|W. Walt Casady
Hancock County Republicans gathered at Hotel Nauvoo for their annual Lincoln Day Dinner Sunday, March 31, 2019. The Lincoln Day tradition is celebrated widely in counties throughout Illinois and nationwide.
Traditionally held throughout February and March, the dinner brings together precinct committeemen, public servants, legislators and other active members of the party.
Honored guests included Hancock County States Attorney Rachel Mast, State Senator Jil Tracy, Representative Randy Frese, and featured speaker United States Representative for the 18th district Darin LaHood.
“It’s an opportunity to celebrate our leadership, to meet with local, state and national lawmakers and engage each other on issues that are important to us not only statewide, but locally and nationally as well”, said Chairwoman Kathy Sparrow. “It’s also an opportunity to honor those actively serving their community.”
This year’s recipient of the Chairman’s award is Mary Ann Powell-Wintjen. Mary Ann has been an active member of her church and our community for many years and joined the Hancock County Republican Committee as a precinct committeewoman for Carthage 4 in 2018.
Powell-Wintjen got to work immediately serving as a poll watcher in our last election. She not only called on voters to serve as election judges in her own precinct, but got to work making contact in other precincts where there was a need as well.
Her support to the party also included helping at parades, dinners and other activities throughout the year. And if Mary Ann wasn’t busy enough, she still made time to bake cookies for our election judges and for Republican Women events.
Celebrating Commitment and Sacrifice
Sheriff Scott Bentzinger also addressed the group in support of our law enforcement officers who have given their lives in service to their communities.
It was just Saturday morning that the third Illinois State Trooper in as many months lost his life in the line of duty or while protecting the public. Gerald Ellis lost his life protecting an innocent commuter from another motorist driving the wrong way on the interstate.
“These officers have given the ultimate sacrifice in service”, said Bentzinger. Ellis, a West Central Illinois native grew up in Colchester and graduated from Western Illinois University.
Sheriff Bentzinger added “These officers are not there to be the bad guy. They are committed to serve and protect. Let them know you appreciate their service and that you support them. It really makes a difference when they hear it from you face to face.”
“Hancock County Republicans are stronger when we work together,” said Sparrow. “We bring people together and we bring our legislators to the people. You can find us organizing events such as this one, showing support for our candidates in parades and by placing signs before elections, and supporting our young people through scholarships.”
For more information about how you can get involved visit www.hancockcountyrepublicans.com