St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

St. Mary's Co. Gov. News Briefs

Commissioners Celebrate Women's History Month

Recognizing American women of every race and ethnic background have made historic contributions to the growth and strength of our Nation in countless ways, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County held a proclamation ceremony in honor of Women's History Month.

The proclamation takes note of the critical role American women play in economic, cultural, and overall society in the Nation by constituting a significant portion of the labor force both inside and outside of the home.

"American women have played a unique role throughout the history of the Nation by providing the majority of the volunteer labor force, and were particularly important in the establishment of early charitable, philanthropic, and cultural institutions in our Nation," said Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd District.)

Commissioners also acknowledged American women as leaders, for not only securing their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity, but also in the abolitionist movement, the emancipation movement, the industrial labor movement, the civil rights movement, and in particular, the peace movement.

Citizens are urged to actively participate in scheduled activities and programs which work toward recognizing the contributions of the women of St. Mary's County and the contributions they have made and continue to make in our community. The most significant of these is the annual Woman of the Year banquet, scheduled for Thursday, March 19, at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.

Commissioners Commemorate Developmental Disability Awareness Month

Theme for 2015: "Love Where You Live"

Reminding citizens that communities thrive when they take an active role in embracing everyone who lives within them, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County held a ceremony to proclaim March Developmental Disability Awareness Month. This year's theme "Love Where You Live" encourages residents to ensure that everyone within the community is made to feel welcome.

The proclamation encourages individuals and groups to increase their awareness through active participation in community activities and be open to learning and acknowledging each individual's contributions.

While leading the ceremony Commissioner John O'Connor (3rd District) noted "opportunities for citizens with developmental disabilities to function as independently and productively as possible must be fostered into our community."

Citizens across the county are encouraged to support opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities in our community that include full access to education, housing, employment and recreational activities.

Commission for Women to Honor Lynn Fitrell with Lifetime Achievement Award

March is National Women's History month. The St. Mary's County Commission for Women will celebrate the contributions of nineteen amazing women and six wonderful high school students on March 19 at the annual Women's History Month banquet. This year's event will take place at Southern Maryland Higher Education Center at 6 p.m. This year's theme is "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives."

Lynn Fitrell has been chosen to receive the 2015 St. Mary's County Lifetime Achievement Award. The St. Mary's County Woman of the Year and Tomorrow's Woman awards will be announced at the banquet.

Ms. Fitrell's lifetime of community service resembles the theme, as it has been woven through her efforts in local, state and National service to women and children. As a spouse to a career military officer, she served in multiple duty stations with the Red Cross and Navy Relief. After transferring to NAS Patuxent River, Ms. Fitrell finished her education at the University of Maryland with a degree in Government Politics and Women's Studies. While studying she immersed herself in community service. As unmet needs began to emerge, Lynn joined study groups and began seeking solutions. With only a rickety card table and donated space in a trailer park, Lynn became the first Director of the Women's Center in St. Mary's County. Concurrently, she interned and worked full-time in Annapolis, including eight years as Executive Assistant to the Governor and Program Director for the Governor's Office on Volunteerism.

One of her proudest achievements was overseeing the erecting of the Maryland Monument to the Veterans of World War ll. Lynn was directly responsible for conducting the design competition, overseeing the actual construction and the entire process up to and including the dedication ceremony. She worked at the state level for eighteen years.

Early on Lynn learned to form coalitions and work together with others in the field on women's issues. Recognizing few problems are in isolation, she kept the issues of sexual assault, homelessness, domestic violence and displaced homemakers front and center in Annapolis. The Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence grew out of one of those cooperative working relationships.

Ms. Fitrell was mentored by the original members of the St. Mary's County Commission for Women (CFW) and she served on the local CFW for many terms. In addition, she was appointed the State Commission for Women where she held several chairmanships.

Lynn continues to support the local CFW in its activities and provides information from the state. Her community service roles are numerous and varied, stretching from Baltimore and Annapolis to the Chaptico Classic Race. When there is a job to be done, whether it is visiting the women at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home or testifying in Annapolis on a Domestic Violence bill, Lynn Fitrell is the person you to be counted on to be there.

The St. Mary's County Commission for Women is proud to recognize Ms. Fitrell for her contributions to women and to St. Mary's County.

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