Welcomed to the 116th State Conference of the Georgia State Society by Mindy Kammeyer, Reporter General, we traveled to the lovely Evergreen Resort at Stone Mountain. Conference guests Jeannie Hornung, State Regent of Indiana, Susan Thomas, State Regent of Tennessee and I joined Virginia Lingelbach, Georgia State Regent, for dinner with the Board of Management and Honorary State Regents. Following dinner we attended the Cameo Club meeting where the highlight was a skit by the State Officers - an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz..
Virginia’s State Theme is “Find your gift and use it in service to God, Home and Country” and the Georgia Daughters certainly are! The Georgia Society owns historic Meadow Garden, home of George Walton, the youngest man to sign the Declaration of Independence. The Georgia Daughters have also been generous with their support of the Friends of the DAR School Fund and the Library lay light and chandelier restoration.
The conference began with the Opening Night Banquet on Friday in which awards were presented, including the State Outstanding Junior. It was a pleasure to share the goals and activities of the Young Administration as well as updates on the many projects at Headquarters.
It was a thrill to announce an incredible gift of three stained glass window panels from the Atlanta Chapter in honor of NSDAR’s 125th anniversary in 2015. These panels were made for the historic home which served as the headquarters for the Society’s second oldest chapter for 100 years. When the house was sold, the panels were placed in storage and they are now being lovingly restored by a glass expert in Georgia.
One vertical panel features the historic painting by Emaniuel Gottlieb Leutze of Washington Crossing the Delaware, ca. 1851. The other vertical panel features the historic painting of The Siege of Yorktown by Louis Charles-Auguste Couder c. 1836. These panels will be hung on either side of the entrance to the Museum Gallery and will be a magnificent addition to our Lobby.
The third panel is of our own Insignia and will be hung in the National Officer’s Club Assembly Room where the National Board of Management meets. We are so grateful to the members of the Atlanta Chapter for preserving and sharing these beautiful windows. Please be sure to see photos in the slideshow below and also see them close up during Congress.
With a record attendance of 582 and over 40 pages, enthusiasm was high as the accomplishments of the Lingelbach administration were celebrated. Rather than oral reports of each chapter regent, the reports were placed on the Members’ website so that all could read them and share the excellent ideas. Fewer reports allowed more time for recognition as well as entertainment, including Major Carlos Morgan, a veteran, who sang several patriotic songs assisted by Major Jim Freeman on the sound board.
The Georgia Daughters are generous supporters of the mission and objectives of the National Society and it was an honor to thank over 100 members of the Heritage Club at a breakfast which I hosted.
Owls flocked on every table for the Youth Award Luncheon in which representatives of five of the six DAR supported schools spoke briefly. Sandra Deal, Georgia First Lady and recent DAR member, was honored for her work throughout the state promoting literacy. In fact, she eagerly records her Celebrate America volunteer hours and had a few questions for me regarding which of her many service projects would count. One particularly touching story I heard was of 97 year old Jimmie Byal who has macular degeneration and lives in an assisted living facility. When her daughter, Susan Oglesby, shared our new Celebrate America initiative, Mrs. Byal said to be sure and count the shawls she knits for cancer patients!
After being excused from the business session, the Conference guests were greeted in the hotel lobby by Barbara Fincher who was dressed as those who attended the dedication of Stone Mountain Park in 1924 would have been. Stone Mountain, a 3200 acre park, features the largest high relief sculpture in the world, the Confederate Memorial Carving, which depicts three Confederate heroes of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The entire carved surface measures three-acres, larger than a football field and Mount Rushmore. The carving was the vision of Mrs. C. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the widow of a Confederate soldier.
Saturday evening was the Chapter Appreciation Night Banquet in which certificates were presented to the many chapters who had already achieved 100% participation of the President General’s Project. Chapters celebrating 50 and 100 years were also celebrated.
Following the Banquet and a short intermission, we were treated to a performance of the Georgia State Chorus featuring songs from each state of the conference guests. I must tell you that when the Pages lined up across the front of the room and raised their long white skirts to reveal cowboy boots while they stomped to “Deep in the Heart of Texas”, I howled with laughter!
We were royally entertained by the 4Friends Project which performed “Always Patsy Cline.” Narrated by Susan Gillespie, Production Manager and DAR member, the production tells the true story of the long term friendship which began when avid fan Louise Segar of Houston met Patsy Cline at a honky-tonk. We all enjoyed tapping our toes to the classic Patsy Cline songs.
Sunday morning began with the Junior Breakfast and Page awards. Not only are Juniors encouraged to attend with reduced room rates and meals, chapters are recognized for their support of Juniors through the Junior Honor Roll. The Georgia Daughters have a thriving Junior Membership and I look forward to sharing a few of their good ideas in a later blog
The Georgia Daughters not only use their gifts in service to God, Home and Country, they are gifts to the National Society!