The 61st Annual Meeting of Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution District VII was held July 22 in Vinton, Virginia. Three members of local chapter Craig Valley attended this event, along with 67 other members from Bedford, Martinsville, Roanoke, Salem, Botetourt and Montgomery Counties. All but one of the sixteen chapters of the district were represented.
The meeting was held for the first time at the lovely and historic Vinton War Memorial, which opened in 1948 as a community center, meeting venue and memorial to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War II. A delicious box lunch was provided by Lib & Amy’s Catering.
State Registrar Kathy McClelland discussed the DAR application process, whereby linage to a participant or supporter of the American Revolution must be proved and documented according to strict guidelines. She shared tips and advice to help navigate the system. The final application may now be submitted electronically or mailed and multiple resources are available to satisfy National requirements.
One highlight of the day’s events was a workshop about World War I and the Home Front presented by Regent Patty Manthe and April Danner, Director of Smithfield Plantation in Blacksburg. Patty shared history of one hundred years ago when America became involved in the “Great War” and April showed photos of some of the approx. 2000 soldiers with connections to Va. Tech who trained or fought in the war.
At that time Alleghany, Margaret Lynn Lewis, and Patrick Henry Chapters were the only DAR groups in the area, all of which joined with other Virginia chapters to contribute funds for the restoration of Tilloloy, France and to care for 2,000 orphan children. The workshop concluded with a sing-a-long of “Over There’ and other period, but familiar, tunes, then members shared stories of family members involved in the tragic conflict.
One DAR member from Roanoke was pleased to show a photograph just recently discovered of her grandfather with Gen. John J. Pershing.
The business session was conducted by District Director Dr. Judith Jones of Alleghany Chapter. Dr. Jones announced several awards given out at the recent meeting of the national organization in Washington D.C., including the “Woman in the Arts” award given to local author and DAR member Sharyn McCrumb acknowledging her achievements in historical literature.
Craig Valley was one of several chapters that received an award for service and participation in DAR projects and also displayed a collection of photos and info to mark the beginning of their tenth year anniversary celebration. Regent Diane Givens is currently serving as secretary of District VII and was named to the nominating committee for the next election cycle.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War.
With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit DAR.org and CraigValley.VADAR.org. For assistance to join the organization, contact Regent Diane Givens or Registrar Margaret Hines at 864-8447.
– Submitted by Diane Givens