Our Highlands County Republican 2016 Lincoln Day Dinner – the best in memory!
The Highlands County Republican 2016 Lincoln Day Dinner had to compete with several other events in Highlands County last night, however the large crowd at the Chateau Elan were treated to the best Lincoln Day Dinner in the memory of most. The crowd that included almost all of the elected Republicans in Highlands County and those currently running for elected office were very appreciative of the inspired speech by State Representative Jennifer Sullivan (R- District 31) from the Mt. Dora/Eustis area. Representative Sullivan was the youngest female ever elected to the Florida Legislature when elected in 2014 at the age of 23. Her comment on how she managed to get elected in a race with four well-funded much older opponents was “all it takes is hard work!” She became a rising star with her leadership on important legislation last year including the 24-hour waiting period before an abortion and with her nationally televised speech at the Sunshine Summit last November on “Reaching Millennials”. As per the comments from millennials in the audience, and several who volunteered after her speech “she inspired me to get involved”.
Other highlights from the evening included a special recorded video message from Congressman Tom Rooney, State Representative Dr. Cary Pigman’s outstanding presentation of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the flawless rendition of the National Anthem by Sarah Norberto and the very entertaining emceeing of Sebring Jaycee Trey Griffin.
Chairman Kathy Rapp’s remarks on the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee outreach activities to new and potential Republicans and the stunning growth of the Highlands County Republican Party in the last three months received rounds of applause.
But capping the evening and a major highlight was the very well deserved recognition of the many years of dedicated and faithful service to Highlands County Republicans of our long-time State Committeewoman and former Treasurer, Joan H. Hartt. Joan will not seek re-election after her current term expires. She received a very well-deserved standing ovation in appreciation of her contributions in both leadership and support. The inscription on her award: “Presented to Joan H. Hartt In grateful appreciation for your many years of outstanding dedication, commitment and leadership while serving as State Committeewoman. Thank you for sharing your time, talent, and treasure for the betterment of our community, the Republican Party of Highlands County, and the Republican Party of Florida.”Highlands County Republican Executive Committee April 28, 2016.
Here are a few more phone pictures from last night with better ones to follow:
May 20th, 2015
The Republican Party of Highlands County’s 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner was termed outstanding in every detail by a number of the over 120 guests in attendance Saturday night. This year’s dinner was held in the ballroom at the Chateau Elan Hotel and Conference Center at the Sebring Airport. Guests were greeted and escorted into the ballroom by members of the College Republicans from South Florida State College. Chairman Kathy Rapp served as the emcee, Ms. Mary Sapp (our guest speaker Eric Eisnaugle’s aunt) led the invocation, and Ms. Penny Ogg led the Pledge of Allegiance.
An early highlight of the evening was the performance of the Star Spangled Banner and then America the Beautiful by the Sebring High School Show Choir under the direction of their Choral Director, Ms. Louann Hawk. Following those two traditional songs, the Show Choir entertained the audience with a very spirited song and dance number, Trickle Trickle, by the Manhattan Transfer which brought the crowd to their feet for a standing ovation. Our guest speaker had been a part of the Sebring Show Choir while a student at Sebring High School and the choir’s performance before the start of the meeting was in honor of his participation. After opening the event with their rousing performance, the choir departed for the evening and the program moved on to the dinner and special guest speaker.
After a very warm introduction by Ms. Carolyn Campbell, our guest speaker’s former high school mathematics teacher, State Representative Eric Eisnaugle who represents the 44th district (which includes parts of the Orlando/Winter Park area) moved away from his planned speech and spoke from the heart. He shared stories of his family and life in Sebring and Highland’s County that shaped his character and values during his formative years. Representative Eisnaugle concluded with an excellent discussion of two legislative issues of interest. The primary issue discussed was the Medicaid expansion issue (Medicaid was 17% of the state budget a few years ago and it is currently over 30% of the entire state budget and is swallowing the budget) and his second issue was the viability of the state’s Citizen’s Insurance fund which has become the largest insurer in the state.
The HCREC would like to express its sincere thanks to all who attended the 2015 Lincoln Day Dinner and contributed to the success of the evening. A very special word of thanks to the Sebring High School Show Choir and Ms. Louann Hawk for the outstanding musical performances and to our special guest speaker Representative Eric Eisnaugle for his candid and refreshing remarks and his insightful discussion of several issues of broad concern. Our sincere appreciation to the College Republicans from South Florida State College for their very helpful assistance and participation – may their number increase many times in the months to come!
Thanks also to our excellent group of program advertisers and our many donors of funds and gift baskets and to our table sponsors for their very important contribution to the overall success of the 2015 LDD. This year’s LDD committee was led by Chairman Rob Horne who once again provided very dedicated and wise leadership and the committee members including Kathy Rapp, Penny Kocarek, Mary Ann Romer, Sally and Earl Claire, Ida Jackson, Elsa Kahn, Diane Hawkins, Nadine Tedstone, and Jan Grove who contributed many hours of time in planning, implementing, and hosting this year’s event. More photos and details will follow in coming days!
From the Sebring News-Sun May 20, 2015
Rep. Eric Eisnaugle returns to his Sebring roots to deliver Lincoln Day address
SEBRING – The Grand Old Party’s annual Lincoln Day celebration doubled as a grand old homecoming Saturday night at the Chateau Elan as Rep. Eric Eisnaugle took to the podium to deliver the keynote address.
A graduate of Sebring High School, Eisnaugle is an up-and-coming member of the Florida House of Representatives from District 44, which includes the Lake Buena Vista and Winter Garden communities of Orlando.
“I kind of expected to come down here and have a typical Lincoln Day dinner, but to come down here with all these friends has been anything but a typical Lincoln Day dinner,” Eisnaugle said. “It has touched my heart to be in this room with all my friends.”
Eisnaugle, who graduated from Florida Southern College before earning a law degree at Vanderbilt University, regaled the audience with fond remembrances of growing up in Highlands County – including an amusing anecdote of picking up a judge’s daughter for a first date.
“As an adult I realized just how important growing up in Highlands County as a kid was to me,” Eisnaugle said. “A lot of the people in the room were so important in shaping who I am.”
During his remarks, the representative focused on the responsibility of leaders to have the willingness to change and learn from mistakes.
“We must always be willing to admit that we didn’t do something right,” he said. “And when we are wrong, we have to have the willingness to go back. The only right we have is to work hard and the right to try again when we get something wrong.”
One of those wrongs, Eisnaugle said, is the skyrocketing burden Medicaid is placing on the state budget.
“About 13 years ago, Medicaid was 17 percent of the state budget. Today it is over 30 percent of the state budget. It is swallowing the budget whole,” Eisnaugle said in defense of the Florida House’s ongoing budget battle with the Florida Senate over the issue, which resulted in the legislature adjourning earlier this month without passing a state budget.
“I have got three kids and I won’t put that burden on their shoulders.”
In his closing remarks, Eisnaugle said it was community values, not government that make America great.
“Government is the problem, it is not the solution to the problem. We know what made America great. It was families. It was people like you in communities like this,” the representative said.
For the rest of the article and the pictures in the Sebring News-Sun, see: http://yoursun.com/sunnews/sebring/9170697-699/story.html.csp