**** As of 8:00pm Jan 22, there are no rooms available for Sunday, if you want a room for Sunday night suggest you wait until the contract can be revised *****
Compatriots - the problems with the hotel reservations at the Richmond Marriott have been resolved, for the moment, and as of September 28th you can make a reservation at:
You may also call 800-535-4028 and when you talk to a real person it might be helpful to let them know that our block of rooms is on the "Pass Key" system.
The NSSAR "Congress Information" Tab has been updated and there is more information there at: https://www.sar.org/annual-sar-congress/hotel-informationwww.sar.org/annual-sar-congress/hotel-information
What Days Might You Want to be There?
Friday, Jul 10 - Most attendees check in & register
Saturday, Jul 11 - Main Tours & Host Reception
Sunday, Jul 12 - Color Guard Breakfast (All VA Color Guardsmen strongly encouraged), Memorial Service, First Lady's Tea
Monday, July 13, - Opening Session, Youth Awards Luncheon, Recognition Night
Tuesday, Jul 14 - District Breakfast (VA compatriots strongly encouraged), General Session (cont.), General Officer Election Voting, PG's Banquet
Wednesday, Jul 15 - General Session, Afternoon Tours, Installation Banquet
Virginia Volunteers may sign up for individual events without registering for the entire Congress.
The theme of the 2019-2020 Presidential Initiatives is grounded in four R’s: Recruit, Reaffirm, Recognize and Retain. Since announcing the Initiatives at the Annual Meeting in February, dates have been set for some of the events and others have already taken place. In addition to attending the first of our National events in South Boston, I have already presented greetings to both the Children of the American Revolution in Williamsburg and the Daughters of the American Revolution in Richmond, as well as attending ceremonies in both Culpeper and Oak Grove and the National Spring Leadership Meting in Louisville, Kentucky.
The importance of Recruiting is obvious. New members are the life blood of our organization. Recruiting, however, is more than just attracting and enlisting new members. As an incentive for recruiting new members, the Chapter grant program initiated by then President Mike Elston and continued under Past President Pat Kelly will continue. I am assured that the rebate checks to the eligible chapters will be going out in the next week or so. We need to continue our work with the CAR and DAR to obtain referrals of those who might be eligible for membership. Recruiting however also includes getting members to serve on Committees, Chapter, State and National, to serve as officers at those levels, and to attract and encourage youth to participate in our Youth Programs, including the Eagle Scout Program, The ROTC/JROTC Program, The Orations, Essay, Poster and Brochures Programs. Chapter or Chapters participating in the most of these programs will again be recognized by the Wayne and Wink Rouse Award. To facilitate youth participation, financial incentives are essential. The Mark S, Brennan, Jr. Fund has been in the forefront of allowing us as a State Society to increase those incentives. I therefore have challenged the Society to add at least $15,000 to this Fund and I will personally match the first $2,000 raised. My check has already been sent and I ask you to do the same. Chapters having individuals who contribute at least $1,000 will be recognized with a streamer and donations will be counted toward commissions or promotions in the First Virginia SAR Regiment. Contributions should be made payable to Virginia SAR, with the Brennan Fund indicated on the Memo line, and sent to our Society Treasurer, Rick Elofson, 21 Paula Maria Drive, Newport News, Virginia 23606.
The second R is for Reaffirm. Every time we recite the SAR Pledge, we commit ourselves to reaffirm our commitment to defend the principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic against every foe. As a means of doing so, I challenge you to make every effort to attend the four Nationally recognized events in the Commonwealth. The first of these, the Crossing of the Dan, took place the third week of February. The three remaining are Martin’s Station celebrated on May 11, Yorktown on October 19, and Great Bridge in early December. Chapters having members attending all four events will be recognized with a streamer. A monument will be dedicated later in the year honoring the Culpeper Minutemen. Participation there will also be recognized with a streamer. We also will again be joining with the Society of the War of 1812 in Virginia and will be participating in two ceremonies on June 1, the first a grave marking ceremony at the Cedar Grove Ceremony at 10:00 and the second a plaque dedication at 11:30 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, Virginia. A program to place markers or monuments honoring patriots and War of 1812 veterans buried or memorialized in each of Virginia’s counties at the Courthouse or other significant location, similar to the recognition given to World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and more recent conflicts has been launched, we expect to dedicate one in Warren County this fall, and further hope to continue this project in years to come. We are also looking ahead, and as part of our Strategic Planning will develop a multi-year plan so that future dedications can include the DAR and veteran’s organizations in such recognition programs.
The third R is to Recognize. Here there is some overlap with the second R, but as envisioned, we need to focus on recognizing and rewarding those who participate in our programs, giving their time energy, and money to advance our cause. Our Youth Program participants, compatriots, spouses, schools, businesses, and friends who properly display the flag, public servants, particularly our first responders, and elected community officials all richly deserve recognition. 2019 also marks the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of indentured Afro-American at Jamestown and the Williamsburg Chapter’s its 50th Anniversary.
The last R is for Retain. The challenge here is to communicate with our members, to continuously solicit their input and provide the types of programs that will make them want to get involved. We ended 2018 with a modest but positive growth. Let’s build on it in 2019; it takes a concerted effort on all of our parts.
On 21 January, Fort Harrison Flag Chairman Christopher N. "Kirk" Sheap, M.D., presented a Flag Certificate to Dr. Jeff Kesecker of Legacy Surgery of Harrisonburg.
19 Jan 2020 Washington, VA
Sunday afternoon the Combined Culpeper Minutemen and Col James Wood, II, Chapters Color Guard presented the colors at the Rappahannock County Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Observance in the Little Washington Theatre in Washington, VA. Participating in the Color Guard were: Tom Hamill, Culpeper Minutemen President Charles Jameson, Col James Wood, II Vice President Marc Robinson, and Virginia SAR `1st Vice President Bill Schwetke.
The program was one hour and a half long, with wonderful gospel singing, including crowd participation!
The Richmond Chapter announces its former President Dennis C. Peterson (2016-2018) has been elected to serve the 2020 term following the resignation of Dana K. Law, Jr.
He was installed by VASSAR 1st VP William Schwetke at the Annual Richmond SAR Christmas Social and Luncheon Dec 1.
Dennis brings back to the position years of SAR service and experience including serving as Richmond’s Registrar and VASSAR’s Assistant Registrar for 5 and 2 years respectively. In addition to his Chapter President service, Dennis is a previous Chairman of VASSAR’s Dr. Tom & Betty Lawrence American History Teacher Award program.
At his induction ceremony Dennis announced the Richmond Chapter will resume its annual ceremony commemorating Patrick Henry’s “Liberty or Death” speech at Historic St. John’s Church after a one-year hiatus. This year’s program will be held Saturday, April 4 at the church with all VASSAR compatriots and guests invited for the free event.
“You can say we’re bringing this ceremony back by popular demand,” Dennis told the luncheon audience. “In 2018 we greeted visitors from as far away as Cleveland, Ohio.” The program includes a costumed reenactment of Patrick Henry’s speech from the very spot where it was delivered in 1775.
More word about this program will be published shortly.
The Colonel James Wood II Chapter partnered with the Christian Alliance to sponsor a Patriot's Colonial Christmas Dinner at the Wayside Inn, Middletown, Virginia. We used this event to honor George Washington on the 220th anniversary of his death and his faithful soldiers. Guests attending the event were NSSAR Chancellor General/VASSAR President Peter Davenport, VASSAR 1VP Bill Schwetke, VASSAR Color Guard Commander Ken Bonner, General Adam Stephens Chapter (WV) President Marty Keesecker, Culpeper Minute Men Chapter 1VP Charles Jameson and Narrow Passage DAR Chapter Regent Susan Walls. The CJWII Color Guard presented and retired the colors with presentations by Compatriot Larry Johnson, Compatriot Dale Carpenter, Compatriot Jim Simmons, The Rev. Alan Morrison, Kelly O'Neal, Mark Quimby and James McFadden. A dancing tribute was paid to George Washington by The McFadden Sisters. The meal served included items that were at the table during colonial times.
Pictured are back row l. to r. Paul Christensen, Bill Schwetke, Ken Bonner, Erick Moore (potential member), Dale Carpenter, Eric Robinson. Front row l. to r. Marc Robinson, Charles Jameson, Dale Corey, Jim Simmons.
Submitted by Dale Corey
Edmund Davidson, Chapter President, presented the SAR Flag Recognition Certificate to Mr. Elwood Furr of Staunton, VA. Elwood is a United States Army veteran and proudly flies the American Flag. Elwood has a special light attached to the side of his home so that the Flag is properly lit at night. Submitted by Edmund Davidson.
17 Dec 2019 McLean, VA
Today Virginia SAR 1st VP Bill Schwetke was the keynote speaker at the joint meeting of the DC Order of Founders and Patriots and DC Daughters of Founders and Patriots in McLean, VA. The topic of Bill's presentation was "Red Flag", the US Air Force's premier large force flying training exercise.
14 Dec 2019 Culpeper, VA
Culpeper Minutemen Color Guard flanks Len and Mary Ann Cowherd, who presented the Gold Star Families Wreath in honor of their son. Left to right: Bill Schwetke, President Tom Hamill, President-Elect Charles Jameson, Mary Ann Cowherd, Len Cowherd, CMM Color Guard Commander Michael Dennis, guest guardsman, Tim Dvořák.
Six Culpeper Minutemen Chapter compatriots participated in Wreaths Across America today at Culpeper National Cemetery, where a crowd of over 200 had gathered. President Tom Hamill, President-Elect Charles Jameson, Color Guard Commander Michael Dennis, and Bill Schwetke, participated in the Color Guard. Compatriot Len Cowherd and his wife, Mary Ann, presented the Gold Star Families Wreath in honor of their son, Lt. Leonard M Cowherd, III, killed in Iraq in 2004. Compatriot Keith Price helped with the set up for the event. The Color Guard was augmented by Tim Dvořák, who frequently joins us for events at Culpeper National Cemetery.