The Indiana State Conference

Written by: Lois Huntington, Indiana State Regent
June 5, 2018

As the sun rose over the Minnesota skyline, I boarded a plane for Indianapolis, Indiana to join Lois Huntington and the Indiana Daughters for their conference. Finding Martha Barnhart on hand to welcome me was very special and she became the temporary “page” to get me ready to arrive at the hotel and enter the Saturday luncheon without missing a step. The luncheon speaker’s expertise on the Madonna of the Trail statues was evident and his approach was that of an artist as well as a preservationist. Thank you for the visit Indiana Daughters!

- President General Ann Dillon

On Thursday evening, May 17, 2018, the Indiana State Officers, Honorary State Regents, Candidates for the Blair Administration and out of state guests gathered for an informal dinner. Joining us that evening was Honorary Vice President General, Marilyn Creedon. Mrs. Creedon had just celebrated her 90th birthday and was presented with a crown, birthday greetings and a Happy Birthday serenade.

The official opening of the 117th Indiana State Conference was May 18, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana with a total of 305 registrations. Conference guests were President General Ann Turner Dillon, Sandra Pollack, Director of Development NSDAR, and State Regents Leslie Miller, Kentucky; Elizabeth Graham, North Carolina; Charlotte Reynolds, Tennessee, and Malinda Davis, West Virginia.

Friday morning business session gave officers the opportunity to report. After lunch a Memorial Service was held for departed Daughters, including two past state officers, Kay Smith and Donna Mason. The afternoon business session began with the nomination for candidates for the Blair Administration, followed by reports from Chairs.

While Indiana conducted business Friday afternoon, the out of state guests enjoyed lunch at the Caroline Scott Harrison Chapter House, visited the graves of Caroline Scott Harrison and Cornelia Cole Fairbanks, the first and sixth President Generals, and experienced a guided tour of the Harrison home and the city sites of Indianapolis.

Before the State Officers’ Club dinner and Junior/Page Event, I held a pre-dinner reception in my suite for the Members Dinner attendees.

Saturday morning began with voting, breakfast, and the third business session. Following final reports, with a total registration of 426 members and guests, the newly elected officers were introduced. I was elected Honorary State Regent, and the final business session was officially closed.

The Madonna of the Trail was the theme for Saturday’s Luncheon. Indiana Daughters generously supported the restoration of this beautiful statue and now it was time to celebrate. The Indiana Chorus provided the entertainment, and the speaker was Mike Major, Ohio artist. He has restored five of the twelve DAR Madonna statues, including ours located in Richmond, Indiana

While we were assembling for lunch, Vinton Dove, our official transportation HODAR, and Martha Barnhart, Past Treasurer General, were waiting for Mrs. Dillon at the Indianapolis airport. To our delight Mrs. Dillon arrived just in time to join us for lunch. The ladies had been waiting eagerly for her arrival and greeted her enthusiastically.

After lunch, invited guests attended the Heritage Club Tea sponsored by the Office of Development NSDAR. Mrs. Dillon posed for pictures, gave a brief presentation, and answered questions.

Those not attending the tea participated in Service to America opportunities in Liberty Hall. The ladies bagged mints for Honor Flight participants and inserted cards that read, “Thank you for your commit-MINT”, signed birthday cards for students living in Indiana-All States at Tamassee, and bundled seeds and gardening supplies to be sent to Hindman Settlement School. 

This was followed by the Debutante tea held in the State Regent’s suite, and the meeting of the Cameo Club, Fifty Year Club, and District Meeting Host Chapters. 

Saturday evening was the Formal Banquet. Following group pictures, the members and guests enjoyed a prelude concert given by the Murat Shriner Band. The entertainment for the evening was Anita Hall, professional singer currently residing in Indianapolis. Thirty one ladies received certificates for completing the New Horizons Course. What an exciting accomplishment!

Following dinner, President General Ann Dillon gave a wonderful presentation that reminded everyone of our great heritage and the responsibilities we have as both members of DAR and citizens of the United States of America. She also presented certificates to the chapters who achieved 100% participation status for the President General’s project, as well as the Historic Preservation Award given to Shawn Clements for his work to restore the family home of President Obama’s maternal ancestors. She awarded the $10,000 Special Projects Grant award, accepted by General Goodwin on behalf of the Indiana War Memorials Foundation for the preservation of the battle flag used by President Benjamin Harrison during the Civil War.

The evening ended with a reception and receiving line. Since Mrs. Dillon had an early Sunday morning flight back to Colorado, so we had to say our goodbyes at the close of the festivities.

Church services were held on Sunday morning followed by the Awards Luncheon to recognize the Outstanding Teacher of American History, American History Essay winners, Good Citizen Finalists, the Christopher Columbus Essay winner, and the Indiana Scholarship recipient.

Indiana had three students win first place in the East Central Division American History Essay Contest. Indiana’s 6th grade winner, Cole Dubois, won first place at the National level and will be recognized in Washington DC at Continental Congress. 

After officially closing the 117th State Conference, I was honored to give the historic block and gavel to State Regent Elect Charlotte Hurd Blair.

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