Women’s History Month Award was presented to Jane Grim of East Rockhill Township March 21 at the James Lorah House.
Grim was nominated by the League of Women Voters of Bucks County, an organization that she joined in 1970 with a desire to promote voting and good citizenship in her community. During her successful career she provided invaluable leadership and role modeling.
Women representing 14 organizations in Bucks County serving on the 2019 award committee considered her impressive resume of service, not only with the league, but also as the first female trustee of Grand View Hospital and hospital auxiliary volunteer, member and chair of the juvenile diversion program, Pennridge Youth Aid Panel, and volunteer and leader in educational support groups in the community. She has been a docent for 17 years at the James A. Michener Art Museum.
Grim was selected as the Bucks County woman who best exemplifies the social, intellectual and creative contributions women have made to the future and quality of life for Bucks County residents.
Dorothy Gaboda of Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA), chairman of the event, opened the program.
“This celebration is sponsored by the Bucks County Women’s History Month Award Committee, which is comprised of 14 sponsoring organizations that serve and advocate for women and their families within our Bucks County community,” she said.
Kathleen Horwatt of the League of Women Voters, introduced local and state representatives. Bucks County Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia offered a proclamation on behalf of the three commissioners. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick presented Grim with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol.
State Sen. Steve Santerserio attending prior to the ceremony authorized the presentation of a Pennsylvania Senate Citation on behalf of Bucks County’s four state senators, made by Chief of Staff Rose Wuenschel.
In state Rep. Craig Staats’ absence, Mary Smithson, Bucks County clerk of courts, awarded a Pennsylvania House Citation on behalf of the total Bucks County representations in the state House.
Horwatt read a congratulatory statement from Gov. Tom Wolf and also awarded a citation on behalf of U.S. Sen. Patrick Toomey.
Carly Volpe, Bucks County poet laureate, stepped forward with good wishes and a poem written for Jane Grim specifically for the event.
“The enormity of taking on a task of writing something special for someone like Jane was daunting,” said Volpe. “I hope that I did her justice.”
The poem was aptly titled Woman of the Year. In the inspirational lines, Volpe spoke of women who “wear different voices that give us permission to be brave. Jane Grim is such a woman ... we want to sit nearer to them, stand behind them as they lean in toward the future.”
Francine Block of AAUW Makefield award Grim a certificate. Dorothy Gaboda and Sandy Carvin, of Nova presented a gift of hand-blown glass by community college artist Karl Carter. Jane Grim’s name will be added toa plaque that will hang in the Bucks County Courthouse.
Tam St. Claire of the League of Women Voters spoke of Grim’s commitment to community through leadership in the league, serving as president of both the Doylestown and county chapters and as a member of the executive committee.
“Jane’s great passion is voting, citizenship and active participation in the community,” said St. Claire.
To complete the evening Jane Grim added her own remarks noting that she was the fourth of five children whose parents were active in church and community, with her mother acting as president of the home and school association of every school she attended.
For several years Grim hosted the Bucks County LWV cable television program, “Let’s Talk,” giving her the opportunity to interview commissioners, judges, and state representatives.
“My passion has always been voting – not just voting but informed voting,” said Grim.
As the 39th recipient of the award she is mindful of the previous holders of the title.
“I so admire and respect the women who are previous recipients,” she said.