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DAR Chapter celebrates 101 years of service

By Staff | Feb 24, 2017

Submitted photo Members of the DAR ceelbrate 101 years of service at an event at the Bavarian Inn.

Celebrating 101 years of service, Pack Horse Ford Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) celebrated its birthday during a luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Bavarian Inn.

Regent Anna “Pink” Chapline Phillips officially organized the chapter on Feb. 22, 1916. Chapter Regent Kathy Sholl wore pink to honor Anna Phillips and to recognize the accomplishments of the first chapter.

Nearly 50 members and guests joined the regent in the ritual including the Pledge of Allegiance and the American’s Creed. Beautiful red roses decorated each table for this special occasion.

Sholl said, “Celebrating 100 years last year was extraordinary, but I wanted to keep the momentum moving. As we look to the future of our chapter, may we move forward in service and become shining stars of service.”

The chapter’s newest member, Marlyn Keesecker, was welcomed, as well as prospective members Jill Rowland and Judy Yost. Other members introduced their guests including Denise Abbott, Larry Ambrose, Betsy and Tom Buckingham, Shirley Jenkins, Marty Keesecker, John Krashoc, Mike Sholl and John Toffling.

A surprise program for the chapter suddenly appeared after lunch when a flash mob from the Jefferson County Community Choir (JCCC) began singing, “Oh Beautiful for Spacious Skies.” while chapter members and guests were enjoying their dessert. The choir next sang “Happy Birthday to Pack Horse Ford.” Other songs included “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree with Anyone Else but Me,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “The West Virginia Hills.” Chapter member Mary Bell is also a choir member.

JCCC was created seven years ago by Roberta Ranelli as a fundraiser choir to help groups within the schools of Jefferson County to raise money for different projects. When Roberta retired in 2015, Judy Pharr became the new director. Continuing to help Jefferson County schools, the choir has also fundraised for the Old Opera House.

Each year, the choir holds two concerts and accompanying silent auctions to help raise funds. The members of JCCC are all volunteers including their accompanist, Susan Carpenter, who teachers at Shepherd University and Hagerstown Community College. Members come from all different backgrounds, but the one thing they have in common, is they all love to sing. JCCC welcomes anyone who would like to join the choir. JCCC is a non-auditioned group, with a membership fee of $20 for each concert. Rehearsals begin on Tuesday, Mar. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town.

The public is cordially invited hear JCCC sing to benefit the Ranalli-Wiltshire Auditorium Project for Harpers Ferry Middle School on Sunday, Apr. 30, at 3 p.m. For more information, call 304-535-6357.

Continuing the celebration, Chapter Historian Cindy Nicewarner composed a candle lighting ritual for three candles to represent the past, present and future.

Candle 1: The Past – The poem “Pack Horse Ford” by Grace Yoke White, the eighth Chapter Regent was read at the chapter’s 50th anniversary celebration in 1966. Past Regent Dorrene Hale lit the first candle as Cindy read the poem.

Candle 2: The Present – This candle was lit by Treasurer Katherine Genung. The second candle represents the chapter’s present.

Candle 3: The Future – This candle was lit by Alexandra Keesecker. The third candle represents the chapter’s future and was dedicated to the next generation of women.

In conclusion, Regent Sholl asked members to open their favors at each of their place settings. Each favor held candy and a message from a famous woman.

Regent Sholl gave special recognition to two members of the Chapter for their service. Chapter members Betty Ann Lowe received her 30-year certificate and Marianne Caruso received her 20-year certificate.

DAR members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests, but all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the U.S.A. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution, is eligible to join. With more than 183,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.

Those who would like to learn more about the Pack Horse Ford Chapter should contact Regent Kathy Sholl at 304-876-1250. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org.