ROCK SPRINGS — The March 19 general meeting of the Woman’s Club of Rock Springs at Coyote Creek hosted speaker Ken Lorimer, Rock Springs Police Department community service officer, assisted by Juia Nieto, nuisance control officer.
The topic of human trafficking was important to the club since human trafficking awareness is part of the international outreach community service program for the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Lorimer shared the severity and reach of this worldwide problem.
The definition of human trafficking in Wyoming statutes is “when the person intentionally or knowingly recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, receives, provides, obtains, isolates, maintains or entices an individual for the purposes of forced labor or servitude, sexual servitude, or sexual servitude of a minor.” Wyoming was the 50th state to pass human trafficking criminal legislation.
The statistics are staggering. Lorimer touched on the fact that it is a $32 billion industry, second only to illegal drug trafficking. Also, 300,000 children in the U.S. are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation, including trafficking, at any given time. Runaway and homeless children are particularly susceptible to being domestically trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
Members learned the ways that people are approached and become enslaved. Mannerisms and other ways to identify possible victims were discussed. Members were encouraged to report of concerns in this area. Human outcry is needed to make this issue come to the forefront if change is going to happen, according to Lorimer.
Members will be placing pinwheels out in April at the Head Start building as part of Prevent Child Abuse America. This not-for-profit organization has a mission to prevent the abuse and neglect of the nation’s children. The pinwheel gardens are to raise awareness of child abuse prevention and represent the innocence and joy of childhood and the notion that every child deserves a great childhood.
The Garden Section will have a program at 1 p.m. April 2 at the Rock Springs Library. Shirley Black will present a program on raised bed and container gardening.
The club continue to collect shoes for Soles4Souls and Dr. Seuss books.
Donations approved at this meeting included $100 to White Mountain Library for Dr Seuss books, $300 for downtown flowers through the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency, $500 for the URA mural project, $200 for travel expenses for a family to attend convention about their child’s rare genetic disorder, and $500 for the Actors’ Mission Building Fund.
Actors’ Mission was also selected as the community improvement project. The club will work with the Actors’ Mission to learn it needs and raise money to bring the opening of the building to fruition. Committee members who volunteered for this project will meet to decide on future fundraising activities.
Other important information was presented at the meeting. Updates to bylaws were passed out and will be voted on in April. Nominations for officers will also be voted on at the April general meeting. Member dues of $30 per year are now due. The applications for the club’s $500 book grants are due the end of July. Information about the grants and the application may be found at gfwcrocksprings.org.
The hostesses for this meeting, Marlene McMillan and Vi Gessner, provided St. Patrick’s Day decorations and gifts, including beautiful shamrock plants. Members in attendance included Jacki Allison, Edna Larsen, Charlette Stewart, Beverly Blackwell, Judy Litchfield, Connie Gradert, Betty Jean Carter, Leslie Jo Gatti, Shirley Black, Sandy Brooks, Juanita Angeli, Cindy Moore and Maggie Choate.
The group is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Wyoming.