Dear California Daughters –
Three hundred forty-five (345) California Daughters attended the 122nd Continental Congress in Washington, DC, June 26-30. It was so great to have such a large contingent from our state, and so many “first-timers” in attendance. We hope everyone had fun, met lots of new people, and learned about the workings of our National Society. We are so happy you were able to attend to see Mrs. Wright complete her very successful term of office, and to participate in the election of National officers who will serve for the next three years. It was so exciting to see Honorary State Regent Karon Jarrard elected as Corresponding Secretary General. I hope everyone knows how special it is to have a National Executive Officer from California serving in the Young Administration. In addition, members voted Honorary State Regent Carole Belcher to the office of Honorary Vice President General for life. Congratulations to both of these exceptional California Daughters!
Many thanks go to our members for taking care of one another at Congress. We had a couple of members who had to make trips to the emergency room, and they were lucky to have their friends assist them. We were also very lucky to have our Organizing Secretary Cindy Allen with us. She is a Registered Nurse. She not only aided our members, but she did a medical evaluation of a couple of members from other states, resulting in one of them being taken to the emergency room. State Historian Adele Lancaster and the State Regent appreciated all of the help we received from members as we dealt with painful back problems. Standing and sitting were difficult for this officer due to a displaced disc in her lower back and inflamed nerves. I am so thankful for the help of Susan and Karen Montgomery, and Carole Vercellino, as they invited me to ride in cars they hired on evenings when we would have stood and waited for a taxi for over an hour. One evening, another state society even invited me to ride on their bus. That was so helpful and so appreciated!
This officer started the week by attending the National Board of Management meeting with President General Wright chairing. She told the regents and National officers in attendance about California’s new financial management system, and told them how impressed she was with our exhibit room cashier system. Those attending the board meeting actually “oohed and aahed” when she told them that chairmen no longer handle money and that we have central cashiers to do the financial side of it. I have already received a couple of inquiries regarding how our state treasurer accomplished this feat.
Congress week kicked off with the annual California Congressional Tea, chaired by Catherine Baumann and Cynthia Johnson of El Palo Alto Chapter. It was a “bee-u-tiful” affair with black table cloths, and table decorations consisting of white porcelain tea pots with red flowers and a big fuzzy bee. Nearly all of our guests commented on how lovely things were and how delicious the food was. The President General paid us a visit and brought greetings, and we met the candidates for the office of Vice President General. National Parliamentarian Carole Belcher was the guest of honor and was given a corsage of red roses to compliment her DAR blue gown. Carole brought greetings and thanked the State Society for honoring her. Carole has served the National Society for the last six years as National Parliamentarian. Thank you to our tea chairmen and the very large committee of California volunteers who helped make this an outstanding event.
California received many awards during the week. A complete list will appear in the Clarion. Numerous Southwestern Division first place awards were received. California had the National first place winners for the American History Essay Contest for fifth and seventh grades. Sophia Cho and Jack Palaski, sponsored by the Beverly Hills Chapter, read a part of their essays and graciously thanked the National Society for their awards on “Education” night at the conference. Many comments were made by those in attendance regarding how poised these students are. National Outstanding Veteran. Msgt Ernest Conner, sponsored by the Merced River Chapter, gave an amazing acceptance speech on National Defense Night. We were all so proud of him. Judy Kimball from Presidio Chapter was named the Outstanding Volunteer Genie of the year – an awesome achievement for this passionate genealogist. American Heritage Committee awards were received by several very talented California Daughters: AnnaLisa Lauer-Hansing, La Jolla Chapter, Metalwork& Jewelry; Catherine McCausland, La Puerta de Oro-San Francisco, Crafts-Porcelain Doll; and Feather Tippetts, Gabilan Chapter, Fiber Arts – Historic Costume. AnnaLisa and Feather won first place for the third year in a row!
California received first place awards for Literacy Promotion, Membership increase for states with 100+ members, Most Flags and Flag Codes presented (larger states), and our State received recognition for 100% participation in the President General’s Project and a Benefactor Award for our donations to the National Society. Thank you to Honorary President General Linda Calvin for accepting the President General’s Project award on behalf of the State Society. Due to a glitch in the Development Department’s agenda, the State Regent was unable to participate in this ceremony. Earlier in the week, it was very exciting to have our State recognized for its gift of a new security gate for the California period room, as well as the new energy-efficient lighting in the room that we replaced a few months ago. Thank you to the State Society for replacing the security gate in honor of this State Regent’s service.
During the week, California Daughters enjoyed many social events sponsored by other states, and informative committee workshops, forums and meal events. A large majority of California attendees worked on various Congressional Committees during the conference. It was wonderful to see so many of our members in attendance at business sessions, including the bylaws voting session. The Junior Luncheon was well attended by California members, and we gave BIG “woo-hoos” to our Outstanding Junior, Sarah Kaiman, during this event. Sarah also had the honor of holding the California flag during the State Regent’s report.
The Wright Administration decided to hold a gala banquet at the Grand Hyatt Hotel rather than our usual Saturday evening gala at Constitution Hall. This gave members an opportunity to see the hotel that will be the venue for Congress events during the Young Administration. Approximately 1,500 members were in attendance at this formal event where the National Society recognized several incredible individuals for their contributions to mankind. Brigadier General Wilma Vaught received the President General’s Medallion for her service to WIMSA (Women in Military Service for America Memorial); Actress Connie Stevens received the Founders Medal for Patriotism for her work with the USO and veterans; the DAR Medal of Honor was awarded to Ambassador John W. Limbert; DAR Conservation medal was given to singer Don Henley for his efforts to preserve Walden Woods; Don Hayes, director of the movie “Honor Flight” received the DAR Media Award; and Tessie San Martin, PhD, accept the DAR Media Award for the movie “Girl Rising.” It was a very moving, interesting, and celebratory evening!
Despite the humid weather, tornado warnings, and numerous thunderstorms, everyone had a marvelous time. There were so many California Daughters in attendance that we constantly came across each other. It was just like being at home! This officer ended the week by attending the National Board of Management meeting with our new President General, Lynn Young, and the new executive officers. It was efficiently run and a very positive meeting. California Daughters, we have a lot of great things to look forward to the next three years.
Thank you to all California Daughters who signed the lovely card I received on Saturday evening at Congress. Your individual messages were so sweet – they brought tears to my eyes!
Bee Inspired and Take Flight!