Saturday after the February National Board meeting, I flew with Alice Ridgway, Connecticut State Regent, to Hartford to celebrate their 125th Birthday. It was a gala to be remembered and a great demonstration of how to delegate plans for a state conference while the state regent is out of town. The Connecticut Daughters demonstrated that teamwork succeeds! Alice has written a blog about my visit to her state. Her state theme not only emphasizes the absence of an “e” in Ridgway, but points out the many ways to use e in DAR service. Enjoy!
- President General Ann Dillon
What does a state do when the 125th anniversary of the state’s organization and the 100th anniversary of its incorporation fall in the same snowy month? Invite the President General to visit early on the weekend of the National Board of Management meeting in DC!
While Mrs. Dillon and I were flying, Lisa Fox NC VIS, Kate Sexton NVC VIS-Social Media, and Susan Gillette-Meer NVC PR & Media-Social Media, led engaging workshops along with Parliamentarian Carol Bauby, Lee McFadden (New Members) and Christy Hendrie (New Horizons). We arrived on time half an hour before the reception and our energetic personal Pages, Catherine Bue-Hepner and Kelly Jackson, were ready to help us Dress And Run. The tuxedos, so many ladies in navy blue and silver gowns, Lisa Melland’s commemorative program, and the elegant decorations from the Northeast District chapters (Niki Rittenhouse, Director) made this anniversary party extraordinary.
After musical entertainment, our DAR Service of Veterans Chair, Beth Hollman, presented a new CTDAR award to George Hauer, the co-founder of Operation Music Aid. Mrs. Dillon spoke about 125 years of CTDAR and we ended with a receiving line.
Heritage and Founders Club members enjoyed breakfast Sunday with Mrs. Dillon and were encouraged to ask questions. State Chaplain Linda Tavlarios enhanced our memorial service with our new state chorus and flameless candles for each name read. The business meeting was engaging, entertaining and efficient in keeping with this state administration's “e” word efforts. Mrs. Dillon’s speech was profoundly moving and everyone wanted a copy. Look forward to it; we will just have to be patient! Connecticut Daughters care for many historic properties, so passports were created to record when visiting them and attending state meetings. A full passport will have an enticing reward!
Our centerpieces containing food donations were taken right across the street where we toured the brand new Connecticut Food Bank facility. Cameo Club President Stephanie Rehnberg led a meeting / Super Bowl party and Patriots’ fans who were too exhausted to make it to the 4th quarter were disappointed to miss all the excitement.
Monday we visited the Old Fairfield Academy and met Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter members who lovingly maintain it. Chapter Regent, Linda Paslov shared an antique teacup with Mrs. Dillon. We ended in Greenwich greeting the ladies of the Putnam Hill Chapter (our largest) and touring Israel Putnam’s Cottage / Knapp Tavern owned by chapter members through a separate corporation. Sitting quietly conversing over coffee in the tavern was evocative of when George Washington and John Adams visited.
From Mrs. Dillon’s bio it reads “…leadership is not about one person doing all the work, but about building a group that can work together.” Connecticut is very fortunate to have such an energetic and encouraging group of women who work so well together. We could not have endeavored to make this event work without each and every one of them, particularly our State Conference Chair, Christy Hendrie.
(The “e”s are underlined as part of the state administration’s theme to encourage members to explore and explain the impact of DAR on their lives and why we do what we do.)