTER” Live Oak Tree Planted In Orlando
A living memorial, THE VOTER tree, was established Oct. 20 in an Orange County park to celebrate our right to vote. The League of Women Voters of Orange County planted the commemorative live oak beside a pavilion at Cypress Grove Park, 290 Holden Ave., in Orlando.
The tree was the League’s 80th birthday present to itself and a tribute to voters and democracy. The nonpartisan League’s mission is to empower voters and defend democracy. Dedication of the tree also prefaces the upcoming 2020 Centennial of women’s right to vote in the United States.
“THE VOTER Tree will be a living commemoration of our precious right to vote,” said League co-president Gloria Pickar. “Live oaks can live for hundreds of years. THE VOTER tree can stand, spreading its branches with its tribute to democracy, long beyond the span of our lives. Now is our chance to set a living beacon that can carry our message forward to our grandchildren and future generations, heralding that the Warriors for Democracy of the Orange County League of Women Voters never give up.”
Event partners included Orange County District 3 Commissioner Mayra Uribe, Orange County Parks, and the League’s past presidents. Other speakers included Commissioner Uribe; Patricia “Patti” Brigham, president of the Florida League; and Joan Erwin, Chair of the Orange County League’s History Committee. “People who plant trees believe in the future,” said Linda Chapin, former Orange County mayor, who was the Orange County League’s president from 1976-78.
About 150 people attended the ceremony, which included live music by the Citrus Singers Girl Scouts Chorus and giveaway trees that participants could take home to plant their own voter trees. The League’s Warriors for Democracy Marchers performed, and League members Betsy Fulmer and Gloriann Gaston surprised and delighted guests by appearing in costumes as historical social-justice leaders “Susan B. Anthony” (Fulmer) and “Sojourner Truth” (Gaston).
The League hopes sister Leagues will plant their own VOTER trees to celebrate next year’s Centennial of the 19th Amendment, which gave U.S. women the right to vote.
For more information about the Orange County League, see LWVOC.org.by