The Utah State Conference

Written by: Brenda Reeder, Utah State Regent
May 12, 2017

Departing Philadelphia following the Museum of the American Revolution opening, my arrival in Salt Lake City was late in the evening.  After a night’s rest I enjoyed touring the renovated Family History Research Library and exploring the first floor Discovery Center.  I have many memories of scrolling through microfilm for hours on end trying to find a missing lineage connection.  There is always more to find and regrettably, there was only time for a cursory visit.  Perhaps in three years I can return.  Thank you Utah Daughters for your warm Western welcome.

- President General Ann Dillon


On Thursday morning, we began the day with a late breakfast before a tour of the newly renovated Family History Library in Salt Lake City.  Upon arrival at the Family History Library our tour guide was waiting and explained the main floor Discovery Center.  We were all given iPads to connect into the system and had a great time at each station.  Mrs. Dillon was taken by the Z Scanner on several of the floors and expressed a definite interest in having one for the DAR Library.

We had a wonderful lunch at the Nauvoo Café and then headed back to the hotel to rest up for the afternoon Heritage Club and Founders Club Tea.  At the tea, Mrs. Dillon talked about her President General’s Project and the current plans for restoration in Constitution Hall and answered questions from the Utah Daughters. After the tea, the State Officers Club hosted dinner and a meeting where we were treated to the quartet, Accord 4, who entertained us with a program of The History of American Patriotic Music.  

Friday morning started out early with the Juniors & Juniors at Heart breakfast.  It is always fun to see the tables decorated and the fun favors created by these young women.

During our morning session, Mrs. Dillon presented 8 out of 9 chapters with their 100% Participation Certificates for the President General’s Project.  Of course, intermissions were given to shop at the Juniors’, C.A.R., and State Regent’s tables and to scope out those silent auction baskets.  We also had on display a 1916-1917 yearbook from the Spirit of Liberty Chapter, our first chapter formed in Utah.

After a light lunch, we presented the Outstanding American History Teacher of the Year, Desiree Harris with her award.  She talked about her approach to teaching with a PowerPoint presentation and now we understand why she received the award.  I have never wished to be back in the 8th grade until now.  She has her students walking in the footsteps of our ancestors.

We adjourned to our first State Committee Expo, which exceed our expectations and can’t wait to see what the ladies do next year.

We ended the day with our Gala Banquet.  We presented the POW/MIA Ceremony and the SAR was our color guard for the evening.  Our Americanism Medal winner, the Honorable Samuel Alba and his wife Anne Swenson were with us for dinner.  After presentation of the award and medal, Judge Alba gave an inspiring talk about his journey to Naturalization.  Judge Alba presides over our Naturalization Court and I’m sure is an inspiration to all the new citizens.  We were also able to present Continue Mission, a non-profit veterans organization, with a check to purchase a tandem bicycle for a vision impaired female veteran. Two weeks prior to our state conference we learned the veteran had gone completely blind and would not be able to participate in races and marathons unless she received a tandem bicycle, rather than the recumbent bicycle we had originally planned on. We are so glad she will now be able to remain active.  I am so proud of our Utah Daughter’s generosity to make this purchase possible as part of my State Regent’s project.  The co-founder of Continue Mission was so impressed with DAR that she went home and called her husband and told him that she had to join that amazing organization.  By Saturday morning her family genealogist had found her a patriot.

 Mrs. Dillon was our guest speaker and she certainly has a sense of humor and had the dinner guests laughing at our own quirky state laws.  We are so thankful for her leadership, time and talents she brings to the National Society and enjoyed hearing about her President General’s Project.  We presented her with two charms, one in the shape of the State of Utah and the other a beehive.  A check was mailed the following week for Mrs. Dillon’s project.   

We began Saturday morning with our Cameo Club breakfast and meeting.  We were joined by the C.A.R. as our color guard for the morning and after their breakfast and meeting the young women of C.A.R. joined us to page for the morning session.  We completed the remainder of our reports and then celebrated the lives of seven Utah Daughters at a memorial service.

At our Saturday lunch, children’s author, Kristyn Crow, spoke directly to the children to follow their dreams and told of the support she had received from her parents throughout her life.  She asked all the essay winners, good citizen winner and C.A.R. pages to join her and participate in the reading of her book Cool Daddy Rat.  We certainly laughed our way to the closing of the 120th Utah State Conference.

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