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Rita Ludlum Award
Please nominate a student who has helped with local League activities for our first annual Rita Ludlum Award. The Leadership Committee will select the winner(s). This year the award will be $300. Please forward the Award Application (linked here) to the student and ask him or her to return it to Kathleen Moriarty at The award will be presented at our annual dinner and meeting.

Tribute to Rita Ludlum
Rita Ludlum
When Rita Ludlum passed away on Sunday, November 4, 2018, we lost a pillar of the Princeton Area League and a wonderful person. As Sandy Shapiro wrote, “We shall miss her quick wit, long memory, and kind heart.”

Sandy Smith, too, said that Rita was an exceptionally kind person. “She called me after I joined our League and persuaded me to come to our next meeting and get involved. She mentored so many of our members and will be fondly remembered.”

Jennifer Howard added, “Rita has enriched the lives of all those she interacted with—whether at a rally or a meeting.”

Lee Forbes credits Rita as her inspiration for joining the League. “Rita worked relentlessly to organize a debate of the Montgomery candidates so that residents could hear a civil discussion of the issues before voting.”

Ingrid Reed said, “I can't remember the League existing without Rita. She was always there, doing what needed to be done and in that special soft voice of reason and common sense.”

Grace Sinden wrote, “I got to know her beyond her League work as a wise and kind person. Her steadfast loyalty and exceptional work for the League were a model for many members.”

Frieda Gilvarg “found her a source of knowledge and encouragement in my many years working beside her and believe she has played an essential role in preserving our League. No better tribute to her memory could be offered than to continue to keep doing what she has been doing so faithfully.”

Rita would have reciprocated—appreciating the contribution that each of us has made to the League. Her repeated “What would we do without Ellen Kemp?” was typical.

Rita never made clear exactly when she joined the League—"sometime in the '60s and they immediately asked me to take over a position" was her standard answer. Frieda believes she first joined another League before moving to Princeton. Rita was certainly active, already a pillar, when I joined in the early 70’s. Over the years she was involved in numerous studies (consolidation of the Princetons, finally accomplished), education, environment, immigration, and lots more. Rita was League president 1979-81.

Rita was probably best known around Princeton as “Mrs. Voter Service.” She was chair or co-chair of the Voter Service Committee for decades, retiring officially from that position in 2008 at the age of 84 but constantly mentoring me for the next three years. Together we set up collaborations with The Packet and Princeton Community TV. I, too terrified to manage alone in 2008, needed Rita’s calm, practical wisdom, and she willingly gave it. Whenever candidates became difficult, she laughingly reminded me of the time a candidate threatened to sue her—I would survive.

When we changed our organizational structure to that of a Committee of the Whole, Rita served as co-chair in 2008-2009 and as vice-president in 2009-2010, volunteering her apartment for our meetings.

Rita was a team player who led by example. She never told us what to do nor asked more of us than we were willing to do nor than she herself would be willing to do. But to keep the League going, she surely did more than her fair share—and without complaint. Yet when others began to lead, she was equally willing to step back and let them. She asked only to keep up with news of her beloved League via email.

For the past 45 years, Rita has played many roles in my life: mother, mentor, colleague, and friend. I treasure having known her, as do we all.

Chrystal Schivell

An obituary may be found on the Town Topics website.

“Standing Together” Rally to Celebrate Diversity
Diversity PosterNancy Hedinger, LWVNJ President, and Princeton Area members Lee Forbes and Chrystal Schivell carry a poster at the rally, held at Mercer County Community College on Sunday, May 7, 2017. Kudos to the East Windsor-Hightstown League, especially Arnold and Deborah MacMillan, for their activism in organizing this stand against racism.

Chrystal Schivell Receives Distinguished Service Award from LWV-NJ
Chrystal Schivell
Chrystal is the epitome of a League person—she is fair and equal to all, creating a nonpartisan political environment that earns the trust of all, especially candidates she is working with on forums or candidate debates. Her active participation in all Voter Service activities has encouraged participation of citizens in their government and we in the Princeton Area have been especially fortunate to have her enthusiasm and guidance.

Reminding People to Vote at the West Windsor Community Farmers' Market, Fall 2016
WW Farmer's Market cut-out

LWV-Princeton Area member Joan Bharucha created cute cut-outs for the West Windsor Community Farmers' Market. She asked people to send their photos to friends and remind them to vote. Left, the market manager poses with one of the poster cut-outs.

Sandy Smith and Joan Bharucha
Sandy Smith and Joan Bharucha at the registration table

LWV-NJ Board members Melissa Scott, Ellen Kemp, and Lee Forbes
LWVNJ Board members from Princeton Area League
Princeton Area League members Melissa Scott and Ellen Kemp joined Lee Forbes, as members of the LWV-NJ Board of Directors. Elections were held at the League of Women Voters of New Jersey 61st Biennial Convention on May 2, 2015. Ellen will serve as the treasurer of the LWV-NJ.

Beverly Kestenis wins iPadBeverly Kestenis Wins Raffle
December 11, 2014
Congratulations to Beverly Kestenis, the grand prize winner of an Apple iPad Air in the LWVNJ Education Fund raffle! The drawing was held on December 11, 2014. Thank you to all who contributed to this fund raiser.

Netty Lowenstein
November 17, 2014
Nettie Lowenstein passed away on November 16 at her home at the Stonebridge Retirement Community. A retired social worker, Netty volunteered for the American Red Cross and was active in their program of tracing families caught in the Holocaust and other international disasters. She was a hospice volunteer, chaired the Health Committee at Stonebridge, and contributed common-sense suggestions at League meetings. Chrystal Schivell remembers Netty as funny, feisty, and fiercely proud of her independence. Netty would turn down help moving chairs at a meeting because, of course, she could do it herself. But she tenderly monitored Chrystal's new lip at the League's Annual Dinner to be sure it wasn't drooling. 

Frieda Gilvarg wrote, “Netty will be missed in so many places where the struggle for peace, justice and progress is being fought. There aren't many like her. Not sadly because she lived a wonderfully full life. Her energy and intelligence kept her up todate on everything until her final day.”

Linda Mather
Linda Mather Relocates
September 2014
After many years as a member of the Princeton Area LWV, Linda Mather is moving to Portland, Oregon, where she will continue offering her invaluable services to the League. We wish her much happiness and fulfillment in her new life. To read more about Linda, click here.

Ellen Kemp,
Apr 4, 2019, 10:45 AM