The Pennsylvania State Conference

Written by: Cynthia Sweeney, Pennsylvania State Regent
May 15, 2019

Anticipating my final two state visits, I boarded a plane in Denver headed for Pennsylvania’s state conference, Cyndy Sweeney, State Regent. It is always such a relief to be met in the baggage claim area by one of our young members dressed in white.Retrieving the luggage we began our trek to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. It is adjacent to Valley Forge so we drove through this tranquil park with a stop at the Bell Tower to see all of the President General’s names etched in stone adjacent to the tower entrance. It was a vivid reminder of the National Society’s deep commitment to this historic site. On a peaceful rainy spring day it was hard to imagine the winter of 1778 when our Continental troops were forged into the battle capable men of the Revolution.

- President General Ann Dillon

Remember – Honor – Teach was the theme, and since April is Military Child Month, this was the focus of the 122nd State Conference. Over 400 registered caring individuals embraced the opportunity to serve God, home and country and celebrated their accomplishments. Thursday generated three wonderful events. President Dillon arrived and was able to view her engraved stone at the DAR Bell Tower at Valley Forge. As members were posing for a picture at the Museum of the American Revolution, they instinctively started singing the Star-Spangled Banner. The Book Club chaired by State Librarian Margaret Everly hosted the authors of My Dear Hamilton, Laura Kamoie and Stephanie Dray.

Friday was the day to Remember our Suffragists at the Bell Tower Breakfast chaired by Betsy Parrish and to Honor all those who fought for our freedom at the DAR Service to Veterans Luncheon chaired by Elizabeth Campbell. Echo and Charlie from Alpha Bravo Canine stole our hearts! Funds were raised to sponsor 3 dogs for this project. RED was the color of the day as we Remember Everyone Deployed. New Members and New Horizon Graduates were honored. A Memorial Service was conducted by State Chaplain Rebekah Waddell to honor the memory of the departed members. The highlight of the day was the inspirational address by President General Ann Turner Dillon. Rapt silence held in the room until the end of the address when the attendees burst into thunderous applause as they rose as one to express their appreciation of her words. Following her presentation, the President General participated in the presentation of the Junior Bowl to the Washington Crossing Chapter and the presentation of Rebecca Shaw Page as the PSSDAR State Outstanding Junior.

Though the President General departed early on Saturday morning, Teach was the word for the day. The members began the day with a Cameo Club/American Heritage Breakfast where they learned about hat pins with Linda Ivey and about hats with Barbara Schmouder. The Junior Membership Luncheon chaired by State Chair Elizabeth Ciarrocchi cast the line that lured both National Chair Jamie Burchfield and KDS DAR School Representative Beth Cagle to attend and give fabulous presentations. The DAR Fishing Team caught many fans at this event.

After a full business day of reports from State Officers, State Chairs, and Chapter Regents and voting for the 2016-2019 State Officers, the members were ready to embrace the opportunity to celebrate at the Purple Heart Banquet. Shades of purple emphasized PSSDAR’s dedication to Military Child Month. National Defense Chair reported that the USO had loaded 501 backpacks full of school supplies on their vehicle and presented a check to two representatives of the USO. SSGT(retired) Earl Granville, NSDAR National Outstanding Veteran Volunteer for the Year 2018, spoke about his experiences and his current work with the Oscar Mike Program. Purple Up was celebrated by all!

It was a wonderful and memorable state conference for the Pennsylvania Daughters!

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