Lapel Pins Beg For Compassion for Animals


Two Lake Wylie residents hope neighbors will wear their hearts on their sleeves, or on any piece of clothing.

For 12 years, Carol Butler and Katherine Gillis have been rescuing cats and caring for feral felines. They’ve paid for spaying and neutering, and have kept the felines fed at about $60 per week.

“We, as individuals not an organization, have rescued and kept up to 60 animals,” Butler said. “We need help in our continuing efforts to feed, provide shelter and medical care for over 27 animals.

“It took a year to trap spay and neuter over 48 ferals, many of whom were sick and starving,” she said.”

Butler has considered starting nonprofit, but learned she’d have to be willing to take in new animals at her 1.4-acre home.

“I just wanted help taking care of 68 animals,” she said.

Now, Butler – a writer, artist and producer – has designed a lapel pin she’s calling a Compassion Pin.



Past & Present: Lapel Pins in Fashion

I decided to wear my navy blue suit to the State of the University speech last week and found my long-owned circle pin pinned to the left lapel of the jacket. I wondered: Who gave me the pin? When did I receive it? Are circle pins around (no pun intended) anymore? Do they have a history? What about other jewelry pieces in the velvet-lined music box? I have not seen circle pins, tie clasps, cuff links, or cameos for a while.

Today’s lapel pins tend to be much larger than the “circles” or the Celtic-knots of yore but they are interesting, too, and undoubtedly have tales to tell. I was fascinated with the beautiful pins that our first female United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, wore. She wrote a book, Read My Pins (2005?) that I hope to read sometime. Mrs. Albright said that in her collection of over 200 pins, many were not necessarily expensive. However, one special pin, presented to her by a gentleman whose wife had perished in the floods spawned by Katrina, moved her to tears. The man told Ms. Albright that he thought that his wife would have wanted her to have it.


Oldest Living Mason Awarded Lapel Pin

The pins Gus Kontras proudly wears on the lapel of his blue sport coat help tell his story — a story that is the American Dream.

The large gold lapel pin is new and designates the 99-year-old Kontras as Nebraska’s oldest living Master Mason. Kontras received the Gold Jordan Medal at a ceremony in July, an honor that he says “means a whole lot and is very sincere.”

He has been an active member of Lincoln Masonic Lodge 19 since he moved to the city in 1936. He has been the eldest member of this lodge since 2002 and also wears the Brown Jordon medal indicating this honor.

For a new businessman arriving in Lincoln 76 years ago, he found the Masons offered an opportunity for him to meet people and to serve his community.

“I was brought up to do more,” Kontras said, noting that he was attracted to the values of the Masons that include “to always be upright and to treat all my fellow members in a positive way.”

Bruce Wayne Lapel Pin A Hit With Superhero Geeks

While many geeks likely spend more time tweaking their avatars than contemplating their real world wardrobes, there are those among us who have a genuine interest in fashion. And though my workday garb often consists of chinos and polos – not to mention the traditional jeans-and-t-shirt nerd uniform I rock away from the office – there are times when a man needs a more formal ensemble.

When I first encountered Indochino’s Superhero Collection, I was thrilled. The designs themselves capture the dual nature of the comic book crime-fighter with strong, dark exterior colors masking vibrant linings. Further, the Indochino online purchase interface allows buyers to customize practically every facet of an order and even offers helpful hints to those unsure whether or not pleated pants are in. (Pro-tip: they most certainly are not.)


‘Racial Healing Ambassador’ Lapel Pins A Hit

There’s a new group around town making changes, and wearing lapel pins that say “racial healing ambassador.”

Twenty-five Louisvillians have graduated from the Healing History Academy in an attempt to remedy social inequalities.

“I grew up in a town where we were the only Chinese family, and there was a petition sent around in the 1950s to ask us to leave,” said racial healing ambassador Rev. Susan Engpool.

“There’s always been racial issues, and finally there’s a group coming together to talk about the issues here in Louisville,” said racial healing ambassador Wanda Hoosier.

The ambassadors recently completed the year-long Healing History program.

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Perspective Future Candidates Hand Out Lapel Pins

The gift bag for politicians who stopped by to chat up Iowa delegates this week included a lapel pin, stationery with a drawing of the state’s iconic gold-domed Capitol — and a fold-up map of Iowa’s 99 counties, a nod to the fact that the race for the 2016 presidential campaign has begun.

The main purpose of the Democratic National Convention was the renomination of President Obama, but outside the convention hall, candidates eyeing the open Democratic primary in 2016 wooed party activists and showered attention on the states that hold the early voting contests. Few states received as much attention as Iowa and New Hampshire.

“I hate to say that we’re used to it, because we really appreciate it and we really pay attention,” said Dennis Roseman, a delegate from Iowa City and a retired university professor. “It’s an honor to be honored with such great speakers. Each one is twice as good as the one before.”

Or, as Clarksville delegate Kai Brost, put it: “Our Iowa delegation is a little bit spoiled.”

On Wednesday morning, underneath a white tent in a hotel parking lot here, Sen. Mark R. Warner of Virginia, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley came through, professing their love for Iowa and its people.

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American History Museum Curators Collecting at RNC


It takes a committed partisan to wear a funny hat or campaign button at a presidential nominating convention. But it takes two committed curators to plow through the convention crowds to collect the hats and buttons, plus the bumper stickers, lapel pins, party geegaws and discarded texts of speeches delivered in moments of extreme hope.

Larry Bird and Harry Rubenstein, curators at the National Museum of American History, have been navigating the crowds at both major parties’ conventions to collect such stuff since the 1980s—all to keep the museum’s political history collection of more than 100,000 artifacts current.

“We go to the conventions to sample and see,” says Bird, a Smithsonian curator since 1976. “We’re documenting the continuing American political tradition of how people elect a president.”

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Patches & Pins Show State Pride at RNC

Patches & Pins Show State Pride at RNC

The tradition of wacky individualistic outfits at party conventions is a long one, so consider the effort it must take to enforce a delegation dress code.

Nonetheless, a number of state delegations are making their collective fashion statements. New Mexico’s delegates are in turquoise polo shirts with the state’s Zia sun logo. Many Michigan delegates have slipped on football jerseys emblazoned with “Ford” and “48,” a tribute to former President Gerald R. Ford, who played center and linebacker for the University of Michigan before representing the state in Congress.

Oklahomans wore tasteful blue blazers for men and women, with a patch bearing the state seal. Mike Sanders, a delegate, said they had been voted best-dressed delegation by NPR twice, in 2012 and 2008.

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Little League World Series & Pin Collectors

Pin collectors can be seen everywhere during the Little League Baseball World Series, wheeling and dealing trying to make the perfect trade to get the pin they want.

Other than baseball, pin collecting is one of the most intense and competitive activities at the Series, as collectors carry around their pin books with hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of pins.

But some collectors no longer hope to find the perfect pin for their collection, they simply make it.

“You talk to (the producers) about the design and what you want to make it,” said Jackson Howey, a pin collector who has made his own pins.

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George Washington Lapel Pins – Made in China? A Letter


I recently received a letter from Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens with an enclosed lapel pin. The letter stated: “It’s his (George Washington’s) character and integrity … that has led me (Susan Magill, Vice President for Advancement) to call this pin ‘The Leadership Pin.’ Of all the virtues we can attribute to George Washington, his leadership is foremost.”

 That is why I was so surprised and greatly disappointed that the envelope that contained the Leadership Pin has a “Made in China” sticker affixed to it. One of the ways George Washington demonstrated his leadership for our new nation was to insist on wearing American-made clothing for his first inauguration in spite of the difficulty and expense of obtaining such clothing.


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