Madison County learns from guests, engages in great annual chapter meeting | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Madison County learns from guests, engages in great annual chapter meeting

Pie. Diversity. Relationships. Students. Growth. Beards. This might not seem like typical conversation fodder for a KFTC chapter meeting, but these topics served as just some of the highlights for the Madison County KFTC annual chapter meeting, held the evening of June 24.

Madison County 2013 Annual Chapter Meeting

Members spent the first half of the meeting conducting necessary business, including petitioning to remain a chapter, electing people to the Steering Committee and Executive Committee, and discussing KFTC’s platform, which they felt should be updated to better address concerns about the transportation of fossil fuels and fossil fuel by-products. The chapter also took time to celebrate work they’ve done so far this year, having already raised $1,600 in chapter fundraising, but held off on making new goals, saving that instead for the July chapter meeting when there is more time for discussion.

Madison County 2013 Annual Chapter Meeting

After chapter business and snacking on pizza, deviled eggs, cake, and pie, and other tasty treats people brought, we listened to a panel of guests from neighboring chapters discuss what they’ve been up to and what they’re excited to work on: Daniel Morgan and Leah Bayens from Wilderness Trace and Tanya Torp, Selina Finley, and Isaac Benson from Central Kentucky.

Daniel and Leah both discussed some of the enthusiasm that has grown in Wilderness Trace since they became an official chapter last September, sharing how chapter members met with Rep. Mike Harmon multiple times and felt that their doing so was having a noticeable impact on him. They also highlighted their recent Barn Bash fundraiser event that brought in more than $2,200. They weren’t shy to acknowledge their challenges, though, saying that they wanted to reach out to students more and learn how to better engage people in their other chapter counties beyond Boyle County.

Madison County 2013 Annual Chapter Meeting

Tanya Torp, of Lexington, shared how excited she is about increasing KFTC’s membership and explained how she uses social media to engage people she knows. “I look at what people online are interested in, what sorts of things people are posting, and see how that ties in to KFTC,” said Tanya. “I might invite them to my house to have a 1:1 conversation to learn more about what they care about, and then ask them to get involved.”

Throughout the evening, Tanya returned to the importance of building relationships and growing KFTC’s membership as key ways to diversify and build power. “My husband and I just bought a house, and we’re going to make it a social justice house and have a pancake breakfast every Saturday morning,” said Tanya. “That’s one way to reach out to people and diversify: engage in your neighborhood.” She also emphasized working in partnership with other organizations as another way to plug new people in to the work.

Madison County 2013 Annual Chapter MeetingMembers Selina Finley and Isaac Benson talked about Central Kentucky events they’re excited about, including an event they’re planning to raise money for KFTC next February. Whiskers, Whiskey, and Women is a social bearding competition that has brought in people from all across the country in previous years. Everyone in the room got a kick out of learning about this outside-the-box event. “It’s been cool to work with KFTC on this event because we’ve been able to connect to a bigger venue, to Cricket Press, and they’ve helped us find ways to improve it,” said Selina.

After all the panelists had spoken, the meeting shifted into a Question & Answer dialogue. Members from all three chapters were able to talk through different challenges they all face, from engaging with students to the flow of chapter meetings to diversifying their chapters. There was a constant flow of ideas right up until the end.

Madison County 2013 Annual Chapter Meeting

When members evaluated the meeting, people kept echoing how much they enjoyed having guests from Wilderness Trace and Central Kentucky and that they hope this leads to more cross-chapter conversations and opportunities to learn together.

Be sure to join us for the next Madison County chapter meeting on Monday, July 22, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center located at 205 N. Main Street in Berea. For more information, please contact Beth Bissmeyer at [email protected] or (859) 314-2044.



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