Celebrate America Night at Congress - Friday, June 27

April 30, 2014

I've been enjoying telling members about the exciting plans for our brand new evening event during the 123rd Continental Congress and I would love your help spreading the word to Congress attendees as well! Celebrate America Night will be held on Friday, June 27, 2014 from 7-10 pm on the Independence Level of the Grand Hyatt. Since this is such a new event, we have gotten some questions and I hope I can help answer some of them with this information.

This free evening event is designed to celebrate members' outstanding commitment to volunteerism and introduce Daughters to additional service opportunities. The flexible schedule of this special event departs from the formal program of traditional evening ceremonies held at Constitution Hall. 

Guided by your own personal schedules and preferences, members can choose to participate in any or all of the fun, educational and interactive activities and discussions taking place throughout the event. You can dress in After Five Attire (dressy attire but not a formal floor length gown), arrive whenever you'd like, enjoy a beverage from the cash bar and mingle with other attendees. We encourage members to come ready to share stories of your Celebrate America volunteer service, which collectively amounted to more than 3.5 million hours in 2013 (we'll be revealing the final total number at Congress), and add descriptions and photos of your own service projects to a Celebrate America wall that will serve as a visual representation of Daughters' monumental commitment to meaningful public service. There will be opportunities to learn how to become involved in DAR committees as well as outside service organizations. Attendees will also be able to participate in a service activity at the event which will benefit military families. 

In addition to these ongoing activities, Celebrate America Night will also feature two scheduled presentations, one at 7:30 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. I'm very excited to announce the two outstanding speakers who will join us!

Bennett Greenspan
Family Tree DNA President and CEO

At 7:30 p.m., Mr. Greenspan will discuss how DNA can help lead to genealogical breakthroughs. Following his presentation there will be a short question and answer session. Additionally, a representative from Family Tree DNA will be stationed at a booth that members can visit throughout the evening to learn more about their company's services and their DAR discount on Y-DNA testing.

Terry Richey
National Trust for Historic Preservation Chief Marketing Officer

At 8:30 p.m., Mr. Richey will be speaking about how members can get involved in preservation efforts in their local communities. There will also be a short question and answer session following his presentation. The National Trust will also have a booth that members can visit throughout the evening to ask questions about the preservation programs of the National Trust and recommendations for local preservation organizations that members can become involved in supporting.

These two presentations will be the only programming happening at a set time during Celebrate America Night while all other activities are ongoing. Members are welcome to attend only one or both of these presentations. Members can also attend Celebrate America Night just to roam the other activities and not take a seat for either of the presentations.

The evening has been designed to be flexible for members to participate in areas of their particular interest.  You may stay for the entire evening or just come for a short amount of time. There will be drinks that you can purchase throughout the evening but there will not be any food served at the event. For those of you who are not attending the DAR School Supper immediately preceding Celebrate America Night, I'd recommend you take advantage of the flexibility of the schedule to dine with your friends in one of the hotel's restaurants or any of the many fine DC restaurant options. Remember, you don't have to arrive to Celebrate America Night at any particular time or stay for its entirety, so you are welcome to stagger your other evening plans according to your own personal schedule.

We hope you will enjoy this new Congress event. We'll see you there!

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