Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update… By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

This week I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful West Virginians. In 1985, I had the distinct honor along with classmate and friend, Anne Cunningham, to attend American Legion Auxiliary West Virginia Rhododendron Girls State at Jackson Mills. Fast Forward to 2023, and I had the please along with my sister-in-law, Ronna Dittman, to attend and serve as moderators for the gubernatorial debate. We were greeted by approximately 150 intelligent, talented, and civic-minded young women who are informed leaders. The future looks bright for these women and West Virginia. Thank you to Girls State Director Dr. Rosemary Thomas for the invitation and for leading such a powerful program. Rhododendron Girls State teaches leadership, citizenship, and patriotism. The program is non-partisan and nonpolitical, and shares a love of God and country. Next year, I hope to see students from Gilmer and Braxton attend!
I also had the privilege of meeting the West Virginia Folk Festival Belles for Braxton County, past and present at the Braxton County Senior Center for a reception and the 2023 Belles during a breakfast with Glenville University President Dr. Mark Manchin, and Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick at the Mollohan Center. Congratulations to Braxton County Belle Loretta Hutchison, and Gilmer County Belle Brenda Somerville. I enjoyed hearing their stories and learning about their experiences. These ladies are examples for us to follow as we love our families, friends, and neighbors.
Getting to participate in the West Virginia Folk Festival Parade was, once again, fun. I enjoyed seeing so many people out to celebrate in Glenville. Thank you to the organizers of the West Virginia Folk Festival. You did a fantastic job! I have been inspired to work on my square dancing for next year!
Summer festival season continues into the week with the West Virginia Big Foot Festival in Sutton and Gassaway Days in Gassaway. I hope to see many of you enjoying the festivities. Please check the paper for details and times for the various events.
West Virginia will turn 160 on June 20th. WV Living released 160 things to celebrate West Virginia’s 160th, and Gov. Justice’s state birthday celebration starts at noon on Tuesday, June 20, at the Culture Center. I will be celebrating in Morgantown at a technology conference. I am looking forward to both. Happy Birthday West Virginia. May you continue to inspire all of us to be the best we can be.
This week, we lost a beloved member of our extended family. My sister-in-law, Melissa, lost her father, Gordon Price. Gordon, and Melissa’s mother, Shirley, have been part of our family for almost 30 years. They have been building a house on “Dittman Hill” with plans to retire here later this year. I ask for comforting prayers for Melissa’s family and for traveling mercies as loved ones head to Delaware for services.
Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers, but especially to my dad, Gary Cowger, and to my husband, Will Dittman, who has been an amazing partner in raising our daughter, Hannah. I appreciate your love and support. You are both incredible strong men, and I love you so much! I hope all the fathers had a wonderful day being celebrated.
“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.”
– Unknown
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. I can be contacted at lori.dittman@ or 304-701-8600.