Intermountain Republican women’s group celebrates 60 years
By Karen Brainard
Intermountain Republican Women Federated (IRWF) celebrated its 60th anniversary with guest speakers and special recognitions.
About 90 people turned out for the event, which didn’t surprise IRWF President Sallie McKelvey.
“They knew this was a special occasion,” McKelvey said.
One of the special moments of the evening was when McKelvey presented a Lifetime Membership Award to Betty Ann Tulloch, who has been a member for almost 60 years. Tulloch, a past president of the IRWF, is the third in her family to have served in that capacity, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother.
“Her grandmother was the first president in 1951,” McKelvey said.
Representatives from the offices of U.S Congressman Duncan Hunter, State Sen. Joel Anderson and Assemblyman Brian Jones each presented McKelvey with certificates of recognition for IRWF’s outstanding service. The three legislators represent Ramona in their districts.
Mike Slater, host of the Mike Slater Show, mornings on KFMB radio, was the main guest speaker at the celebration, held in the San Vicente Inn on Monday, June 27. A Yale graduate and transplant from the East, he said of San Diego: “This place is such a blessing. The people have been so warm and welcoming.”
Slater took the audience back to America in the 1700s, just before and after the country won its independence from England. He talked about one of his favorite founding fathers, Dr. Benjamin Rush, and of the Sons of Liberty who spread the message of freedom and liberty.
“They stuck with it from the beginning and never let go,” he said of the Sons of Liberty’s message.
“We need to be for something. Always stand for something, not against,” Slater told the group.
He advised channeling today’s frustrations into something good and eternal, such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and personal responsibility.
McKelvey said of Slater after the event, “He was true to form. What I really appreciate about Mike Slater is his passion for conservatism.”
Tony Krvaric, chairman of the San Diego County Republican Party, was also a guest speaker at the 60th anniversary dinner. Krvaric noted he legally emigrated to the United States from Sweden and said it took 11 years to become a citizen. He was sworn in with 800 people representing 82 nations in June 2003. He was one of two Swedes at the ceremony, he said.
“It is a very, very moving experience,” said Krvaric.
The most touching part, he said, was watching men and women in uniform become U.S. citizens, pointing out that they had already been in battle, had been deployed or were about to be deployed.
Krvaric said he was inspired by President Ronald Reagan to come to America and pursue his American dream. He started his own business and after becoming a naturalized citizen became politically involved, standing up for traditional conservative values. As party chairman, Krvaric said, he works as a volunteer.
McKelvey recognized the past presidents of the IRWF attending the dinner: Mary Kafka, current IRWF Vice President Programs; Rachel Meyer, current president of San Diego County Republican Women Federated; Eileen Castberg; Sharon Blodgett; Jane Barnes; Betty Anne Tulloch; and Marlene Robershaw.
IRWF’s two scholarship winners were introduced, and both read their winning essays. Rowlynda Morretti, a graduate of Julian High school, won a $700 scholarship, and Ramona High School graduate Paul Loska received a $300 scholarship award.
The dinner also included silent auction prizes and featured photo displays of events and members throughout the IRWF’s history.
McKelvey said IRWF’s upcoming goals are to register people to vote and to spread the message of lower taxes, hiring, job creation and conservatism.
“We need more people to pay attention to who’s running for office,” she said.
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