Virginia Dare Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution celebrates 25th anniversary

Published 8:03 am Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Virginia Dare Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) celebrated 25 years of involvement in local service projects focused on the goals of patriotism, historic preservation and education on March 28. A luncheon was hosted at Duck Woods Country Club, which included a colonial-style meal, recognition of their “Good Citizen” award recipients, recognition of past regents, charter members and a presentation on the pioneers of flight, the Wright Brothers.

The Virginia Dare Chapter of the National Society DAR hosted its first official meeting with 25 members on March 28, 1998. The meeting was held at The Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island; it was the start of a growing chapter that has contributed countless hours of service and dedication to the Outer Banks community.

The banquet included a colonial lunch, prepared by executive chef Dan Lewis. Pulling from colonial cookbooks such as The Virginia Housewife; Or. Methodical Cook by Mary Randolph and The Williamsburg Cookbook by Letha Booth, Lewis opted to meld traditional cooking with modern preparations, while staying true to the simplistic nature of the dishes that were served during colonial times.

Get the latest headlines sent to you

Barley soup was served first, followed by a delectable “Asparagus Forced in French Rolls” dish that was served with the guest’s choice of salmon or chicken. “I try to stay true to the essence of the recipe … but of course make it palatable for what we would expect to have,” Lewis noted prior to food service.

NSDAR was founded in 1890 by a small group of women looking to preserve history within their communities and take steps to serve the nation. History is an integral piece to the foundation of the organization, as all members have proven their family lineage back to a patriot of the American Revolution.

Joan Snyder Turner, current interim treasurer for the Virginia Dare Chapter, shared: “You research, in your own personal family, an ancestor that served in some capacity in the American revolution. Man, or woman, doesn’t matter. It could have been a woman involved in patriotic service, or a man active in duty.” Any woman over the age of 18 who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is welcome to join DAR.

Following a presentation by Captain Chip Wilson, docent of the Wright Memorial, on the Wright Brothers, three local high school students, who were chosen as the “good citizens” of their respective schools, were invited to the podium. Cheryl Melton, chapter recording secretary, spoke on the Good Citizen Award ceremony: “DAR’s Good Citizen program encourages and rewards the qualities of dependability, leadership, service and patriotism.”

The three local high schools were asked to choose a candidate to serve as their “good citizen.” Once the candidates were chosen, they were tasked with writing a 550-word essay, not seeing the prompt until they met with a proctor, and they had two hours and a singular dictionary to complete their essays. Three non-DAR members scored the essays and the winner was chosen based on who had received the highest score.

Pamela Buscemi, DAR Good Citizen Committee Chair, invited each student up one at a time, sharing a brief description of each student’s goals, educational and personal achievements and what they wish to pursue following graduation. Addyson Wilson of Cape Hatteras High School and Rylee Young of First Flight High School shared the runner-up title, while Gage Tolson of Manteo High School was recognized as the winner of the Good Citizen award and shared his essay with the attendees.

A champagne toast and presentation of the anniversary cake followed, and with 25 years of commendable dedication and service behind them, the chapter members looked ahead to 25 more.