While the Republicans' annual Lincoln Day dinner provides candidates and political officials an opportunity to become acquainted with the public, it provides local youngsters a chance to witness history in action.
About 10 percent of the crowd at Monday's Lincoln Day dinner in Center Point was made up of children, estimated Re-publican Party Committee Chairman Sharon Koeh-ler. As a teacher, she also considers the impact of contemporary political events as a learning tool.
"I think it's a really good experience to meet people who are involved," she said.
By seeing friends and neighbors taking part in local politics, children are encouraged to participate and become part of the political process themselves.
"It certainly makes it a lot more accessible when they get involved as youth," she said.
Before the dinner, North Clay sixth-grader Chris Swearingen approached former Judge Ernest Yelton. His father is Clay County Coroner Richard Swearingen, and the 12-year-old explained he plans to take the program to his Social Studies class.
"Chris has worked on two or three campaigns already," said Susan Sneddon, the boy's grandmother as well as a Republican Precinct Committee Person. "He's been at the Lincoln Day dinner three years in a row."
Along with campaign materials, information de-tailing what it means to be a Republican and a list of elected county officials were scattered across the rows of tables in the Center Point United Meth-odist Church auditorium.
Republicans throughout the United States hold dinners to honor Abraham Lincoln, who built up the Republican Party during his presidential ad-ministration.