20-21 Mar 2020 Williamsburg, VA & Facebook
Tonight Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke represented our society at the Virginia C.A.R. Awards Banquet, which culminated the 93rd Annual State Conference for the Virginia Society of the C.A.R. Our president, just like virtually all of the participants, participated on Facebook. The C.A.R. strictly followed the guidance to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Virus, yet held their meeting, elected next year's leaders, accomplished their business, and held an Awards Banquet. This was a thrilling display of the American Can Do Attitude and reflected the spirit of our patriot ancestors who struggled against the super power of their day to win our independence. Heartfelt congratulations to Virginia C.A.R. President Madeline Herring, Virginia C.A.R. Senior President Michael Elston, and all the members of the Virginia C.A.R. for a successful year, capped by this wonderful achievement. The Virginia SAR is proud to stand with these patriots as they show us the way to overcome obstacles and honor our patriot ancestors.
12 Mar 2020 Richmond, VA
While at the Richmond Chapter Meeting today, President Schwetke presented Virginia SAR Centurion Challenge Coin #6 to Dennis Peterson, who has been active in the production of the 2020 Annual Meeting, and very involved in our efforts to host the 2020 Congress.
7 Mar 2020 Charlottesville, VA
This morning Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke was the guest speaker at the meeting of the Thomas Jefferson Chapter at the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville. His topic was the 2020 Congress in Richmond with emphasis on opportunities to volunteer.
However, the highlight of the meeting was the induction of two new members, Charles Crenshaw and David Hilty, and both were special.
David Hilty, who lives in New York, was represented by his father, also David Hilty. David Hilty's ancestor, Lazarus Ryan, was a Hessian soldier captured at Trenton who later adopted this new country and fought for its independence as a soldier in the 13th Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line.
While at Charlottesville, President Schwetke presented two numbered Virginia SAR Centurion Challenge Coins.
5 Mar 2020 Various Locations
At various locations across the Commonwealth compatriots gathered with other patriot groups to mark the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre. The typical ceremony included a brief history of the event, a roll call of those killed, and the ringing of bells.
On the lawn of the old Court House in Winchester, the Col James Wood II Chapter conducted a ceremony to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre with 35 attending. Participants included the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Association, the 1st Presbyterian Church, the Fort Loudoun Chapter DAR, the French and Indian Association, the Korean War Veterans Association, and the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society.
In front of the Old Fairfax County Courthouse, the Fairfax Resolves Chapter had a great turnout to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Massacre.
On the steps of the Culpeper Courthouse a ceremony was co-hosted by the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter, the Culpeper Minute Men DAR, and VFW Post 7524. The ceremony concluded with the ringing of bells from Culpeper Baptist, Saint Stevens Episcopal, and Culpeper United Methodist Churches.
The Col. George Waller Chapter, under the leadership of Chancellor Eric Monday sponsored a commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the Boston Massacre. The Mayor of Martinsville issued a proclamation in the name of the city council to commemorate the event and patriotic music was played on the carillon of the First Baptist Church of Martinsville several times during the day.
The Chapter President is Approval Authority for the Bronze Medal
This is the first of your monthly messages from the Virginia SAR President. The purpose of this message is to share a few thoughts and some information on the events of the month ahead, to keep you and other members informed about the doings of your state society. This is part of an initiative, suggested by past President Pete Davenport, that your officers work hard at communicating to each member. Part of that effort is to add to your online newsletter, The Virginia Dispatches, a calendar, that can now be found on the “Coming Events” tab. As each event of interest to the Virginia SAR is confirmed, it will be added to the calendar, along with information about the event such as registration for wreath presentations.
Also on Virginia Dispatches you can find the script of my Installation Address at the Annual Meeting and a list of 2020-21 Presidential Initiatives. The most important initiatives to me are those connected to the DAR. By working with the DAR we can significantly increase our effectiveness. Also we should encourage the DAR to bring us their fathers, brothers, sons, and eligible husbands, to increase our numbers. If only one in four Virginia DAR Daughters brought us one new member, we would more than double in size; and those new members are likely to be active in your chapter.
Members of the Virginia Society are active in the National Society Leadership. Fifteen Virginia compatriots attended the Spring Leadership Conference and Trustee Meeting this past weekend and you can see a report of what transpired on Virginia Dispatches. The Fall Leadership Conference and Trustees Meeting will take place in Louisville, KY on September 24-27th. These meetings are where our National Society does a lot of its work, and there is an opportunity for you to participate. Contact me if you are interested and we’ll find a place for you on one or more of the national committees.
At our Annual Meeting last month we elected a new member of the Virginia Society Leadership Team; Ernie Coggins of the George Washington Chapter is our new 3rd Vice President. He will be expected to progress to higher office each year to become our Society President for the 2023-2024 term. Ernie is also the chair of our Strategic Planning Committee, so for many reasons he is the compatriot to contact about your plans for the future.
In the near term I will be attending five chapter meetings in March. I would love to attend your chapter meeting to talk about what the SAR is doing across the state. Consider inviting me or other society officers to one of your chapter meetings.
President, Virginia SAR
27 Feb - 1 Mar 2020 Louisville, KY
The 2020 Spring Leadership Conference and Trustees Meeting was held this past weekend at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. Fifteen Virginia SAR members from Ten chapters, with four wives, plus eleven dual members attended the meeting. President Bill Schwetke, accompanied by his wife, Cat led the Virginia Delegation and Pat Kelly, who was accompanied by his wife, Jennifer, represented us as our National Trustee. The Chapters represented were Col Fielding Lewis, Col James Wood, II, Col William Grayson, Culpeper Minutemen, Fairfax Resolves, Fort Harrison, George Mason, George Washington, Richmond, Thomas Jefferson,
Virginia SAR Members at Spring Leadership, seated, left to right: Dual Member PG Lindsey Brock, Billie Brock, Virginia SAR 1st Vice President Jeff Thomas, Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke, Cat Schwetke, Virginia SAR National Trustee Pat Kelly, Jennifer Kelly, Cilla Tomme, Dual Member PG Mike Tomme. Standing, left to right: Nancy Alter, Dual Member PG Warren Alter, Dual Member Dan Woodruff, Dual Member and Treasurer General Bruce Pickette, Rita Pickette, Dual Member Gary Green, Dual Member Andrew Lyngar, Chancellor General Pete Davenport, Virginia SAR Surgeon Kirk Sheap, Norma Sheap, Brett Osborn, SAR Foundation President PG Joe Dooley, Dual Member and Registrar General Doug Collins, Dual Member Jack Bredenfoerder, Laura BredenFoerder. Not in the picture: Dual Member John Barlow, Mark Brennan, Dual Member Ed Butler, Tim Dioquino, SAR Foundation Vice President Mike Elston, Larry McKinley, Ken and Liz Morris, Dual Member Greg Ohanesian and Barbara Ohanesian, Darrin Schmidt and Mike Weyler.
Most compatriots arrived and the first committee meetings were held on Thursday, That evening 10 compatriots and four wives met for dinner in the Brown Hotel. Along with good fellowship information was shared and plans made for the committee meetings the next day. Also at this gathering Virginia SAR 100th President Bill Schwetke present the first two Centurion Challenge Coins, awarded for exceptional service to the Virginia SAR. The first numbered coin went to Cat Schwetke, for her constant support of the Virginia SAR through the preparations for the 2020 Congress and exceptional service as our First Lady. The second coin was presented to Chancellor General Pete Davenport for his wise council to the Executive Committee as our immediate past president.
On Friday Virginia SAR President Bill Schwetke presented the third numbered Centurion Challenge Coin to Secretary Wayne Rouse for his exceptional efforts and close coordination with other members of the leadership.
Developments at these meetings of interest to the Virginia SAR include endorsement by the Trustees of an increase in the application fee for new members and supplements. The proposed increase still does not cover the cost to process an application, especially the time of the Genealogy staff. This proposal will be voted upon by the delegates at Congress this summer - you can be a delegate, just contact Secretary Wayne Rouse after you have registered for Congress. The Genealogy Committee is also considering increased fees for applications including DNA analysis to help cover the very expensive use of time to vet such applications. The DNA surcharge is still in subcommittee and not ready for a vote.
The Color Guard Committee considered the latest revision of the Safety Guidelines, and they are just lacking inclusion of additional guidance from the Legal Advisory Committee and will likely be voted on at the Color Guard Breakfast this July in Richmond.
The Trustees endorsed a list of nominees for National Officers for 2020-2021 which will be voted upon by the delegates at Congress in Richmond:
PRESIDENT - DAVIS WRIGHT (DE)
SECRETARY - BRUCE PICKETTE (GA) (VA DUAL)
TREASURER - JOHN DODD (CA)
CHANCELLOR - MIKE ELSTON (VA)
GENEALOGIST GENERAL - BOB FISH (WV)
REGISTRAR GENERAL - DOUG COLLINS (KY) (VA DUAL)
HISTORIAN GENERAL - BILL STONE (AL)
LIBRARIAN GENERAL - TONY VETS (LA)
SURGEON GENERAL - DARRYL ADDINGTON - (TN)
CHAPLAIN GENERAL - DWIGHT ELAM (FL)
At Leadership the Virginia SAR had a table to advertise the 2020 Congress and solicit donations with medals, lapel pins, brooches, and raffle tickets for exquisite knives and powder horns. The table was tended mostly by our wives, but also Tim Dioquino, Pat Kelly, Larry McKinley, Brett Osborn, Wayne Rouse, Bill Schwetke, and Mike Weyler. The medals and raffle tickets were especially popular with the donators.
The Spring and Fall Leadership Conferences are where a lot of the work of our society is accomplished, mostly by the committees. Any compatriot who has an interest in attending would be welcome and we will find a place for you on one or more of the committees. Contact Bill Schwetke if you are interested in participating in Fall Leadership in Louisville, Sep 24-27. Even attending one day can be worth the trip - most committee work is done on Friday.