‘Paint the Town Blue’ Gala to welcome former U.S. Congresswoman Pat Schroeder


The Ponte Vedra Democratic Club will host its “Paint the Town Blue” Gala Saturday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa.

Funds raised from the approximately 200 guests at the event will support education initiatives about local and national candidates with a focus on the 2018 fall election cycle.  Former U.S. Congresswoman Pat Schroeder, who represented Colorado in the House of Representatives for 24 years, will deliver the gala’s keynote address.

The Ponte Vedra Democratic Club says in a press release that during her tenure in the House, she became a driving force on the Armed Services Committee in the 1970s and 1980s as Democrats sought to rein in Cold War expenditures. She worked to improve benefits, health care and living conditions for military personnel, crafting the 1985 Military Family Act. She also convinced the Armed Services Committee to recommend that women be allowed to fly combat missions.

Schroeder specialized in women’s rights and legislative reforms affecting the family, added the local club. She was a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment and a primary sponsor of the Family and Medical Leave Act. She co-founded the Congressional Women’s Caucus, helped pass the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act and created and chaired the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families. She was also instrumental in passing the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act.

After a teaching stint at Princeton, she was appointed in 1997 as president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers. She was selected to lead a multi–year study for the Institute on Civil Society to identify and promote social programs to encourage social cohesion and restore a sense of community for Americans. She retired to Florida in 2009 and now serves on boards and is involved in civic activities. She has authored two books, “Champion of the Great American Family” and “24 Years of Housework and the Place is Still a Mess.”

The gala will also feature brief remarks from two local congressional candidates, Nancy Soderberg running for congress in Florida District 6 and Monica DePaul, running in Florida District 4.  Singer/songwriter Rod MacDonald will lend his musical talent to the evening.

Starting the night on a patriotic note, Nease High School senior Medina Blekic, who is also a member of the Junior ROTC, will sing the national anthem. Medina is a “Dreamer” and, along with her family, faces possible deportation in May at the end of her senior year, according to the club.

The Ponte Vedra Democratic Club is a chartered club within the St. Johns County Democratic Party. The organization is led by a slate of volunteer officers, including President Laura Atkinson and a steering group assuming various volunteer roles with club activities.