Fundraising, fund-giving

Published 1:11 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Lunenburg Republican Party held a fundraiser Saturday night at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9954 in Victoria that featured a meal, music, speeches from multiple U.S. senatorial candidates and the presentation of two $1,000 scholarships to Central High School seniors.

Toward the end of the event, Virginia Delegate Tommy Wright presented Central students Jessica Kimball and Nate Nowlin with the scholarship money.

Prior to the fundraiser, Lunenburg Republican Party President Mike Hankins said, “These are some of the largest scholarships that will be awarded in the county this year. … We are very proud of our scholarship program. It has been copied by other Republican units in other areas of the state.”

Nowlin said the scholarship represented a good opportunity provided by Lunenburg Republicans “to let us try to get a head start on our further education, try to get us a step up on some of our competitors in the job fields that we wanted to pursue, so it just meant a lot to be able help pay for expensive college education.”

He plans to attend the University of Virginia in the fall, majoring in sports management.

Wright noted that Kimball plans to attend Radford University in the fall to pursue her lifelong dream of being a nurse.

“It’s going to help financially a lot,” she said of the scholarship, expressing her thanks to those who made it possible.

“Without y’all purchasing the tickets for the raffle, we couldn’t do this,” Hankins said. “This year, this is the eighth and ninth scholarships we’ve been able to give away. All of it comes from the raffle money.”

The key speakers of the night were U.S. senatorial candidates Nick Freitas and Corey Stewart.

Prior to their speaking, Hankins gave the floor briefly to the Rev. Dr. Minerva Diaz, who introduced herself as a U.S. senatorial candidate of the near future.

“I’m going to go after (U.S. Sen. Mark) Warner in 2020,” she said.

Speaking next was Freitas, who is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates. He noted that he joined the military out of high school and later volunteered for U.S. Army Special Forces, known as the Green Berets.

“If you don’t know Green Berets, (they) largely deal with unconventional warfare and counterinsurgency, so it pretty much grooms you perfectly for politics in America,” he said, drawing a laugh.

He noted the development of two different philosophies that he said will determine the outcome of the nation. He said the country is either going to feature a philosophy of government control or one of individual liberty.

“I had someone ask me, ‘Why do you want to be a U.S. senator?’” he said. “I said, ‘That’s a little bit like asking me why I wanted to go to war.’ I didn’t want to go to war. We needed to go to war. That’s where the fight was, and I was willing to do it. So this isn’t some sort of ego trip. My gosh, if I could find a different way to ensure the continuity of this country and our philosophy while spending a lot more time with my wife and kids, believe me, I’d pick it.”

Eschewing the notion that people are nothing more than a cog in a government machine, Freitas said, “In reality, what I believe, what we believe, is that you’re beautifully and wonderfully created in the image of God. You have a unique purpose to fulfill in this life, and you have every right to pursue it with all passion and rigor that only a free person can.”

Stewart spoke next. He provided the group in attendance with some of his background politics.

As stated on his campaign website, he is currently the At-Large Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors in Prince William County, “the second-largest and fastest growing county in Virginia. In the 2017 gubernatorial primary, Corey shocked the nation by massively outperforming every poll, coming within 1.2 percent of defeating the establishment candidate, who outraised him by 5-1.”

During his speech Saturday, Stewart said that one of biggest reasons he did so well was due to his having heard a strong message from voters, “and that is this: You know what, we’re sick and tired of being pushed around by the left, by the media and even some Republicans who want us to keep backing down. … We’re sick and tired of backing down, we’re going to stand up, we’re going to fight and we’re going to retake our country, our culture and the commonwealth of Virginia. That’s what we’re going to tell them.”

To be successful, Stewart said, “You’ve got to have somebody who understands what President Trump understood, that we can grow our party by bringing in working class Americans, that the only way you can win in a midterm election or an off-year election is you’ve got to stand strong in your values. You’ve got to stand strong, you can’t be afraid of controversy, and that’s what I’m going to do. We’re going to stand strong on illegal immigration, we’re going to stand strong on preserving our historical monuments in the commonwealth of Virginia, and we’re going to stand strong on supporting President Trump and his America First agenda.”

Hankins said he was pleased with how the fundraiser went.