Oakhurst Club History

"Birth Mother", Jery Lacayo

In May of 2002, an article ran in the local newspaper, the Sierra Star, inviting people interested in forming a Democratic Club to meet at the Oakhurst Library. Several individuals answered the call. At this meeting were John Cameron, Bill and Jan Fjellbo, Ed and Shirley Bailey, Ginger Julian, Frances Hagen, Kirk and Monika Moulin, Lowell and Kaye Christie, Bruce and Pat McNichols, Bob and Ginny Odell, Clariss Cassin, Hank and Nancy Lyday, Jery Lacayo, Jim Landis, Joe and Ingrid Fox, Ellie Schermerhorn, John Cameron and Scott Hill.

Four months later, in September of the same year, the group announced their newly formed club. Elections were held for club officers on September 12th.  The founding officers were Bob Odell (President), Joe Fox (Vice President), Ginger Julian (2nd Vice President), Clariss Cassin (Recording Secretary-Treasurer), and Frances Hagen (Corresponding Secretary). Monthly meetings were established on the second Thursday of the month at the Oakhurst Library.

One of the club’s first acts was to sponsor a float in the Mountain Heritage Days Parade on September 21st.  Bill and Linda Geers pulled the float with their truck.

The founding officers were Bob Odell (President), Joe Fox (Vice President), Ginger Julian (2nd Vice President), Clariss Cassin (Recording Secretary-Treasurer), and Frances Hagen (Corresponding Secretary).

November, 2002 – Scott Hill assumed the duties of Recording Secretary from Clariss Cassin.

January, 2003 – Scott Hill reported that a Yahoo reflector site (which became yosemitedems@yahoo.com) had been established.  The ODC affiliated with the California Democratic Council for the first time.

April, 2003 – By-laws were adopted for the first time.

June, 2003 –  Club elections were held, with Bob Odell as President, Joe Fox as Vice President, Ginger Julian as 2nd Vice President, Scott Hill as Secretary, and Clariss Cassin as Treasurer. Ginger Julian reported she was forming a new Democratic club in Coarsegold. 

October, 2003 – Officers met at Yosemite Roasting, discussed creating an Executive Committee for the club, and making amendments to by-laws to reflect that.  President Bob Odell worked on the by-laws change.

November, 2003 – First breakfast meeting was held at the Ol’ Kettle Restaurant with Harold Wood from the Sierra Club as speaker.  Clariss Cassin resigned as Treasurer and Scott Hill took over those duties.

December, 2003 – Officers met.  Ginger Julian resigned as 2nd Vice President so she could work on forming Coarsegold club.

January, 2004 – Scott Hill announced a new yosemitedems web site.  Article III of the by-laws was changed to reflect the creation of an Executive Committee.  A quorum for the committee would be 3.  Clariss Cassin and Ed Bailey were elected as “At Large” members.

March, 2004 – Total members were 57.

August, 2004 – Major fundraiser held at Chukchansi casino’s Fireside Blues restaurant/bar with Keith Taylor, pianist, playing original score for “Metropolis”.  Almost 100 people attended.

June, 2005 – Election of officers with Ginny Terrell taking over as President.

October, 2005 – Ellie Schermerhorn reported on the Awards Committee composed of Jackie Roberto, Joyce Stuhr and herself.  The committee was forming recommendations on award criteria for approval by the Executive Committee and membership.

December, 2005 – Ellie Schermerhorn presented the criteria for the Eleanor Roosevelt Service Award which would be given to YHS District graduating seniors.  The membership approved the criteria.

February, 2006 – Jamie Blair was recognized for her donation to start the Eleanor Roosevelt Service Awards fund with a donation of $500.

May, 2006 – Joyce Stuhr announced that Patricia Byers had been chosen for the club’s first Eleanor Roosevelt Community Service Award.

August, 2009 – Total members were 86.

September, 2009 – Membership approved by-laws revisions which established that the Officers and Executive Committee would consist of the Secretary-Treasurer and four At Large members. 

June 2011 – Officers elected:  Scott Hill (Secretary-Treasurer), Peter Cavanaugh, Eileen Cavanaugh, Ed Estes, Charles Richie (Members at Large). These officers served for two years.  Club consisted of 120 members.

September 2012 – ODC hosted a reception for Jack Uppal, Democratic candidate opposing Tom McClintock, at Queen’s Inn.

June 2013 — Officers elected:  Scott Hill (Secretary-Treasurer), Peter Cavanaugh, Eileen Cavanaugh, Ed Estes, David Lopez (Members at Large). These officers served for three years.

February 2014 – ODC hosted a debate for Madera County District Attorney candidates Davis Lynn, Miranda Neal, and incumbent Michael Keitz.  Peter Cavanaugh moderated the well-attended event.

June 2016 – Scott Hill and Ed Estes retired from the Board.  Charles Bednar (Secretary-Treasurer), and Nancy Bednar, replaced them. Membership stood at 117.

November through January 2017 saw the membership increased to 151.

January 2017 – A large crowd braved chilly weather for the Women’s March at Hwy 41 and 426.  Several ODC members joined around 300 supporters.

February 2017 – Monthly meeting attendance swelled to 110 to hear speaker Kamal Abu-Shamsieh, Former Director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno.  Many ODC members travelled to Mariposa to be part of a spirited town hall crowd mostly opposed to Tom McClintock.

July 2017– Executive Committee voted to expand the Eleanor Roosevelt Service Awards to include Chawanakee School District (Minarets High School).  Meetings moved from Denny’s to Best Western Gateway Restaurant.  167 members.

August 2017 – ODC members voted to donate the August Hat Pass ($300) to victims of the Detwiler Fire.

October 2017 – ODC hosted activist training at the Community Center

November 2017 – Peter Cavanaugh resigned from the club; Executive Committee named Scott Hill to fill the position until June 2018.

December 2017 – ODC hosted “Coffee with the Candidates” for the three Democratic women opposing Tom McClintock for his CA4 congressional seat.  ODC co-sponsored, with the Democratic Club of Coarsegold, an Issues Forum later the same day. Membership stood at 172.

January 2018 – Club representatives cast six pre-endorsement ballots for California Assembly, California Senate, and US Representative candidates.

auth:  Ellie Schermerhorn, May, 2011
revsn:  Charlie Bednar, 2011, 2018