Family-themed rally will feature several speakers

From staff reports

Pack-the-Plaza will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday in Oil City’s Central Avenue Plaza.

Designed as a non-partisan and non-sectarian gathering, the open air rally, which is free to attend, is being organized by the Oil City-Franklin Zonta Club and the Oil City YWCA. Both organizations use the term “empowering women” in their missions.

Brea Schmidt, a 2001 Oil City High School graduate, is the keynote speaker.

She will be joined by four other local women who will offer brief remarks:

— Mary Jo White, a former attorney and corporate officer with Quaker State Oil Corp. in Oil City who served 16 years as state senator in the 21st District.

— Denise Jones, former chief clerk and county administrator for the County of Venango.

— Hope Lineman, interim Venango Campus director and assistant director of marketing and communications for Clarion University.

— Judith Etzel, reporter for The Derrick and News-Herald newspapers.

The rally will conclude with information about the Oil City-Franklin Zonta Club, presented by president Betsy Kellner, and the Oil City YWCA, presented by executive director Jennifer Friedhaber.

While the emphasis is on International Women’s Day, a commemoration that promotes the theme of “an equal world is an enabled world,” the rally is designed for families.

Refreshments and music by the Front Porch group will follow the rally at the nearby Christ Episcopal Church.

The gathering, sponsored by the Altar Guild, will be held in the church parish hall. It is open free to all rally attendees.

Information about local services and programs available to women will be available at locations at the rally and in the church. In the event of extreme weather, the rally will be moved inside to the church parish hall.