The Oklahoma State Society Summer Workshop

Written by: Denise Doring VanBuren, President General
August 28, 2019

Since departing the Oklahoma State Society’s annual summer workshop, two things have been stuck in my head: 1) that DAR members astound me with their passionate support of our mission, and 2) the song/lyrics of “Oklahoma” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical of the same name! The latter’s performance by the Tulsa Opera Traveling Voices brought the audience to its feet to join the fun - Aye-yip-aye-yo-ee-ay! And the former is something that reminded me that wherever you find Daughters, you discover astounding commitment to vital work that matters more than ever before.

I am so very grateful to the warm and welcoming ladies of the Sooner State, most notably State Regent Sue Suthers Allen, who is a marvelous, admired presiding officer who chose “Reaping Blessings” as her administration theme. Mrs. Allen was kind enough to allow me to share a short video interview about about her State Regent’s Project to support Oklahoma veterans; you can learn more about this inspiring example of meaningful commitment to those who have worn the uniform of our nation by viewing it on the DAR President General’s Facebook page (which I hope that you will like and follow).

When I arrived in beautiful Oklahoma City for the August 22-24 State Workshop, I was greeted by Kristen Ferate and Cheryl England, two young women who are enthusiastically devoted to DAR and to revitalizing C.A.R. in their state and community. Like the outstanding Pages who spoiled me, Magen Runyan, Holly Peart and Alicia Allen, these young women’s involvement assures me that DAR is not only alive and well, but has a decidedly bright future, indeed.  And we have laid a strong foundation for them -- a great deal of it made possible by the faithful and steadfast long-time members who support us financially; I was delighted to thank many of them at our Heritage Club Breakfast on Friday morning. Oklahoma is as generous as it is beautiful.

Each summer, the Oklahoma State Workshop provides an opportunity for state officers and chairs to provide instructions and inspiration to chapter representatives about current programs, initiatives and opportunities. For example, it was a pleasure to hear these great leaders share such highlights as our “No Straw September” Conservation Committee initiative. Another highlight was the raucous Centennial of Suffrage Commemorative Event performance that featured Honorary State Regent Orriene Denslow as a fiery Susan B. Anthony (who was a proud member of the Irondequoit Chapter of Rochester, New York). 

I was honored to address approximately 200 Oklahoma Daughters and their guests on Thursday evening to discuss current priorities, and I was humbled by their gracious donation in support of our President General’s Project. I look forward to visiting all of our state societies and as many Units Overseas as possible during my administration. It is a privilege to meet so many women who are united in service to God, Home and Country. It reminded me that as members of the DAR who love America, “we know we belong to the land, and the land we belong to is grand!”

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