The Iowa Board of Management Meeting

Written by: Denise Doring VanBuren, President General
August 9, 2019

They say there is something unforgettable about your first love. No wonder I feel so connected to the Iowa Daughters, who warmly welcomed me for my very first official visit to a State DAR Society function as your President General. I will likely never forget their gracious hospitality and many kindnesses – and best of all? They brought that same welcoming attitude to every guest, regardless of her title or sash. In short, they made everyone feel right at home – which is so important if we are to attract and retain new women to our ranks.

The Iowa Daughters 2019 Board of Management Meeting was held August 4-5 in beautiful Ames, Iowa, and as I watched the sun rise above the sweeping cornfield outside my hotel room window, I wondered if Iowa might, indeed, be heaven after all! I had the pleasure of visiting Iowa six years ago and have held an Associate Membership in the Hannah Caldwell Chapter ever since, so it was a delight to reconnect with many of these women. 

They are capably led by State Regent Marsha Hucke, with her theme of “Be a Beacon of Light in Service through DAR.” Sincere appreciation is due them for their outstanding leadership and their generous contribution to the President General’s Project, the first major gift of our campaign.

It was a joy to get to know Marsha (and her team of state officers and chairs) a little bit better during the course of our two days together. Their workshops and reports were informative and engaging. Their determination, hard work and new ideas were motivational.  I was impressed by the reach of their volunteerism, as well as their commitment to inspire all chapter members to ensure that DAR’s impact will long continue in communities across Iowa. 

State visits like these afford me the privilege of hearing from our members about those things that matter most to them. In particular, I thank the ladies who took time to attend the Heritage Club event, where we had time for an exchange of questions about issues and challenges. While we recognize that we have much work to do, there was widespread enthusiasm to reach higher in order to achieve our service, membership and financial goals. And ladies: I know that we can do it!

I am especially grateful to Sheila Bingaman, who spoiled me with private tours of both the Hoyt Sherman and Salisbury House historic properties in Des Moines. As someone who loves learning more about local history, it was my kind of afternoon! If ever you are in this lovely city, please make time to enjoy these properties, which represent historic preservation success stories. Sheila is a member of the Abigail Adams Chapter, the oldest in Iowa.

While this was my first official DAR visit as President General, it is just a 2,200-mile-round-trip start to my journey to connect to our dynamic Daughters in every state and as many Units Overseas as possible during my three-year term in office. Meeting our members wherever they serve recharges my DAR battery – it’s a thrilling experience to spend time with women who make such a meaningful difference in their communities through DAR service.

Throughout my visit to Iowa, I posted photos of some of these engaged members on my DAR President General’s Facebook Page (and a quick video interview with the State Regent) – I encourage you to follow the page, as I hope to take you on my three-year journey, introducing you to our members around the world as I do. Next up? A visit with the Oklahoma Daughters in a few weeks. Until then, I hope that you enjoy these fleeting weeks of summer with your families (and be sure to remind all your eligible female relatives that now is the time to submit their DAR Applications!). 

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Through restoring historic properties, funding scholarships and supporting our troops, DAR makes a difference in local communities.