Gabrielle Martin (right), President of the Putnam County Republican Party Women's Club receives her club's official charter from the District 1 Vice President, Beverley Hirzel - Putnam Sentinel
Gabrielle Martin (right), President of the Putnam County Republican Party Women's Club receives her club's official charter from the District 1 Vice President, Beverley Hirzel. (Putnam Sentinel/Martin Verni)

PUTNAM COUNTY — “By having our Women’s Club chartered we can help empower women from all backgrounds in the political process and provide a forum for women to serve as leaders in the political, government, and civic arenas,” writes Gabrielle Martin, President of the Putnam County Republican Party Women’s Club. The group, currently numbering just under 20 women, received its official charter during an event at Red Pig Inn last week. And, according to Mrs. Martin they plan to get active.

“Our goals are to: promote and inform the public through political education and activity,” she says, “Increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government; facilitate loyalty to the Republican Party and promote its principles and the candidates in all elections, including non-partisan elections; and, support Republican objectives and policies and work for the election of Republican nominees.”

“Our intentions with these goals are to be able to help educate those who are not familiar with those running in the election. Starting at the local levels and leading to the State levels.”

When speaking later to Beverley Hirzel, Vice President of District 4 for the Ohio Federation of Republican Women, these seemed precisely the type of goals she hopes will be strived for.

“It means another voice in the area of District 4,” Mrs. Hirzel said. Which is currently Allen County, Hancock, Hardin, and Paulding. Putnam never had a club before, so it’s great to have another representation in the rural area of Putnam County.”

“We educate women on the Republican platform,” Mrs. Hirzel continues. “We extend them into the community to try to volunteer within their own community to do good in their community. But, we also support those should they want to run or be a campaign manager, or just sit on a local board.”

“Women have been, for the most part, excluded from being part of the decision-making group. And, we feel that we’ve made great progress in changing this over the years, and we hope to continue to do that.”

The group will even extend support across party lines, as she explains, saying, “We also have scholarships we offer to women. We prefer, of course, that they be Republican Party supporters, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be. Wood County, in particular, gave out two $1,000 scholarships to graduating senior women going into college. We did not ask the party affiliation.”

“You can always educate people to try and make a choice. You can’t always lead them there. We feel our job is to let women know that we support them, period.”

“But, as far as the national organization,” she continues, “We have a lot of volunteer effort directed towards literacy, scholarship, political training, campaign training. We do have national and state conferences that help direct women into what’s available for them to participate in. We pretty much encompass the same things that any organization would do to try and educate and incorporate good club membership.”

To support all of these efforts, Mrs. Hirzel says there are approximately 1500 Women’s Club members in Ohio, joining, “10s of thousands across the nation who have contributed 5.4 million hours of volunteer campaign time.”

Right now, Mrs. Martin says the local club is working to expand its membership by attending local events, speaking at local luncheons, and connecting one-on-one with those who may be interested. Anyone who would like to learn more about the new club can do so by contacted Mrs. Martin by email at president@putnamrwc.org or by calling 419-890-9693.