Marco Island’s chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) had much to celebrate at its season opener at Hideaway Beach Club.
Special guest, Florida State DAR Regent Dawn Lemongello, made the newly printed charter official with her signature.
“I was thrilled to be a part of the Marco Island charter signing.”
Lemongello explained signing a charter 42 years after the fact. “It is not uncommon for a chapter to have either lost its original charter or not to know they can have one made.”
Karen Lombardi had the official charter drawn up as a surprise for the members on her departure as Regent last spring. “The founders never applied for a charter when they formed the chapter in 1976. I wanted the chapter to have its charter. All it needed was an official signature.”
Since its founding with eighteen members, the chapter has grown to 56 members and 14 associate members (seasonal residents with memberships in other chapters.)
Dawn Lemongello told the members that DAR membership nationally is surging and changing.
“We’re seeing younger woman applying. It used to be something that women did when they retired. But, websites such as Ancestry.com and Family Search make it much easier to trace one’s roots,” she explained. “More records are going online every day.
“Gone are the days where you had to travel personally to a county courthouse or stomp through cemeteries. You now can do this research on your own time from your kitchen table.”
Regent Lemongello reinforced that DAR is more than a patriotic and historical organization, it is a service group.
“For example, many chapters across the country participate in the Honor Flights providing veterans a chance, at no cost to them, to visit the war memorials in Washington, D.C.”
The Marco Island DAR was personally involved in Florida Honor Flight number 10, rallying at the Naples Municipal Airport for a flight comprised of 66 female veterans from Collier and Lee counties, ranging in age from 24 to 95.
Lemongello said this year DAR chapters throughout Florida are sending assistance to those still reeling from recent hurricanes.
“We’ve sent money as well as food, water, tarps, chainsaws and other desperately needed items.”
The DAR supports the active US Military and veterans with more than 200,000 hours of volunteer time annually at VA hospitals and other facilities. Members donate care packages, phone cards and needed personal items to America’s service personnel abroad. Members also participate in naturalization ceremonies and recognize outstanding veterans and ROTC/JROTC cadets.
DAR has 180,000 members in 3,000 chapters worldwide. Members are women 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.
Monthly luncheon meetings are at 10:30 AM on the third Thursday of each month. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. Potential members and visitors from other chapters are welcome. Please contact Pat Hancock by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 319-530-5006.