Santa Paula Women of History
announced at exhibit opening

February 17, 2000
Santa Paula News

Joanne Cummings looks over the Women of History exhibit

Santa Paula Women of History, past, present and future, were honored at Sunday's opening reception for “Celebrating Women: 1900-2000”, the theme of this year's exhibit staged by the Santa Paula Women of History Project (SPWHP) at the California Oil Museum of Santa Paula (COMSP). Lupe Castro, Fran Feagles, Beverly Harding, Sally Phelps and Gabie Reeves were announced as the Year 2000 Santa Paula Women of History that will be honored in March, during National Women of History Month.Mike Nelson, executive director of the museum, noted that the exhibit is a community effort and the “nice thing about this is not only that the museum does these things, but you do also.”Kay Wilson-Bolton of the SPWHP said the committee is “very unusual, as we're all in charge,” of presenting the annual event lauding the accomplishments of women, including “those wonderful women of the Santa Paula community.”Mayor Rick Cook, Vice Mayor Don Johnson and Council members Jim Garfield and Robin Sullivan - also a SPWHP member - were on hand for the opening of the exhibit that highlights local and national women of accomplishment.Special memories were offered for “those women we lost,” said Wilson-Bolton, Santa Paula Women of History Thelma Bedell, Donna Nelson, Esther Mendoza, Helen Currier, Janet Beach, Dorothy Pinkerton and Annie Hernandez.An added exhibit at this year's exhibit was the work of Santa Paula High School 10th grade students Nichole Coker, Kerie Barnett, Erin Garcia and Hailey Fox who interviewed local women and gathered memorabilia for a special tribute under the direction of the Sespe Group, the museum's curator.
“Interviewing the women came easy,” said Coker, who attended the exhibit opening with members of her family. “It was fun to learn about other generations and how much different it was for women then. . .it really surprised us all.”This year's national theme is “Celebrating an Extraordinary Century for Women. . .Now Imagine the Future”.Womens' suffrage brought women the vote after World War I but not without a struggle, she added. Nowadays, Coker added, “Women have any right they want, but they had to fight for us.”The Santa Paula Women of History dinner - which features biographies of each honoree written by Marianne Ratcliff, Bonnie Bruington and Wilson-Bolton and presented by the Santa Paula Theater Center - will be held March 29 at the Community Center; tickets are $22.50 each and are available from the offices of the Santa Paula Times, Sullivan & Sullivan Attorneys, Century 21 Beuna Vista and Charles Stewart DDS.

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