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OPINION

EDITORIAL: Locals set for the Women’s March on Washington

York Dispatch
  • Rutter's donated more than 800K to local charities in 2016.
  • Amber Lee's "Self-Worth" project empowers women.

Thumbs Up:

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2016, file photo, a model of the White House is displayed on a giant planning map during a media tour highlighting inaugural preparations being made by the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region for military and civilian planners at the DC Armory in Washington. It’s typically an unquestioned honor to participate in the inauguration of an American president. This time, though, it’s different. The sharp divisions over Donald Trump’s election have politicians, celebrities and even high school students debating whether taking part in the inauguration is a political act that demonstrates support for the new president and his agenda or a nonpartisan tribute to democratic traditions and the peaceful transfer of power.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

To locals who are attending the Women's March on Washington Jan. 22 — the day after the presidential inauguration — to show support for women’s rights.

"I’m not a Trump supporter, and it’s so concerning to me that the country was able to overlook the blatant misogyny and his history of mistreating women," said Jennifer Weitkamp, a 33-year-old social worker who lives in Spring Garden Township.

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2016, file photo, construction continues for the Inauguration and swearing-in ceremonies for President-elect Donald Trump on the Capitol steps in Washington. It’s typically an unquestioned honor to participate in the inauguration of an American president. This time, though, it’s different. The sharp divisions over Donald Trump’s election have politicians, celebrities and even high school students debating whether taking part in the inauguration is a political act that demonstrates support for the new president and his agenda or a nonpartisan tribute to democratic traditions and the peaceful transfer of power. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

According to a statement from organizers, “the Women’s March on Washington aims to send a message to all levels of government, including but not limited to the incoming presidential administration, that we stand together in solidarity and we expect elected leaders to act to protect the rights of women, their families and their communities.”

For Weitkamp, the mother of a newborn girl, the march is a way for her to take control, she said, because so much of the current political climate feels out of her control. She takes particular issue with President-elect Donald Trump's pledge to defund Planned Parenthood.

Yorkers heading to D.C. for Women's March

"It would be hard for me to look my daughter in the eye and say, 'We knew this could happen, and we did nothing,'" Weitkamp said.

Thumbs Up: To Rutter’s Farm Stores for its charitable contributions to a host of area organizations in 2016.

Rutter’s has announced the winners of its Vote With Your Dollars campaign, which allowed customers to  vote for local charities to receive funding. The top three charities, which received $25,000 each, are the York County Food Bank, Make-a-Wish and Leg Up Farm. Pictured at the Make-a-Wish check presentation are, from left, Kirsten Dickason, Rutter's marketing coordinator, and Ann Waltman, Make-A-Wish director.

Non-profits like the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Children's Home of York and Life Path Children's Ministries benefited from the company’s generosity.

The company announced that its charitable donations in 2016 totaled $810,000 — a new annual record for the company. Much of that money went to children's education organizations and creative arts organizations.

In addition, Rutter's provided many employees with $1,000 checks at year’s end and asked them to give to organizations that they felt deserved the donation, according to a release from the company.

During the holiday season, more than 20 checks were given out to local charities and organizations, according to the company.

In the past decade, Rutter’s said, it has donated more than $6 million to charities.

Rutter's gives back to close out 2016

Thumbs Up: To Amber Lee and her artistic “Self-Worth” project which is designed to instill confidence and self-esteem in participants.

As a victim of abuse during her childhood and a mother to a stillborn daughter, Lee said she sought the help of a therapist to realize her own self-worth. At the same time, she also found an emotional outlet in painting, writing and photography.

Through therapy and art, she said she has completely overcome her self-worth issues and is “completely confident in myself and what I do and who I am.”

In the project, Lee hoped to share the healing power of her art. She photographed volunteer models after they were painted with a word that best described their biggest flaw.

“We often see ourselves in unrealistic terms defined by other people,” Lee said. “Define yourself.”

Local artist builds confidence through lens of self-worth

For volunteer Evelyn Parker, the photo shoot was about sharing her story and trying to inspire other people dealing health or self-worth issues.

“Life is too short,” she said. “Everybody’s been though something, but you always have to think about those people who are worse off than you and how they’re still pushing, so it makes you want to continue and go on,” she said.