Richard Henry Lee Chapter Americanism Poster Awards

SAR Presents Patriots Chest Program to Homeschool Group

Richard Henry Lee Chapter holds April Meeting

The Richard Henry Lee Chapter (RHLC) held its meeting on April 11th at Historic Christ Church.  RHLC President, Michael Rhodes, presided.

The meeting began with compatriots Kurt Muse and James Harding being honored with twenty-five- and ten-year membership recognition, respectively.

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Fort Harrison Grave Marking

Sgt. Major John Champe Chapter Honors WWII Veteran on his 100th birthday.

GWSAR Launches Test of QR Code Project for Revolutionary War Graves

To help tell the story of our Revolutionary War Patriots, the George Washington Chapter placed small markers with a QR (Quick Response) code that link to the patriot’s biography and service record on the SAR’s Patriot Research System (PRS).    Not only will this give the public a greater appreciation of the service of our Patriots but will also help publicize the society.  QR markers were placed in the Presbyterian Meeting House section of the Wilkes Street complex in Alexandria and in the Flint Hill cemetery in Vienna.  Unfortunately, some of the cemeteries where our chapter has marked patriot graves in the past declined to give us permission to place these QR code markers.  GWSAR Compatriot Luc Chevalier assisted Paul Walden, Grave Marking Chair, in placing these markers.  This first batch of markers is a test case to see how long these last in the elements and while we research more economical options for producing these markers.  


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Multi-Patriot Grave Marking Ceremony at Dry Run Cemetery


SAR Remembers Vietnam Era Veterans

Williamsburg Holds Chapter Meting

Richard Henry Lee Chapter holds March Meeting



Photo of the inductee and those having a part in the induction: From left-Dr. Cheryl Davis, mother of the inductee; Andrew West, the inductee; Mike Weyler, 2nd VP of VASSAR and Michael Rhodes, President RHLC.


The Richard Henry Lee Chapter (RHLC) of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution (VASSAR) had its first membership meeting in 2023, 14 March, in its new home, the Bayne Center,  at Historic Christ Church, Weems. Seven more membership meetings are scheduled in its new home in 2023.

The RHLC President, Michael Rhodes, chaired the meeting. He began the meeting by recognizing the many guests who were attending to include Mike Weyler, the 2nd Vice-President of VASSAR. After lunch, the program started.

Opening the program, Weyler made some preliminary remarks and then called on Mike Lyman to present him with a certificate of appreciation from VASSAR for all the work he has done locating Patriot’s burial sites in Virginia.

Next President Rhodes gave a brief accounting of how RHLC was recognized at the VASSAR annual meeting this past February as well as the Chapter’s participation in the annual Crossing the Dan ceremony where he presented the Chapter Wreath.

At the annual meeting, President Rhodes said, RHLC received six streamers to be attached to the RHLC flag to include one streamer for the 1776 Gwynn’s Island affair that saw the last of British control of Virginia with the ouster of John Murry the 4th Earl of Dunsmore. Also, the Gwynn’s Island event in early July has been made a VASSAR annual event with RHLC overseeing the details.

Next he called upon Andrew West to induct him as a new member of RHLC. Rhodes administered the oath and Weyler pinned the Rosette onto West’s collar. The Rosette is the official Recognition Emblem of the Sons of the American Revolution. Its blue and buff colors represent the colors in the uniform worn by General George Washington. Also standing with the new inductee was his mother, Dr. Cheryl Davis, director of the Chesapeake Chorale and an avid participant in the Virginia DAR.

A five-year award certificate was presented to Reverend Dennis Martin

The speaker for the program was Stephen Wilson. Mr.  Wilson is Executive Director at the St. John’s Church Foundation in Richmond, a nonprofit organization established in 1938 whose mission is to spark a global appreciation for understanding the role that Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech had in setting America on its path to liberty for all, and to ignite the public’s interest in preserving the historic site where it happened on 23 March 1775.

Rhodes said our next meeting will be in this room starting at 11:30am on12 April. He further said if you interested in learning more about the Sons of the American Revolution call him 1-804-929-1444 or email: [email protected].

Richard Henry Lee Chapter hears Stephen Wilson speak


Photo of Rhodes IL) giving a book gift to Wilson. ®

The speaker for March chapter of the Richard Henry Lee Chapter program was speaker Stephen Wilson. Mr.  Wilson is Executive Director at the St. John’s Church Foundation in Richmond, a nonprofit organization established in 1938 whose mission is to spark a global appreciation for understanding the role that Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech had in setting America on its path to liberty for all, and to ignite the public’s interest in preserving the historic site where it happened on 23 March 1775.

Wilson has been at St. John’s Church Foundation since 2019. He served for two years as the organization’s first Director of Development and was named Executive Director in 2021.
Rhodes continued, Wilson has earned degrees from the University of Mary Washington and Richard Bland College of William and Mary, and he holds a certificate on Sustainable Urban Agriculture from Virginia State University.

Wilson then commenced his presentation. He first asked how many of the audience had visited St John’s Church. About 3/4th of approximately 30 attendees raised their hand. Then he asked how many had seen a program at the site. Again most of the original group raised their hand. This would be a continuing theme for Wilson: visit St John’s Church and see a program.

Then Wilson shifted to his slides. The first slides depicted St. John’s Church as it looked when built in 1741. Then the slide showed how the Church looked like in March 1775 when Henry made his famous speech that concluded with the powerful words “Give me liberty or give me death.” He noted that the Church was the only building in the Richmond area large enough to accommodate the 2nd Virginia Conference. Attendees at that Conference included Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.

To bolster the idea that Henry’s speech had a role on “setting America on its path to liberty for all” Wilson noted that the battles at Lexington and Concord occurred less than a month later on 19 April and had a connection with the Intolerable Act passed by the British parliament that among other things closed the port of Bostin until the Colonies paid for the tea dumped into sea at the Boston Tea Party in 1763.

Henry’s fame as a skilled orator preceded his famous speech.
He had ripped the British parliament’s Stamp Act on many occasions. He had called for a well-armed military in Virginia. He had argued for the independence of the Episcopal Church in Virginia

Much of the rest of Wilson’s presentation was about St. John’s Church. He encouraged visits to the Church and to attend the many of the programs offered. He noted that there were 9 professional actors to present the programs. The programs time and cost can be found at the Foundations web site:, This concluded Wilson’s presentation. He received a standing ovation for his effort and President Rhodes presented him with a book as a gift for his presentation.

Williamsburg Holds Chapter Meting

At the February 18th meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter SAR held at Colonial Heritage Club House, Williamsburg, Virginia.  Bruce Laubach, President presented Gerald Sailors the Roger Sherman medal.  This is awarded to a compatriot in recognition and in appreciation for outstanding services rendered to the Williamsburg Chapter.

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Williamsburg Chapter Celebrates 250th Anniversary



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Introduction to the Monthly Health Tip



            To introduce myself as your new Surgeon General, I will share my background as a physician.  I am an MD graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, I completed a Family Medicine Residency at Ball Memorial Hospital, Muncie, Indiana, and earned a Masters in Health Science Education.  I entered the military as an Air Force Flight Surgeon during the Viet Nam era with the rank of Major, and then entered private practice at the time of my discharge.  After two years, the University of Iowa recruited me from practice into teaching; I remained at the University of Iowa for 17 years having served as Professor and Head of the Department of Family Medicine.  Moving to Lynchburg, VA, in 1999, I directed the Family Medicine Residency and Geriatric Fellowship for Centra Health until my retirement in 2012.  Volunteer practice at the Free Clinic of Central Virginia followed until full retirement in 2018.  I remain board-certified in Family Medicine and fully Licensed in Virginia.

            Education and scholarship have always been key elements of my career in medicine and I am pleased that, as your Surgeon General, you have provided me with a further opportunity to teach.  My plan is to create a monthly column about health on the VASSAR web site with a health tip, response to any emergency group need for medical advice (vis-a-vis the Covid pandemic), or provide education on any medical topic you might request.  My email is [email protected] and your thoughts and comments are always welcome. 

Charles E. Driscoll, MD

Surgeon General, VASSAR


 Spring Leadership and Trustees Meeting 2023


The Spring Leadership meeting in Louisville, KY, held from March 2-5, was attended by 17 Virginia SAR compatriots including Chancellor General Mike Elston, VPG Pete Davenport, PG Joe Dooley 2013-14, Trustee Jeff Thomas, Alternate Trustee Bruce Meyer, President Ernie Coggins, 1st Vice President Bill Greaf, Secretary Tim Dioquino, Assistant Secretary Forrest Crain, C.A.R. Liaison Chair Darrin Schmidt, Genealogy Committee Chair Bill Schwetke, Reenactor & Living History Committee Chair Brett Osborn, Ken Bonner, SGM John Champe President, David Cook, Ken Morris, Larry McKinley and first time attendee Mike Wilson, Col. William Grayson President.


Events at the meeting included the Executive Committee, Museum Board and Foundation Board meetings on Thursday, committee meetings and the opening banquet on Friday, and the Trustees meeting and closing formal banquet on Saturday.


Report of the Virginia Society Trustee

Trustees Meeting – March 4, 2023


The Board of Trustees took the following actions during the business meeting:

  • Approved the Investment Policy statement and allocations.


The Board of Trustees received the report of the Executive Committee. The following actions were reported by the committee:


  • Approved the Credentials and Registration rules for the 2023 Congress

  • Approved the Revolutionary War Rarities podcast as an official program of the SAR

  • Approved the use of the SAR logo on Henry commemorative rifles for America 250

  • Pre-approved the use of the SAR Eagle logo by states and chapters on all memorials.

  • Approved the Investment Policy statement and allocations.


The Board of Trustees received the report of the Nominating Committee. The following compatriots were nominated for the following national officers:


President General       John Dodd of California

Secretary General       Darryl Addington of Tennessee

Treasurer General      Michael Elston of Virginia

Chancellor General     Edmon McKinley of Alabama

Genealogist General   Gary Green of North Carolina

Registrar General       Allen Greenley of Georgia

Historian General       Brooks Lyles of North Carolina

Librarian General        Fred Olive of Alabama

Surgeon General         David Chaffin of Tennessee

Chaplain General        Dwight Elam of Florida

Foundation Board       Bruce Pickette of Alabama

Foundation Board       Jeff Thomas of Virginia


The Board of Trustees received the report of the Minuteman Committee. The following compatriots have been named Minutemen for the Class of 2023:


Bob Fish of West Virginia

Ken Goodson of Michigan

Allen Greenley of Georgia

Dave Jessel of Georgia

Lee Popham of Florida

Lou Raborg of Maryland


Committee Reports:


  1. America 250 SAR Committee reported that thirty-one states have established 250th committees.

  2. Color Guard Committee reported the Color Guardsman of the Year is Allen Greenley of Georgia.

  3. Congress Planning Committee – new credentials process approved for 2023 Congress – states will submit delegate list to National by May 1; all credentials will be issued at Congress. Registration for Congress should be available by mid-May.

  4. Genealogy Committee has approved an expansion of the use of DNA evidence, requires the use of a genealogist certified by the committee, seeking approval of the Executive Committee.

  5. History Committee has approved the History 250 program plan, a new Liberty Tree 250th marker program and a list of America 250 SAR Signature Events. The Historic Sites & Celebrations committee approved the Battle of Springfield, NJ, as a national event.

  6. IT Committee reports that a Digitization Specialist is being hired.

  7. Merchandise reported than Ranger Industries, a U.S. based and veteran owned company, has been selected to produce all SAR medals.

  8. National Dues Billing Task Force reports that two systems are being evaluated for potential national use: Member Clicks in Virginia and Club Express in Florida.


New Business:


An informational presentation was made on a proposed dues increase recommended by the National Dues Task Force. The Executive Committee has accepted the recommendation of the task force for an increase in dues of $15 from $35 to $50 to be proposed to the membership at the Annual Congress. The last dues increase was 2015. The purchasing power of the dollar has declined by 24% since the last dues increase. In addition, flat membership growth in the past 5 years has led to deficits in our annual operating budget, including a $292,000 deficit in 2022. A dues increase will help fund the resources needed to implement the SAR 5-year operational plan and prevent a reduction in our programs. Any dues increase approved at the 2023 Annual Congress would become effective for 2024.


The Annual Congress will be held in Orlando, FL, from July 13-20, 2023. The Fall Leadership and Trustees Meeting will be held at the Brown Hotel from September 20-24, 2023.

Williamsburg Recognition of Scouts

The February 18th meeting of the Williamsburg Chapter SAR held at Colonial Heritage Club House, Williamsburg, Virginia. The main focus of the meeting was Boy Scouts.

Pictured  Edwin Lampitt with Bruce Laubach


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VASSAR wins The Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award

The Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr. Award is presented to the state-level society with over five hundred members judged having the best periodical or newsletter with more than ten pages.


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2023 Dan River Chapter Officer Installation 


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