On Saturday morning we left Hotel Roanoke and headed to luncheon at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV where we were greeted by Barby Frankenberry, State Regent, and 16 West Virginia Daughters. The Greenbrier has been nestled in the Allegheny Mountains since 1778 and served as a military hospital during World War II. We toured the underground bunker which was built during the Cold War to house all of Congress in the event of an attack. This facility was top secret for 30 years until its existence was revealed by a reporter.
During the luncheon, secret pal gifts were exchanged and awards were given for some of the more humorous moments. The highlight was when Sandi VanDolson, an employee in our Development Office and a brand new DAR member, shared her impressions of her first visit to our DAR schools and how touched she was visiting with the students and seeing the difference DAR makes in their lives. In fact, Sandi was so touched that she called her mother that evening to thank her for her unconditional love and support – a luxury many of the students we visited did not have.
With a theme of “Be Wise – Focus on the Future with Education,” 78 Daughters representing 37 states and two of our Units Overseas traveled 1,820 miles on the school tour through seven beautiful states in eight days, staying in seven different hotels. Our weather was superb and the scenery up and down the mountains was absolutely breathtaking. It was incredible, at every rest stop we ran into DAR members! At one stop, a woman inquired who we were and what we were doing. When she heard we were on a DAR tour of the schools she replied that she lived at Crossnore for four years in the 1960s and that the support of the DAR changed her life.
Most importantly, during the tour we raised a total $12,243 for the Friends of DAR Schools Fund thanks to those traveling on the tour. Additionally, thanks to the generosity of a member who offered to match up to $10,000, the impact of the money rasied on this trip, as well as by those of you who have been donating online, will be doubled! The Friends of DAR Schools Fund was established to provide general school funds, educational support, help for student needs, school building and equipment and other educational requirements. Several times a year the Executive Committee reviews requests from each of the six schools and disburses the funds raised. Please feel free to contact the Office of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 449-1776 if you have questions about the Fund or would like to help support it.
This year’s school tour was absolutely wonderful! Thank you to everyone who put so much time into planning this huge trip, particularly Morgan Lake and Phyllis Lawson, our outstanding DAR Schools Tour co-chairs. Thanks also go to so many of you who have followed along with the tour virtually through these blog posts and through the Give A Hoot DAR Schools Bus Tour Social Hub. We wish you could have been there with us, but I hope you felt somewhat a part of the tour through these updates and photos.
I’ve included in this post a few photo highlights from the tour that I hope you enjoy! You can still access the Schools Tour Social Hub and see the photos and comments that members made on their social media sites throughout the tour. You can also take the Wise Owl Quiz to test your knowledge of American history and civics. Stay tuned in the next few days for one more special feature on the Social Hub as we conclude the coverage of the DAR Schools Tour.
Of course, our biggest thank you goes out to all of the schools for welcoming us with such open arms. We truly enjoyed our time on the DAR Schools Tour and are grateful to see the impact DAR has on the lives and education of so many as we Give a Hoot about Education and Focus on the Future!