Maries County Democrat Committee holds annual Truman Day celebration

Laura Schiermeier
Staff Writer

The Maries County Democrat Committee held its annual Truman Day celebration on the 135th birthday of the only U.S. president from the state of Missouri, Harry S. Truman. Truman was a Democrat and those gathered at the Vichy Firehouse, a full house with many present, were either Democrats of long-standing, or newcomers who favor and support the Democratic party.

Speakers at the recent Maries County Truman Day gathering said Democrats represent and promote family values such as access to education and health care, paying workers an adequate wage and supporting government that promotes and ensures progress for its citizens.

A chicken dinner with all the fixing and homemade desserts was prepared by the Vichy Volunteer Fire Department cooks, under the leadership of Juanita Butler. Those who prepared the meal received a big round of applause.

Committee Chairman Darrell Schulte emceed the event. He began with a moment of silence to honor and pray for our American military members serving overseas. Otto Williams said the prayer before the meal. 

There were three speakers that evening, Lawrenece Wansing of Meta, Katy Geppert, a candidate of the 3rd District U.S. Congress, and Elad Gross, a St. Louis attorney that worked for the state under former-Attorney General Chris Koster and is currently running for Missouri Attonrey General.

Wansing is always a crowd favorite in Maries County. He’s well-known for his hard-hitting, opinionated letters to the editor that he researches and submits to area publications.

Geppert works full time as a research chemical scientist and holds a sixth degree green belt. She spoke to the crowd about her views on how to make the “American Dream” attainable again. 

She voiced her concerns about the current state of tariffs and trade and her thoughts on American values. “We need to elect people who see these values as important,” said Geppert. 

Geppert encouraged those present to support Democratic candidates at the local, state and national level. 

Gross said that he admires President Harry Truman. He told the story of Truman driving all over the state in a vehicle without air conditioning when he was running for office and that even without air conditioning, “Truman looked great.”

He also spoke about his concerns which included that people need to take government back from the hands of the rich.

The annual Truman Day event was a fine evening with fellowship, good food and interesting and enlightening speakers. Otto Williams won the silent auction of a bundle of pork donated by the River Rat Democrats. The proceeds go to the Maries County Democrat Committee. 

Committee members include Chairman Darrell Schulte, Vice-Chairman Jewell Hart, Treasurer Ronnie Terrill, Secretary Robin Helton, and members Robin Schulte, Sonny Helton, John Clayton, Monita Hutchison and Holly Bickmeyer.

Schulte said the Maries County Democrat Committee is an active part of the community, attends various community events such as the Maries-Osage Relay for Life and participates in the Belle and Vienna fairs.

The committee meets each month, alternating between the Vienna and Belle library branches and also has a website,

One of the goals the committee has is to get more Democratic candidates running for office and to help them get elected in order to move the state forward with a progressive agenda.