Busy meeting for Steubenville club

History is more than facts and figures and dates in books.

It’s dynamic, personal, dramatic – the past that’s as punctuated with heroes, villains, subplots, romance, conflict and a climax as much as any novel out today.

An appreciation for looking at history that way is what the Rev. Ed Rudiger attempted to share with members of the GFWC/Ohio Woman’s Club of Steubenville, who welcomed the pastor of Cove United Presbyterian Church in Weirton as the guest speaker at its Oct. 7 noon luncheon meeting held at the Steubenville Country Club.

An educator and scholar of both religion and history, Rudiger spoke to the topic “Looking at History as Story.”

In addition to his pastoral duties, Rudiger also has been a repeat instructor with the Academy of Lifelong Learning at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, noted club member Marge Bedortha in her introduction. Bedortha and Eleanor Weiss served as hostesses and greeters for the October meeting.

While history is often reduced to material to memorize, “which a lot of people find boring,” approaching it as a story instead elevates it to the that’s-interesting category, according to Rudiger, who gave an animated presentation as he engaged audience interaction, testimony to his former teacher roots.

To make his point, Rudiger used the Revolutionary War period as the template for his talk.

The meeting also was the setting for two of several new members to officially be welcomed into the club by President Kathy Mills, who presided at the business meeting. They were Angela Suggs and Linda Mackey. Others to come on board include Marisa Ross, Melissa Ryan and Rejeana Palma.

There also was a presentation as Mills gave two iPads purchased by the club for $658 to the School of Bright Promise for autistic children. On hand to accept them were school representatives Rachel Bodo, principal, and Lauren Costello Lutz, intervention specialist.

The meeting had several guests in attendance, including, Lorena Mercer and Floy Fetty, with member Iris Craig; Mary Filler, Bedortha’s guest; and Sue Hershey, Donna Hrezo and Becky Bryan, the guests of Donna Keagler, club vice president and program chair.

Jane Agresta gave the meditation and offered grace and also updated members in an international relations report, noting letters had been sent to churches and the Franciscan University of Steubenville, for example, encouraging them to ring bells for peace at 10 a.m. on Sept. 21, which was International Day of Peace.

She also reported on the club’s possibility of participating in Shot@Life through the United Nations Foundation. It is a new campaign to expand access to lifesaving vaccines for children in developing countries.

In other club business, Mills noted that $257.03 had been collected so far by club members through the “Pennies for Puppies” project with that and any additional to be presented in December to Hounds’ Haven.

Club members were encouraged to continue saving pop tabs.

In considering fundraisers easy to do, the club conducted a 50-50 drawing at the meeting, which was won by Mackey. Keagler polled club members to assess interest in having a silent auction at the next meeting. Members were receptive to the idea and were urged to bring in new or items in good condition for the fundraiser.

The Nov. 4 noon luncheon and business meeting at the Steubenville Country Club will feature Mary Ann Sunyoger as the guest speaker. The professor of English at Franciscan University of Steubenville will discuss her recently published book, “Life Lessons: A Connection of Souls Throughout Life’s Journey.”

The book celebrates her students and the life’s lessons she has learned from them during more than 40 years of teaching.

Carole Gaston and Shirley Valuksa will serve as greeters and hostesses.