Local girls attend the 72nd session of Sunflower Girls State in Topeka
Darbi Park and Shelby and Hannah Rowell of El Dorado were chosen by Unit #81 of El Dorado to attend the 72nd annual session of Sunflower Girls State on the Washburn University, Topeka, campus.
Sunflower girls State is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and was held June 1 through 6.
Park is the daughter of Dan and Danielle Park and Shelby and Hannah are the daughters of Collin and Marie Rowell.
Joining approximately 325 other young women who have been just completed their junior year of high school, Park learned by doing the political system involved in the government of Kansas.
Beginning at the city level, advancing to county and the state, the girls registered to vote, file nomination papers, conduct political campaigns and prepare and present speeches.
Tracie Thibault, of Salina, is the 2013 Governor of Sunflower Girls State and presided at the sessions. Lena Dennington, of Shawnee, is the 2013 lieutenant governor who was be assisting. The girls were housed in Washburn’s Living Learning Center and the Inauguration was held in the Washburn Memorial Union.
During the week, speakers on government at the various levels shared their expertise with the girls. They had the opportunity to ask questions about these individuals’ responsibilities in government. Speakers will include: the Honorable Judge G. Joseph Pierron, Kansas Court of Appeals; Dr. Barbara Ballard, State representative; Mrs. Karen Cook, department president of the American Legion Auxiliary; and other state, county and city officials.
Dr. Michele Eckermann, of Harlan, Iowa, is the 2014 director of Sunflower Girls State and Rachel Barnes, of Lawrence, served as assistant director. A staff of 50 American Legion Auxiliary members and former Girls Staters volunteered in service to this program.
Additional information on Sunflower Girls State can be found by visiting www.ksgirlsstate.org.