The familiar face of the Nevada State Regent, Lynn Kinsell, made me feel welcome amid the flashing neon lights of the Las Vegas airport as crowds hurried to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in this amazing city. Driving to the Northern edge of the metro area we saw how Las Vegas is much more than a tourist mecca. We drove through neighborhoods of traditional housing and shopping centers that can be found throughout the USA. The conference was held in a beautiful new hotel and casino and I felt very important with a declaration of “My Day”. Thank you Nevada Daughters for the many gifts and gracious hospitality.
- President General Ann Dillon
Mrs. Dillon joined with the Nevada State Society on St Patrick’s Day, arriving at the Las Vegas airport very late. Nevada’s State Society has over 740 members in 15 chapters in the two main population areas, Las Vegas, and Carson/Tahoe/Reno.
The first activity for her was the Junior Membership Doll breakfast raising funds for Sarah Winnemucca’s “dowry” due in D.C. at 2020 Congress. Sarah doll, as she is affectionately called, has amassed over 40 vintage gowns, plus beaded American Indian accessories and jewelry. The Nevada Daughters get together in the north and in the south, for ‘Sewing for Sarah’ events, sharing patterns, fabrics, embellishments and learning new techniques. Our state has planned several additional non-funded projects with historic, patriotic and educational foci. They include contacting every Vietnam Veteran living in the state of Nevada; collecting books and delivering them to tiny rural schools and libraries; researching and identifying every historic location that qualifies for the NSDAR criteria of “HISTORIC LANDMARK”; and a pin repository for Daughters’ pins to be donated to at their death and resold by the state to Daughters eligible to wear them.
The Saturday Opening Ceremony included Greetings from many dignitaries, including the Mayor of North Las Vegas who created an impressive Proclamation declaring March 18, 2017, ”Ann Turner Dillon Day”. The Business session featured reports of officers, including a description of the brief career of Nevada’s 2016 State Regent Marilyn Adair, who was installed in June but who passed away in November 2016.
Judge Andrew Gordon (son of Marty Gordon, Nevada Daughter) transformed the conference room into an impromptu courtroom. Eleven immigrants and their families filed in and Judge Gordon conducted an entire USCIS Naturalization Ceremony. Mrs. Dillon and myself made a point of shaking their hands, congratulating them on their hard work, and welcoming them home as American citizens.
The Awards Luncheon honored children who succeeded at scholarly efforts, for the DAR Good Citizen and American History awards and children who succeeded at team-creative efforts for the DAR Junior American Citizen. There was an Outstanding American History Teacher recognized and an Outstanding Constitution Week project. Three chapters achieved Trekker Awards for maintaining a stable membership, increasing by more than 10% and losing fewer than 3%. Special Voices raised additional funds to cover the unusually large number of children attending the awards luncheon. Certificates were presented recognizing Chapters for their 35,300 hours of volunteer work logged in the Service to America Online Tally equaling 758% of the goal hours set by National.
The Heritage Club Tea attended by about 30 Daughters, gave us an opportunity to hear the “backstory” on infrastructure repair and maintenance needs at National Headquarters. New programs and projects were enthusiastically received.
Photo time was high spirited and many gifts were exchanged.
At the Banquet, focused on DAR Schools with adorable arrows through apples, I presented a check for the President General’s Project from Nevada DAR Chapters and the Nevada state silver collectable coin.
The highlight of Saturday night’s banquet was the graduation of 15 Nevada Daughters from the New Member and New Horizon courses. Each received a Graduation Certificate from Terry Rubenstein and an Honor Cord from Mrs. Dillon. Graduates included Nevada’s Outstanding Junior and this State Regent who will be going to Congress together this summer.
Keeping a tight state conference schedule, Mrs. Dillon was up and gone before dawn on Sunday morning traveling with Sandy Pollack from the NSDAR Development Office.