Reflecting on Opening Night and Beginning Business Sessions

Written by: Lynn Young, President General
June 16, 2016

Opening Night was such a wonderful ceremony celebrating the 125th anniversary of our annual meeting! Thank you to all of the amazing DAR member actresses who participated in our Opening Night program. You all did a wonderful job portraying just a few of the members who have made our organization what it is today. Let me introduce you to our cast:

Caroline Scott Harrison – portrayed by: Elaine Sholty, IN

Reubena Hyde Walworth – portrayed by: Kari Weis, NY

Caroline Randall – portrayed by: Jeannine Dobbins, CO

Elizabeth Barney Buel – portrayed by: Alice Ridgway, CT

Blanche Perkins – portrayed by: Elysia Segal, NY

Mary Turner – portrayed by: Gyda Arber, NY

Georgia O’Marr – portrayed by: Susan Johnston, TX

Glenna Wade – portrayed by: Joanie Prather, CA

LeAnne Morgan – portrayed by: Sarah Hill, AL

Katharine Reynolds Stark – portrayed by: Ann Hunter, VA

Nancy Rouse – portrayed by Linda Moss Mines, TN

Joyce Kahre – portrayed by Kay Yarbrough, FL

Pamela Marshall – as herself, honoring Dottie Wainwright, TX

LeAnn Turbyfill – as herself

Please see a behind the scenes slideshow of these DAR stories shared during the performance and the women who brought them to life. Several shared interesting connections to the characters they portrayed – although they were randomly assigned each role after being selected following a casting call that received more than 50 entries. I’d also like to give a special thank you to Organizing Secretary General Denise VanBuren for her work on developing the concept for the program, and then researching archival Proceedings and DAR Magazines to select representative highlights of DAR achievements through the Society's 125 years of service to America in order to write the performance script. While Mrs. VanBuren wrote the dialogue for participants, she based each segment on an actual Congress reports or magazine submission. We also enjoyed a video looking back at the 125 year history of Continental Congress.  You can view that video here.

Last night we also revealed the total number of combined Celebrate America! service hours for the past three years and the grand total is:  14,383,078! I am completely floored by our members’ dedication to community service! We will continue our celebration of your more than 14 million hours of service on Friday evening at Celebrate America Night.

This morning we will begin the business sessions of the 125th Continental Congress, where we will hear the reports of the Executive Officers and some of our National Chairs. 

I hope you will plan to attend the Patriotism and Education Forums this afternoon. National Chairs will be sharing important information about getting involved with the work of these committees.

This afternoon I will greet the Historic Preservation Luncheon and the State Vice Regents Club Luncheon.  I will attend the Units Overseas Luncheon and renew friendships made during my foreign travel. This will be a wonderful event and I am looking forward to greeting members.

I am proud to be a member of the Founders Club and look forward to attending the Dinner this evening.  It will be a privilege to express our gratitude to those who are creating a legacy for NSDAR through their estate planning to provide for the future needs of the Society.

Tonight we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and presenting them with the President General’s Medallion.  We will also honor smart and driven young people during Education Awards Night. We will hear the American History Essay winners read portions of their essays and we will present the DAR Good Citizen Award. We will also recognize the American History Scholarship winner and the Outstanding Teacher of American History. We will be entertained by the All-American DAR Chorus. Concluding the ceremony will be the exciting presentation of the finalists for the Outstanding Junior Member contest. Good luck to each of the wonderful finalists! Following this ceremony I will join with the Outstanding Junior Ice Cream Social to celebrate their wonderful accomplishments.

If you won’t be with us this evening be sure to watch the live video stream online!

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