On January 20, Casa Grande was host to the first-ever event of its kind.
Women, men and even families from Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties gathered together at Peart Park to spend an afternoon honoring women. This event marked the first anniversary of the worldwide Women’s March in 2017.
The clouds and chilly air did not dampen the enthusiasm of the hundreds in attendance. Some wore pink hats; some carried signs and many others, excited about the day, converged around the amphitheater, waiting to hear the band and speakers. Over 20 civic organizations from around the area set up exhibits to promote their programs and reach the public.
Exhibitors included the Pinal County Health Department, the Liberal Catholic Church, People Power, ERA Action, Planned Parenthood, Love Glasses and many more. Music played while crowds gathered. A rousing welcome was given by Jevin Hodge, and then a color guard from the Eloy Veterans Center led the pledge of allegiance. Local singer Jacqueline Ibarra sang a stirring National Anthem.
Speakers included Lisa Fitzgibbons (Casa Grande City Council), Constance Jackson (NAACP), Linda Lyon( Arizona School Board Association), Ralph Atchue, Hollace Lyon, Natali Bock, Nava Saraccino, Cindy Schaider, Serena Knierem and Blanca Varella, who represented congressman Tom O’Halleran.
The emcee for the event was Sharon Girard, local activist, lead organizer and state senate candidate. The highlight of the event was the appearance of former congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Navy captain and astronaut, Mark Kelly. The crowd was especially appreciative and excited when the couple arrived. Kelly spoke about the need to halt gun violence in this country, and Giffords spoke about strong women.
Casa Grande is proud to have shown the state that you do not need to go to Phoenix or Tucson to celebrate women. You can do it in your own backyard. We will celebrate again in 2019!