GOP dinner honors Abe

Published 1:23 pm Thursday, March 24, 2005

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
EDWARDSBURG - Though Feb. 12 was a month away, Saturday evening area Republicans took time out to honor their party's first president, our nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.
The annual Lincoln Day Dinner, held at the American Legion in Edwardsburg, is a fundraiser, but also a chance for Republicans to join together for fellowship.
Keynote speaker state Sen. Cameron S. Brown, R-Sturgis, might have been delayed, as his car broke down as he came to the dinner with guest Helen Lukan, but for being picked up by state Rep. Rick Shaffer.
Brown now serves the 16th District of Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties. Prior to 2002, he served two terms in the state House of Representatives. Then his district included a portion of Cass County.
Brown is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and chair of the subcommittees on agriculture, state police/military and veterans affairs.
He is vice chair of the judiciary/corrections subcommittee and serves on the K-12/school aid/education subcommittee and on the technology and energy committee.
Brown said he is but one chair away from state Sen. Ron Jelinek, of Three Oaks, who also serves on the K-12/school aid/education subcommittee.
Jelinek served as master of ceremonies and introduced Brown at the dinner.
Unlike some politicians who would never speak of God, for fear of being accused of not separating government and religion, Brown offered thanks to God.
He took the audience on a word tour of the history of our nation going back to the time of the pioneers and those who tamed the west.
He reminded us that Lincoln was chosen by his new party to run for President of the United States in July of 1854, nominated under oak trees in Jackson, Mich.
Brown said he has introduced legislation which would require public schools to start the day the same way as most meetings, or the Lincoln Day Dinner did - with the Pledge of Allegiance.
He offered that Lincoln "did not waver … in his devotion to principles." Guests at the dinner each received a scroll with an editorial about Lincoln, written by Brown.
Also at the dinner, past Diamond members welcomed the newest member to their midst, party Secretary Bernie Williamson, head of emergency management in Cass County.
Republicans who have received this honor in the past for their service to the party include: Carl and Ardith Higley; Louise Cox; Margaret Stanley, county vice chair; Dale Blunier; county Chair William LaBre; and Ann Simmons.