Chairman’s Corner by Scott McGraw

I am so happy to announce that Ron and Ruth Wiser are the 2017 recipients of the KGOP Chairman’s Service Award. Ron and Ruth have personally been so helpful to me in my term as your chairman – and I know they have helped the party is so many ways long before my time.

Many of the goals I had as chairman for the KGOP included raising money to help support local candidates. As many people know, my mother was the vice chair of the local party in the 1970s and ’80s. When I was contemplating running for chair, I had a conversation with my mother about what the KGOP was like when she was involved. Two things I took from the conversation was the local party had a permanent office and they would raise about $30,000 each election cycle to be awarded to various candidates.

I remember sharing this with Ron and Ruth one day. Ruth enthusiastically suggested we hold a fundraiser at their home at Christmas. If you have never seen the Wiser home at Christmas, then you are missing out. It is a celebration of Christmas through the hundreds and thousands of decorations that adorn their exquisite home, both inside and outside.

In the two years that we’ve held this fundraiser, we’ve raised more than $15,000 – much of it from new donors that were motivated by the Wisers’ event. We’ve even created a fund from this event that is dedicated exclusively to candidate support.

That is just one way they have both helped the party to achieve its goals. Ron and Ruth have always been gracious to help the Republican Party out in any way that they can. They have brought numerous candidates and elected officials to town from Lansing and throughout the country.

In fact, the Wisers were key in helping us get Ronna McDaniel to Kalamazoo for our Lincoln Tribute Dinner. I’m very excited about having Ronna as our keynote speaker. She is a visionary leader that helped turn Michigan from blue to red in the 2016 general election. As state party chair during the election, Ronna brought many new programs to the MiGOP that helped candidates achieve victory in November. I know in Kalamazoo, many of our candidates relied on the GOP data center and the walking app that helped Republicans go door-to-door throughout the county. No longer did we have to spend hours and hours sorting through paperwork and printing off lists.

The state party also initiated several support programs that filtered down to the county level. We had state staff assigned in our district and even in our county, helping us to keep the office open seven days a week and coordinate volunteers to do doors or phones. It was a great vision that we supported here in Kalamazoo and I think was a reason for the state’s success in November.

Help us celebrate the Wisers and all the accomplishments of the Republican Party by attending our Lincoln Tribute Dinner on Saturday, May 20, at the Gull Lake Country Club. There is a VIP Reception with the Wisers and Ronna McDaniel, at 5:30 p.m., and the dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available on the Eventbrite website. See you there!