Toni Bolling Lutter
On October 11, Gila Butte Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) joined with chapters around the state, the nation and the world in a day of service and prayer to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of DAR. The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890, during a time of intense patriotic interest in the historic beginnings of America. Women were frustrated by their exclusion from men’s organizations formed to perpetuate the memory of ancestors who fought for America‘s liberty. As a result, a group of pioneering women formed their own organization and DAR was born, founded in service.
During the current DAR administration which coincides with the 125th anniversary, the organization issued a challenge to Daughters to complete 12.5 million hours of service to America. This challenge calls for reporting individual volunteer work in “meaningful community service,” that is, activities outside of chapter and Society work. DAR united to demonstrate the combined impact of the Society’s mission, not as a lineage society, but as a service organization. To date, the Society has passed the 10-million-hour mark on its way to the goal of 12.5 million hours. The final tally will be announced at the 125th Continental Congress in Washington, D.C. in June 2016.
As the 125th anniversary approached, Daughters were also encouraged to complete special service projects in honor of the anniversary, to culminate in the National DAR Day of Service when all projects would be celebrated worldwide. It was an opportunity to illustrate DAR’s collective commitment to America.
As an enduring legacy of its quasquicentennial, the National Society dedicated “The Daughters Tribute” in DAR’s Memorial Garden in Washington, D.C. The ceremony occurred during the October meeting of the National Board of Management, and the granite monument honors the women who have sustained the Society in its mission of service since 1890. Since DAR’s founding 125 years ago, more than 940,000 women have been inducted into membership.
Gila Butte DAR has served the Sun Lakes community since its founding in 2002. In the intervening years, the chapter has grown from 22 members to 115, and today, its dedicated genealogists are working toward achieving 125 members by the end of this 125th anniversary celebration. Eligible women over 18 who want to serve America in DAR are urged to call 602-430-6048 or go to the Gila Butte chapter website gilabutte.arizonadar.org for information.