Countdown to Suffrage Centennial Silent Sentinel Awards Gala
Special thanks go to all those who attended the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Gala on June 6, 2019, at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Va. It was an honor to pay tribute to and recognize seven “Silent Sentinels.“ Your attendance and support helped us raise an additional $30,000+ for the project.
Tina V. Murray set a powerful tone for the evening with her “National Anthem” in honor of D-Day. Following the welcome by partner NOVA Parks’s Board chair Michael Nardolilli, the Honorable Supervisor Dan Storck and John Houser presented recognitions to Irma Clifton for her work in rescuing key historical suffrage artifacts during the closure of the DC Prison at Lorton.
The evening featured a delightful presentation by Mary Jane Jung of History Alive who took on the role of suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She fully engaged the audience – even enlisting TPSM Board Members, John Houser to play Judge Cady and Jane Barker to become Lucretia Mott. Long-time TPSM supporter Robbie Morris was also great as Susan B. Anthony.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Silent Sentinel Awards to those exemplifying the traits of the suffragists and being trailblazers for women’s rights. The presentations were made by Board Chair Nancy Sargeant and Executive Director Patricia Wirth. The honorees included:
- President Jimmy Carter for being the first to proclaim National Women’s History Week which later expanded to National Women’s History Month, and for his consistent support for women’s rights. Presentation by video.
- The Honorable Senator Barbara Mikulski for her decades of service in Congress championing women rights including reproductive health care, fair pay, and childcare. She currently serves on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission established by Congress.
- Gen. Clara Adams-Ender, USA, Ret., for her service as chief of the Army Nurse Corps of 22,000 nurses. She was the first woman to receive a master’s degree in military arts and sciences from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
- Rebecca Geller for her leadership in supporting women in the workplace by enabling work and family balance in her all-female law firm.Her advocacy for women also led her to push for passage of legislation in Virginia to allow women to breastfeed in public.
- Alyssa Milano for her advocacy for women’s rights and providing the game-changing social media boost to the #Metoo movement. She also serves on the board of Spread the Vote. Presentation by video.
- Gen Wilma Vaught, USAF, Ret., for her military service as one of the most highly decorated military women and for leading the effort to build the Women in the Military Service for America Memorial paying tribute to three million women who have served in the military.
- Cokie Roberts for bringing to light the stories of historic women including suffragists through her best-selling books and for illuminating today’s women’s achievements through commentary on NPR and ABC. Presentation by video.
Thousands were raised at the end of the evening with the live auction and call for donations by the Honorable Delegate Ken Plum.
We thank our guests who included many Board members, Honorary Board members Edith Mayo and Patricia McDonald, and Maryland’s National Board member Ms. Paula Monopoli. Also many thanks go to Candice Bennett and her crew for facilitating the silent and online auctions.
Photos in the gallery below are by Michael C. Beaty except where noted.