Member Stories


Sherene Hess, Why I joined the league of women voters

As a young executive director of the county recycling and solid waste authority in 1995, I hungered for opportunities to learn how to be an effective leader. I volunteered to co-chair the annual conference planning committee for a statewide recycling organization. Soon I was busy with facility logistics, publicity, and organizing educational workshops and panelists for the three-day conference. A colleague suggested I contact the League of Women Voters to “moderate” the conference panels and workshops.


Ginger Whittington, My 50 Years With The League

My husband worked for the newspaper in the small city of New Castle, Pa., and was determined to be so objective that he didn’t want me to get politically involved. But when a couple of thirtyish, educated women contacted me to say they were forming a chapter of the League of Women Voters, he agreed I could join. They made it easy for me, offering rides and a babysitter for members’ youngest children at our morning meetings. Soon I was appointed to the board, elected secretary and then president. They insisted I attend the national convention in Chicago in 1969, paying all expenses. I was amazed at the orderly way delegates followed Robert’s Rules to push their program preferences.


Sherry Ritchie, Why I Joined the League

If you are like me, you have been a member of various organizations as you grew into the person you are now. Some of us started as early as being a member of a Sunday School, some joined the scouts in first grade, and others were part of clubs throughout school. As we grew to adulthood, the organizations we became part of were many times orchestrated by the involvement of a parent, spouse or children. Once we came either to the brink of retirement or fell over its edge, our identity crises peered through and some of us found we needed to make a change and become involved in matters that meant most—to leave that footprint, although anonymously—for another to follow. Such was my foray into the League.


Nancy Neuman, Why I joined the League

…[t]hen I was invited to a meeting of the Lewisburg LWV where I found women who were interested in my passion—politics—and spent no time examining my biography. With a master’s degree from UC Berkeley in political science I expected to get involved with local politics. The county was dominated by one political party, leaving little competition in elections, so involvement in partisan activity did not attract me. At that first League meeting the group was discussing an issue most people find dull, but about which I care passionately: redistricting.


Mary Lou Dondero, My 50 Years with the league

I knew about the League long before I joined, thanks to the League’s “Voters Guide,” when I lived in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County. When my husband, children and I moved to Westtown Township, Chester County, a new friend who was a League member – and still is – Karen Satterthwaite, invited me to go with her to a League orientation meeting. Needless to say, it was love at first sight.


LWVPA Salutes 50-Year Member Joan Jessen

My years of work with the League have been a fantastic experience. The League has always challenged me to improve the skills I had acquired and to develop new ones. And—perhaps surprising to some—my League work is a vital component of my social life. I treasure the friends I have made through the League and the experiences we have shared.