From left, school board member Pat Hynes; Del. Charniele Herring; former State Senator Patsy Ticer; former Board of Supervisors Chair Kate Hanley; Del. Eileen Filler-Corn; Virginia Million Mom March Chair Martina Leinz; Fairfax County Democratic Committee Vice Chair South Ruth Miller; school board member Tammy Kaufax, former State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple.
Fine millinery was on full display as the Democratic Women of Clifton gathered on Sunday, Feb. 10, to celebrate its eighth anniversary in style. The theme of this year’s party was “Hats Off to Democratic Women!” and members complied by donning an assortment of colorful chapeaus—from the classic fedora, brim snapped and businesslike, to the romantic cloche and the whimsical Victorian.
Gathering in the home of member Gretchen Klimoski of Clifton, members mingled with honored guests to share appetizers, beverages and lively conversation.
DWC Membership Chair Chris Randon welcomed high-powered women from Northern Virginia: Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46), Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia; Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41); Fairfax County School Board members Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill district) and Tammy Kaufax (Lee district); Kate Hanley, former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and secretary of the commonwealth; and former Virginia State Senators Patsy Ticer and Mary Margaret Whipple. Randon talked about the early history of the DWC and recognized Hanley for having attended the first meeting of the DWC in 2005.
THE WEEK OF VALENTINE’S DAY has special significance for DWC members. In February of 2005, 100 women met in the Clifton Town Hall to organize the Democratic Women of Clifton (DWC). The group now boasts a membership of more than 400.
The DWC also recognized several women for their contributions to various Democratic causes in Northern Virginia: Ruth Miller, vice chair south of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee; and Martina Leinz, Virginia chairman of the Million Moms March. Others honored were Jane Touchet, chairman of the Democratic Women of Lake Ridge; Pixie Bell, former secretary of the Democratic Party of Virginia; Janet Carver, a member of the 2008 and 2012 Electoral College; Becca Durr, deputy finance director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; and Tina Hone, former Fairfax County School Board member.
“Everyone attending the celebration then removed their hats in a salute to all of these special guests,” said Jane Barker, co-founder and current chair of the DWC. “It was a fun moment.”
Barker addressed the members and guests and praised the accomplishments of the DWC in its dual mission of educating women about political issues and creating a forum for discussion and political action. Barker further congratulated members for their outstanding support of two service projects during the recent holiday season. The DWC was a large contributor to the toy and coat drive sponsored by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue. In addition, members of the DWC contributed more than $3,600 to Our Daily Bread, the local non-profit organization that provides food and other services to area families in need.
“It’s great to celebrate with women who continue to make our community, our commonwealth, and our politics better with never-ending, thoughtful, positive involvement and giving,” Barker said. “Their enthusiasm and commitment continues to make a difference today with this terrific turn-out to celebrate our distinguished Democratic women. We are energized to grow and improve this year as we advocate for important issues and work for Democratic candidates and elected officials.”
THE NEXT GENERAL MEETING of the DWC will focus on the environment. That meeting will be held on March 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Clifton Community Hall. A candidate forum is also being planned for the spring in anticipation of the coming statewide elections.
The DWC is open to all Democratic women in Northern Virginia. Anyone interested in joining may email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.democraticwomenofclifton.org.