DAR attends conference

Members of the Princeton-Illinois Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, attended the three-day conference of the Illinois State Organization, NSDAR, in Bloomington April 25-27. Members in attendance were Sharon Bittner, Evalynn Blanco, Nancy Gillfillan, Elizabeth Hauger, Beverly Larson, Agnes Ross and Diana Williamson.

The DAR Schools luncheon was held on April 25. CEO of the Tamassee DAR School Amy Twitty presented the program. Tamassee, located in South Carolina, is one of five schools and one college supported by the National Society of DAR.

Friday evening opened with a concert by the Illinois Army National Guard Band. The speaker was USAF retired Gen. Wilma Vaught. Her topic was “America’s Military Women - A Legacy of Courage, Character and Commitment.”

The Youth Day Awards Luncheon was held on Saturday to honor the finalists of the American History essay contest, the Christopher Columbus essay contest and the Good Citizens state finalists who wrote essays and were chosen on the basis of their school and community activities. Christopher Sampson, winner of the Princeton-Illinois Chapter’s Good Citizen contest and also winner of the District II contest, was present along with his mother and brother and Father Ronald of St. Bede Academy. Nominated by a DAR chapter, Brian Schmidt, Rushville-Industry High School, received the award for the Illinois Outstanding History Teacher.

The speaker was Illinoisan Matt Kreeb, a former guard of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, whose topic was “Guard of Honor.” He talked about the highest standards required of the guards in honoring the highest sacrifice given by the Unknowns and other soldiers and stressed the need for commitment required of all Americans to safeguard our future.

The Saturday evening banquet honored the warriors of the Civil War with the program of “Hoop Skirts and Tea Cups” presented by the Tea Ladies of Bloomington. Some members of the audience, as well as the presenters, were dressed in their Civil War re-enactment hoop skirt clothing and revealed the specific Civil War-era woman they represented. The DAR is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, 1860-1865.

Business sessions, reports and workshops were held during morning and afternoon Friday and Saturday sessions of the conference. On Friday afternoon, Princeton Chapter Regent and Illinois Constitution Week Chairman Sharon Bittner gave her report on 2013-2014 activities of her committee and named the top three winners of state awards.

Sunday morning was a time of reflection for conference attendees as a memorial/worship service was conducted. Among others remembered during memorial time were three members lost by the Princeton chapter during the past year: Vera Burger, Mary Davidson and Mary Olson. At the awards brunch, following memorial time, chapter awards and gifts were given to the junior pages and the state regent’s project, lighting the U.S. flag 24/7 at Starved Rock State Park.

Presiding over this 118th Illinois State Conference was DAR State Regent Pamela Peterson Bork of Thawville. Election was held for five state officers.