Thursday, September 13, 2007


United Women’s Forum convened September 12, 2007, at the home of Lauralee Christensen. Linda Reeves welcomed everyone and invited Rosemarie Schumutz to give an opening prayer, followed by Janet Seamons leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Linda opened the meeting with a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley which invited all women to “…. Stand tall and be strong… and be a force for good in the world…” and she encouraged all of us follow that council. She announced that UWF will sponsor a Voucher debate on Thursday, September 20, at 6:30 pm, at the Bountiful City Library. Everyone is invited to attend to learn about the upcoming Voucher Referendum. She also announced that pollster Dan Jones, will be our guest speaker on October 10, at an adjusted time of 11:00 am instead of 10:00 am.
The Steering Committee was introduced and invited to comment on their role on the committee.
Delane England presented this month’s “marching orders” and gave us some information about upcoming issues.
1. The first item is S-chip bill which is a health care plan for children covering all kids. It is supported by cigarette tax. Over the last 10 years this bill has already cost $40 billion dollars and would cost $200 billion dollars over the next 10 years. This health care plan ultimately takes responsibility away from parents and gives it to the government. It also provides for an “unborn child rule” giving coverage to pregnant women and eventually the natural consequence of a National Health Care program – covering unborn children, all children, pregnant women, and senior citizens and eventually men would not be left out. “Liberals do not like the “unborn child rule” because the term “unborn child” gives credence to a viable fetus – therefore complicating abortion laws.” S-chip has already passed in the House and is in the Senate. Delane urged calling our Senators and any other Senators to oppose this bill. When calling, we should state that we belong to the United Women’s Forum because Senators are more inclined to pay attention to a group than to an individual.
2. “Hate Crimes bill” sounds good because no one likes the idea of hurting anyone or committing a crime against another. Every law that is covered in the Hate Crimes bill is already covered by the Constitution. The Hate Crimes bill gives rights to one person over another person and extends the law to being punished for one’s thoughts and not just actions. In other words, the law would be extended to judge intent such as bias toward race, gender, homosexuals, etc. This bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate. We were encouraged to contact leaders.
3. In 2005, Congress passed a bill called “National Constitution Day”. The designated day for this is September 17, which is a Sunday so it will be observed on Monday, September 18th. On this day, all schools are required to teach the constitution in the schools to students. Delane asked our support to contact schools to make sure that they are aware of this observance and offer to help with free materials for every grade level, videos/DVDs and booklets. One Utah man is funding these materials and we can help in distribution wherever needed. They need volunteers to help with calling schools, emailing and distributing. Delane offered her help in pushing this forward. September 18th is just a week away and the needs are immediate.
Debra Poulsen introduced the theme for today “The Spirit of America” and also our speaker, Jill Stevens. She started out by recalling the shared grief of all Americans at the great tragedy of 9/11 and the aftermath of a united country who proudly flew flags and proclaimed freedom. She reminded us of the millions of candles, symbolically lit to show light, love and concern for the vicious attacks on our freedom. Debra showed us a beautiful painting by Ann Marie Oborn of a woman and her daughter (Ann Marie and her own daughter) lighting their candles. Ann Marie donated the use of that painting to the UWF for our use in our cause and efforts to preserve our rights and freedoms in defense of our country.
Next, Debra welcomed Jill Stevens, the current Miss Utah 2007, and stated that Jill is a person with “light” in her countenance. She has been an honor student and Suma Cum Laude graduate in the nursing program at SUU, a marathon runner, and a Combat Medic with the Utah National Guard in Afghanistan.
Jill Stevens began by giving us a taste of a soldier’s life showing slides and sharing her multi-faceted life in active duty. She entered the military in a Combat Medic/Aviation unit in March 2001. She enjoyed the challenges and educational benefits to serve and give back to this country. Jill had rescue missions in Black Hawks and Shinooks in the combat zone amid rocket attacks, worked in the Aid Station administering IVs and medications, had duty in ICU units taking care of locals and kids, and helped in operating rooms with surgery. She experienced finding safety in bunkers during rocket attacks and target practice on the shooting range. Jill stated that “we all need to have a goal or a target in life – not just on the shooting range. No matter what our course, we need to make the best of our situation and make life better for those around us.”
While in Afghanistan, Jill tried to brighten everyone’s life, painting rocks into pumpkins and making a “Thankful Tree” for everyone to add leaves of things that they were thankful for. She tried to make a home away from home. She helped and befriended local children – particularly those in need. She was proud to be an American woman and proud to be a soldier.
Jill noted that there is a lot of good going on in the fight for freedom. “We are giving a future to others as we wave the flag of freedom,” she stated. She admonished us to “take a stand and make a difference, to carry America forth and fight for freedom, family and faith.” Jill ended by singing a beautiful song written for her by her mother, called My Tapestry.”
Holly Jordan gave the benediction.
Refreshments were served.

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