The Kentucky State Conference

Written by: Leslie Miller, Kentucky State Regent
April 20, 2018

Arriving in Cincinnati early on Saturday morning, I was met by Elizabeth Chiang, my personal page and unexpectedly she was accompanied by my friend, Sharon Withers, past Registrar General. After grabbing a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop, we set off for the Kentucky State Conference in Lexington, KY. A beautiful spring snow storm made the ride extraordinary and Elizabeth’s chauffeur skills were exemplary. It was wonderful to remember my past visits to Kentucky and recollect the many things for which Kentucky is famous – horses, blue grass, bourbon and hospitality.

- President General Ann Dillon

Charting Our Course for Patriotism was the theme for the Kentucky’s 122nd State Conference held March 22-25, 2018, in Lexington, KY. Kentucky Daughters were thrilled to have President General Ann Turner Dillon join us on Saturday. Mrs. Dillon arrived in time to participate in KY’s first graduation for the New Member and New Horizon Courses during the Members’ Luncheon. Other special guests included Louisiana State Regent Zora Olsson and Wyoming State Regent Donna Weaver.

Heather French Henry, Deputy Commissioner, KY Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) and Chair of the Kentucky WWI Commemorative Commission gave a presentation on the statewide efforts to honor those who served in The Great War. Display panels used by KDVA at the Kentucky State Fair and artifacts on loan from the Kentucky Historical Society showcased the commemoration. As part of Deputy Commissioner Henry’s Poppy Project, Kentucky Daughters have been making poppies of all kinds (crocheted, glued fabric, and many variations) which will be used to blanket the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol on Veterans Day 2018. DAR Service to Veterans State Chair Margie Shelton and many helpers presented about 9,000 poppies to Ms. Henry.

As the keynote speaker for the Conference Banquet later that evening, Mrs. Dillon inspired Daughters and guests with her presentation and presence. She was given the Key to the City of Lexington, a silver charm representing Kentucky, and a reproduction julep cup made in a design by Asa Blanchard, Kentucky’s early master silversmith. Kenton County Sheriff Charles Korzenborn “served papers” on Mrs. Dillon and commissioned her an Honorary Deputy Sheriff. Mrs. Dillon commented that her first name is Margaret, therefore she is M.A.T. Dillon! State Regents Olsson and Weaver were commissioned Kentucky Colonels, an honor Mrs. Dillon has received during a previous visit to the Commonwealth. Also during the evening, six Debutantes were presented; all beautiful and accomplished Junior Members of the Kentucky DAR.

Friday evening’s Opening Night Banquet featured the presentation of a State Community Service Award, four Historic Preservation Recognition Awards, the State Outstanding Teacher of American History and a special award called “The Spirit of Kentucky.” This award recognizes Kentuckians who have demonstrated exemplarily service in Education, Patriotism, or Historic Preservation and was designed during the Miller Administration to celebrate KY’s 225th anniversary. This year two ladies with historic accomplishments in civil and military service received the award for patriotism; former Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins and Capt. Helen Horlacher Evans. Governor Collins was elected in 1983 and is the only female to ever hold that office. Capt. Evans was one of the first women commissioned in the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later Women’s Army Corps or WAC) in 1942 serving both stateside and abroad during WWII. Both ladies are proud members of NSDAR.

Kentucky Daughters supported Hindman Settlemnt School’s Cornerstone Capitol Campaign by donating $27,685 for the KY DAR Porch. An additional $8,000 from the State Project was presented for the reading programs for children with dyslexia.

It was our privilege and pleasure to have Mrs. Dillon visit us.

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