By Wayne Gates –
The Constitution of the United States will be the center of attention at an event at Lake Lorelei on June 2.
“Constitution Day” will be celebrated with boat rides, a pig roast and a fundraising auction.
The money raised will go to help pay for the food and for pocket booklets of the Constitution that have already been distributed to every high school senior in Brown County.
The seniors have also been invited to write an essay on the subject “What does the Constitution of the United States mean to me?’
The winner will be given a $4000 scholarship to Chatfield College.
The event is the brainchild of 93 year old Bill Herdman, a local civic leader and United States Marine Corps veteran of World War II.
“The Constitution of the United States is an incredible document. I believe that the Constitution is a work of art with some divine guidance involved because it’s held up for almost 250 years,” said Herdman.
Herdman and his daughter personally delivered Constitution booklets to the six high schools in Brown County and invited seniors to participate in the essay contest.
“The Constitution is so rarely discussed these days that most people just take it for granted. Hopefully, this day will start something that will spread to other counties and even nationwide,” Herdman said.
He also expressed gratitude to Chatfield College for its generous donation of the scholarship.
“Chatfield is very dear to my heart. All of my girls went through the Ursuline Academy there. They have played a major role in supplying an education for the people in our area at very reasonable rates,” Herdman said.
Chatfield President John Tafaro said that his institution was pleased to participate in the event.
“We are really excited to be working with Bill Herdman on this exciting new scholarship. In today’s environment, with technology and social media rapidly changing the world – the US Constitution and Bill of Rights is not only still relevant, but an essential element of our democracy and freedom,” Tafaro said.
“It is critical that high school students know and appreciate how fortunate they are to live in this country. It will be up to them, someday, to preserve our liberty and maintain the way of life the framers fought and died for to provide to future generations of Americans.”
Herdman said that he hopes that the first Constitution Day will be one of many.
“We would like to make this an annual event for every high school senior in the county for years to come. Hopefully, this day will start something that will spread to other counties and even nationwide.” he said.
Local artist John Ruthven has donated an American Eagle print as just one of the auction items.
The essays will be judged by Herdman, Tafaro, Chatfield Board of Trustees Member Robert Knueven, Brown County Educational Service Center Superintendent Jim Frazier and former Second District Congress Member Jean Schmidt.
If you would like to participate in Constitution Day, the requested donation is $25, and registration is requested to help plan for the dinner.
Anyone wishing to register to attend can call Herdman at (513) 505-1627.