League of Women Voters: Two champions step down

The Wilton League of Women Voters paid tribute to two members — departing president Amy Harris and longtime board member Louise Herot — at the organization’s annual meeting on Friday, June 6, during a luncheon at Rolling Hills Country Club. The league also welcomed guest speaker Kevin Smith, who will assume the position of superintendent of Wilton schools on July 1 (see story on page 1A).

Ms. Harris, who has been a member of the Wilton League since February 1977, is moving to Cape Cod. She is a native of the Boston area.

League member Heather Wilcauskas offering the following portrayal of Ms. Harris.

“She exudes such warmth, intelligence and good humor, you can’t help but want to be drawn into her orbit. Everyone of us on this board is lucky to have had the chance to get to know Amy, both as a leader and as a friend.”

As a league member, Ms. Harris:

  • Spearheaded the fifth grade voter education program;
  • Was an original member of the School Start Time Study Group;
  • Volunteered frequently at Wilton High School voter registration drives;
  • Piloted this year’s Community Conversation on Mental Health Needs in Fairfield County;
  • Served in numerous board positions.

“What is most striking about Amy, however, is her ability to accomplish all she does with humanity and great humor,” Ms. Wilcauskas said.

In her opening remarks to the audience Ms. Harris said, “Our League has been such a valuable and esteemed group in Wilton and I am humbled to be a part of such smart, thoughtful, savvy women and men for these last 17 years or so.”

She then turned her attention to Ms. Herot, who is one of the League’s longest-serving members, having belonged to the group more than 50 years.

Of her stepping down from the board, Ms. Harris said she would not be leaving a hole, “she’ll be leaving a crater.

“Louise has been a mountain of not only institutional wisdom and experience for our board, and for our League in general, but for our entire town and for all of our voters.”

During her years with the League, Ms. Herot has chaired many study groups including the Wilton Town Government Study, Public/Private Partnerships, Gambling Expansion in Connecticut, New Methods of Voting, School Start Time, and Economic Stress on Wilton Families. She has also organized the Reel Mondays documentary series with Wilton Library.

Past performance

Among the year’s activities reviewed at the meeting were:

  • A legislative breakfast in January with Wilton state representatives.
  • Three-part Community Conversations on Mental Illness in March and April;
  • Reel Mondays film series at Wilton Library;
  • Voter registration drive at Wilton High School in February;
  • Nobody Told Me That series of newspaper columns published in The Bulletin;
  • Presentation of the Edna M. Jones Book Award to a Wilton High School student in May. This year the book was Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, presented to Alika Zangieva. The book examines lagging progress in women achieving leadership roles.

The Wilton League meets every fourth Wednesday at 9:15 a.m. at Comstock Community Center, except in November, when it is the third Wednesday.

Information: wiltonlwv.org.