Bill and I flew to Phoenix bright and early Thursday morning before the Arizona Fall Board of Management began on Friday. We took the opportunity to visit our family who lives in the Phoenix area and enjoy some Mexican food. State Regent, Terri Mott, had planned an outstanding lineup of speakers and workshops to move the Arizona Daughters forward. The weather was unseasonably warm and the hospitality gracious and relaxing. I had a wonderful time and look forward to seeing their achievements!
- President General Ann Dillon
Arizona chose to host Mrs. Dillon for our Fall Board of Management meeting and we were thrilled when her schedule allowed her to join us in Scottsdale at the McCormick Resort. Our hope was for nice weather and an event that was slightly more casual so we could have a good chance to have her for the whole conference – it worked out perfectly!
We planned for Mrs. Dillon to see our brand new Museum of the West upon her arrival in Scottsdale on Friday afternoon and she was joined by Congress Guest Hospitality Co-Chair Laura Boyd and Mrs. Dillon’s Personal Page Jessie Wicks. They enjoyed a private tour of the museum while our VIS Chair, Janet Ruth put on an informative workshop entitled “Digital DAR” – which gave the chapters helpful hints on building and maintaining their websites.
Also while Mrs. Dillon was touring the Museum, the members enjoyed lunch and a program presented by Nancy Mitchell and Leann Cardwell of the Arizona Humane Society. This administration is partnering with the Humane Society to establish a first of its kind pilot program entitled Veterinarians for Veterans. This project will assist low income Veterans in caring for their companion animals at little or no cost-an important obstacle that often leaves a vulnerable veteran with the tough decision to have to give up their beloved companion due to a financial hardship. We are looking forward to the development and implementation of this project in early 2017.
Mrs. Dillon returned to the hotel in time to relax before attending a private poolside reception with our State Officers, Chapter Regents and Honorary State Regents. We later enjoyed a lakeside Bar B Que, attended by Major Winfield Scott Chapter member, Kathy Littlefield, Vice Mayor of the City of Scottsdale and the wonderful entertainment provided to us by The A Cappella Syndicate, an all men's A Cappella group.
On Saturday morning there were two more workshops: “Taking Care of Yourself” put on by Jerny Rieves, CSCS, PES and CES and an entertaining overview of Insignia do's and don'ts put on by State Registrar and State Insignia Chair Morgan Elliott.
During the day we heard the reports of the Arizona State Chairs and heard the exceptional and very emotional story of former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, a Vietnam Marine veteran who had been gravely wounded during the war.
Saturday evening was our formal banquet where we were privileged to hear remarks from our President General. We were pleased to have Mrs. Dillon's husband Bill as our special guest. The evening was wonderful – until the lights in the ballroom all went out. Power was quickly restored, but we considered that as our conservation minute! The evening was capped off with entertainment from the Arizona Singers, led by Co-Chair Laurie Daynes and accompanied by State Music Chair Kathleen Poquette. They prepared a wonderful rendition of the Colorado State Song-"Where the Columbines Grow". After the song, Laurie presented Mrs. Dillon with a beautiful bouquet of live and silk Columbines that we hope she was able to take home with her.
Sunday morning began with a talk by Chaplain Major David Barns from Luke Air Force Base. He gave us a behind the scenes look at the duties of a military Chaplain and some of his personal experiences while serving our country as a military Chaplain in Afghanistan.
Our luncheon speaker was Akshai Patel, CEO and co-founder of The Phoenix Collegiate Academy, serving low income students in the Phoenix area, sponsored by The Community Classroom Committee and State Chair Jane McNeil.
The Arizona Daughters were so happy to have Mrs. Dillon as our special guest – we enjoyed her visit to Arizona and wish her much success in her administration and moving forward in service to America!