Highland News Leader

Highland DAR chapter rakes in awards at state convention

Mara Grace Keller, a senior at Triad High School, was one of seven high school seniors from Illinois recognized as DAR Good Citizens winners during the conference. Illinois DAR has 103 chapters in seven districts.
Mara Grace Keller, a senior at Triad High School, was one of seven high school seniors from Illinois recognized as DAR Good Citizens winners during the conference. Illinois DAR has 103 chapters in seven districts. Provided

Two members of Silver Creek Chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution attended the 121st DAR state conference April 28-30 at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington.

Representing Silver Creek Chapter, which meets in Highland, were Lola DeGroff of Troy, state vice regent and past chapter regent and Christy McDougal of Edwardsville, state conference coordinator and past chapter regent. The pair collected many awards on behalf of the local chapter.

The presentation of awards to DAR chapters is one of the most-anticipated events at the conference. This takes place at the Annual Awards Brunch. The Silver Creek Chapter received the following certificates:

▪ Certificate of Award for 10 Percent or More Net Gain in Membership

▪ Certificate of Award for Commemorative Events Report

▪ Certificate of Award for Outstanding Public Relations — Special Project “We’re Booked”

▪ Certificate of Award for 50th Anniversary Vietnam War, Largest Number of Veterans Honored

▪ Certificate of Award for Third Place, Chapter Online Presence

An individual award was given to chapter member Sharon Kilzer for her work on The Patriot Records Project. She entered 21,156 names from extant Revolutionary War era records. The records span over 75 years, starting at the very beginning of the Revolutionary War through the last petitions for remuneration. Eventually, the data from these records will be available online through the DAR Genealogical Research System.

Youth Awards

A Youth Day Awards Luncheon was held Saturday, April 29, and Mara Grace Keller, a senior at Triad High School, was recognized as the District VI winner of the DAR Good Citizen contest. District VI covers 15 Illinois DAR chapters. Mara was sponsored by the Silver Creek Chapter.

The DAR Good Citizens award recognizes and rewards individuals who possess the qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities. These students are selected by their teachers and peers because they demonstrate these qualities to an outstanding degree. Mara, who was not able to attend, received a certificate and monetary prize.

Other DAR Good Citizens that received awards from the Silver Creek Chapter were Katherine McGlasson, Highland High School; Mona Zubi, Granite City High School; and Abigail Rose Becherer, Wesclin High School.

Convention highlights

State Regent Sharon Frizzell of Normal presided over the three days of activities.

On Friday, state officers, including DeGroff, and chairmen gave their reports. Rachel Coventry, a beekeeper at Curtis Orchard presented a program “Challenges of Beekeeping and Pollinator-friendly Plantings for Your Yard” during the Conservation Luncheon.

National Defense night was held on Friday night featuring a patriotic music concert by the 144th Illinois Army National Guard Band. Amy Hopkins, director of Strategy at Boeing Phantom Works, was the keynote speaker.

On Saturday, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner visited the conference to bring greetings. He applauded the DAR’s efforts in promoting education, historic preservation and patriotism.

During the Youth Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Eddie Price, a Kentucky historical author, gave a program relating similarities of two states — Illinois and Kentucky — during the Revolutionary War.

Saturday night featured Douglas W. Stiles, an attorney, speaking on “Lincoln’s Watch.” The watch, which did belong to Abraham Lincoln, was being repaired by Stiles’ ancestor, watchmaker Jonathan Dillon, on April 13, 1861, the day Fort Sumter was attacked on April 13, 1861. He engraved an inscription about the event. The watch is now in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

The state chaplain conducted a memorial service on Sunday morning for members who had passed away during the previous year.

About DAR

Membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution is open to any women aged 18 or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution.

Members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests, but all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America.

For more information visit the Silver Creek Chapter website, ildar.org/chapters/silvercreek, or call Lola DeGroff at 618-667-8660.