Immediately following the National Board of Management Meeting held on October 8, 75 members boarded two buses to begin the DAR School Tour. We boarded either the “Arrow” bus or the “Apple” bus, as we began the long trip southward to visit five of the six DAR Schools. This was an extra special trip as many of the attendees had never visited a DAR School before. Members were excited as we began our trip to Bristol, Virginia, where we shared dinner together and held our first “DAR School Tour Lip-Syncing” event. It was amazing to see how talented our Daughters are.
Early the next morning, we were on our way to visit Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky. One of the special highlights that the members enjoyed was getting to meet some of the children and teachers in the Dyslexia Tutoring Program. The children normally do not attend school on Sunday, but had agreed to come in to visit and share their school with the School Tour. The teachers demonstrated the many ways that are used to help children to be able to read at grade level and do math. During our tour, one of the guides explained that much of the equipment used in the classrooms was purchased through proceeds from the “Box Tops for Education” program that our members participate in. President General, Ann Dillon presented Brent Hutchinson, Executive Director with a check for $194,058 representing the total donations given to Hindman Settlement School during the last administration.
The next day, we were off to Grant, Alabama to visit Kate Duncan Smith DAR School. The warm welcome given by the students, teachers and Alabama Daughters was overwhelming. Everyone loved visiting with the children and touring the classrooms. During lunch, we were treated to a JAC program where the children recited the American’s Creed without any prompts. The love of Patriotism is so evident at KDS. During this visit, we celebrated the 126th anniversary of the founding of DAR by participating in the National DAR Day of Service. Attendees wore their DAR School “Targeting Education” polo shirts for a group photo holding the book that they had brought about an important person from their state to donate to the library at KDS. It was my honor to accept the many and very generous donations given by the National Society, Junior Membership Committee and the individual State Societies during the Dedication Day Program. Mrs. Dillon presented Heather Green, Executive Director with a check for $190,458 representing the total donations given to Kate Duncan Smith DAR School during the last administration.
After departing KDS, the buses made their way to Rome, Georgia to visit the only college supported by DAR, Berry College. Berry College has received support from DAR since 1904, making it the first school supported by the DAR. The Daughters loved touring the beautiful campus and visiting the historic buildings. Following our bus tour, Daughters were treated to a wine and cheese reception, followed by dinner at “Oak Hill,” the home of Martha Berry. At each table were seated two or three Berry students who had received “Gates of Opportunity” scholarships that were sponsored by the National Society. These scholarships allow students to attend Berry College and graduate debt free. It was wonderful to see how our donations help these very deserving students. Our President General presented President Steve Briggs with a check in excess of $100,000.
Early Wednesday morning, the Arrow and Apple buses made their way to Tamassee, SC to visit our Tamassee DAR School. Once again, we were warmly greeted by the children and staff as they sang “Rocky Mountain High” in honor of Mrs. Dillon. Everyone enjoyed exploring the campus and visiting with the students in the cottages where they reside. Later that night at the banquet dinner, we were treated to a program of Tamassee student singers. Early the next morning, everyone attended the Founders Day Program where we heard of the wonderful gifts given by the National Society, Junior Membership Committee and the individual State Societies. Mrs. Dillon presented a check to Lori Bailey, Executive Director for $1,088,855. It was an honor to accept these gifts for the children of Tamassee DAR School.
Following the rededication of the DAR Forest Marker at Devil’s Courthouse on the Blue Ridge Parkway by the North Carolina State Society, the two buses made their way to Crossnore School. After having lunch together, the Daughters were treated to a dessert reception where they were greeted by the children. Next, followed campus tours and shopping at the famous Crossnore gift store and weaving room. Later at dinner that night, it was reported that the members had spent over $22,000 that day in the shop. Everyone enjoyed visiting the newly dedicated Young Children’s Village and Play Ground, the Williams Academy and the stables where the therapy horses are kept. These rescue horses are used to help children heal from trauma through the Equine Therapy program. All of these wonderful programs would not be possible if not for the support of our DAR members.
It was a joy and pleasure to be able to share the wonderful things that are happening at our DAR Schools. By visiting our schools, you truly see what a difference your support means to the children served by our DAR Schools. Each attendee expressed gratitude for the opportunity to visit each school and was excited to take home information to share with their state about ways they can help our DAR Schools. Thank you Daughters for Targeting Education and Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow!