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Local DAR meets, presents awards

The Major George Gibson Chapter NSDAR met January 26 at the Flatwoods United Methodist Church in Jonesville, Virginia.

Members present were Charlotte Brooks, Joy Burchett, Andrea Cheak, Judy Hansard, Sharon Harrell, Judy Hounshell, Linda Lawson, Agnes Marcum, Fay Ramsey, Myra Richardson, Judy Richmond, Rebecca (Becky) Royal, Augusta Sinon and Manerva Watson. Others present were prospective member Susan Parker; DAR Good Citizen Award recipient Tanna Marie Whitt and mother Theresa Whitt; DAR Community Service Award recipient Rita McCann and husband Gary McCann; and Judy Hansard’s husband Roger Hansard.

Vice Regent Judy Hounshell called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone. She began the DAR Ritual with customary participation by Chaplain Manerva Watson and members. Sharon Harrell led the Pledge of Allegiance, Becky Royal began The American’s Creed, Myra Richardson started the Preamble to the Constitution and Royal led singing of the national anthem. Vice Regent Hounshell read a Flag Quote.

Watson gave devotion by reading a short story about the importance of having a positive attitude. The scripture was Proverbs 17:22. The devotion ended with a prayer.

Brooks presented the DAR Good Citizen award to Thomas Walker High School senior Tanna Marie Whitt, daughter of Theresa and Titus Whitt. Whitt was chosen by the school faculty and senior class based on DAR criteria: Outstanding qualities in the areas of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. Brooks read a list of Whitt’s many school activities, honors and awards as well church and community service. Whitt read her outstanding essay, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving it.” This award will again be presented during Thomas Walker’s Awards Day at the end of the school year.

Lawson presented the DAR Community Service Award to Rita McCann. McCann was selected by chapter members based on her many volunteer activities in connection with her church, LMU, RAM (Remote Area Medical), Mountain Trails Off-Road, Salvation Army, Mountain Empire Community College and many others. These activities are in addition to serving as Lee County Treasurer. Recipients of this award must have contributed to the community in an outstanding manner through voluntary heroic, civic, benevolent service, or by organizing or participating in community activities.

The award presentation was followed by a period of fellowship and refreshments provided by hostess Cheak. Afterward, Program Chair Joy Burchett announced that Roger and Judy Hansard would present a program in the church sanctuary.

Hansard began by stating that she and Roger are missionaries with the North American Mission Board. They operate REC (Regional Education Center) Ministries in Tazewell, Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that began in 2009.

The Hansards are evangelism catalysts, which means they are conduits. They help get mission teams to come to the area, get services provided, operate a food pantry, and conduct education classes. Theirs is a compassion ministry. The goal is to educate, elevate and evangelize. Videos and slides of their many activities were shown. Judy Hansard is a member of our DAR Chapter.

Hostess Cheak provided the American Heritage Minute by showing examples of glasses and bowls once contained in Crystal Wedding Oats.

Burchett gave the National Defense Minute by reading about an “Iron Man” suit being developed to protect soldiers.

Ramsey’s Flag Minute was the reading of a poem entitled “The Flag.” Marcum provided the Indian Minute by reporting about South Dakota prairie plants used by Native Americans.

Marcum’s DAR School Minute was a summary of the number of ink cartridges, Box Tops, silica gel packs, and cash sent to the schools in 2018. She showed thank you notes from the schools. Marcum also showed a thank you note from Friends of Wilderness Road State Park and park staff for the chapter’s Christmas tree.

Hounshell presented the Conservation Minute by reminding members to feed and provide fresh water for birds. Richardson added that only bird seed should be fed to birds in winter as bread can be harmful.

Several business items were addressed during this meeting including approval of the secretary and treasurer’s reports, a tentative slate of officers for the next three-year term, updates to the chapter program book and a reminder to record volunteer hours.

Members voted to submit Susan Parker’s application for membership. Registrar Cheak reported that Parker is a descendant of Joshua Speers, who started Speers Ferry in Scott County, Virginia.

The next chapter meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23, at which time a vote will be taken for new chapter officers.