During morning assembly Governor Katie and Lieutenant Governor Brevin announced Koger as City of the Day. Cities gain points all week for their accomplishments. Cities who follow instructions, show enthusiasm, or show outstanding character are rewarded. Each day a City of the Day is named and at the end of the week we name an All State City, all based on those points. The duo also named Elizabeth Morgan Reporter of the Day. A reporter from each city writes throughout the week for the newspaper the Sunflower Girls State Citizen. Elizabeth(Chapman, KS) said about her experience, “I really enjoyed writing the article and sharing about my city. Despite being on a time crunch, I liked being involved in something that goes out to all of the girls at SGS and having a voice here.” Bailey Blair, president of the ALASGS Alumnae Association, gave information about membership to that organization. If you are an alumni and are not a member the link to register is here. Each year the ALASGSAA gives out a scholarship to one citizen. Throughout the week questions are taken from the information given to the delegates and a test is compiled. The citizen with the highest score on the scholarship test receives the award. The Alumnae Association is also a great way to stay connected and up to date on all of the happenings within our program. Alumnae members are also invited to attend the Inaugural Ceremony and Sunflower Ceremony each session.
This year American Legion Auxiliary Sunflower Girls State received a Mission in Action Grant from the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation. The grant funded banners to be displayed in the city areas and during assemblies. ALA Foundation president, Doris Hammeke, presented the banners and members of the American Legion Auxiliary Dorsey-Liberty Unit #14 in Lawrence also helped to fund the project and were present for the ceremony.
American Legion Auxiliary member Linda Caudle shared information about honoring veterans and led us in folding our own pocket flags. These flags are small versions of the American Flag meant to be carried by service men and women who are deployed. The pocket flag allows them to carry a bit of home with them and we now have our own to share with someone we know or meet who will deploy. Linda also led us in making paper poppies and delegates participated in a Poppy Ceremony in which they added those poppies to a poppy wreath that will be presented at the Eisenhower Pilgrimage in October in Abilene, KS. This is the first year our delegates have made this wreath but the tradition of honoring President Eisenhower began in 1982. Dora Seymour (namesake our city of Seymour) was instrumental in planning the first event. The Pilgrimage, is held annually on the Saturday closest to President Eisenhower's birthday, October 14,1890, and you can find more information about the event and its history here. Maddie Johnson (Concordia, KS) from Koger communicated “I really appreciated that they came to talk to us and I’m glad we are able to wear the poppies as a memorial to our veterans. The presentation made me realize that we need more support and better care of veterans in this country.”
In the afternoon the Honorable Karen Arnold-Burger, Chief Judge of the Kansas Court of Appeals, spoke about the history of Women’s Suffrage because this year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the constitution. Faith Kramer (Valley Falls, KS) from Brown stated about the presentation “ the Lilly Ledbetter case shows that minor events in history can have huge impacts on the future. The interactive presentation showed both the women and men’s points of view on women’s suffrage and how far we have come.” The judge discussed how far we’ve come as women and how far we still have to go. Olivia Romig (Topeka, KS) of Brown said “She was inspirational and conveyed that failures don’t always set you back and can help others, when she said ‘losing the battle doesn’t mean you’ve lost the war.’”
Government in Action
Mid-morning, citizens voted in the closed primary election. A closed primary means that only members of a political party can vote to select their candidate. By the evening election results are in and each winner is recognized. State party candidates spent the remainder of the afternoon preparing for their Whistle Stops while cities gathered to discus write-in candidates and Whistle Stop Protocol. In the 19th century candidates would travel on trains to campaign over large areas. When the train would stop and sound its whistle citizens would gather to hear what they had to say. Girls State candidates go city to city to introduce them selves and remind citizens who is running for what position. This allows another occasion to discuss the party platform.