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DAR chapter marks major milestones

The regular monthly meeting of the Benjamin Prescott Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was held at Point Gratiot in Dunkirk on Oct. 1. There were 13 members present. The meeting was called to order at 12:25 p.m. by Regent Brenda Johnson.

The opening ritual was conducted by Johnson. The President General’s Message was then presented. On Oct. 11, the Daughters of the American Revolution was to mark its 130th anniversary. This day is also the Society’s Day of Prayer and the fifth annual Day of Service. The President General hopes the members continue to volunteer their time to their communities.

The DAR National Defense Article was then read by Barbara Pietro. On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy will celebrate its 245th birthday. In 1775, the Continental Congress approved the purchase of two vessels to search for ships which were supplying ammunitions to the British Army during the Revolutionary War.

During this time, George Washington had already started using ships for a naval force and on Oct. 13, 1775, Congress created the Continental Navy, the forerunner of the U.S. Navy. When the Revolutionary War ended, Congress disbanded the Continental Navy and sold the ships. However, to defeat pirate threats to American shipping, George Washington established the permanent Navy with the Naval Act of 1794.

Registrar Barbara Pietro stated the chapter has a new associate member. Denise Sanderson Hartley from Morrisville, N.C., has joined the chapter and her mother is chapter member, Lois Sanderson.

Johnson then talked about the State Regent’s Project, the Lafayette Trail. This project hopes to raise funds for the historic markers which will be placed along the Lafayette Trail. The Lafayette Trail will retrace the footsteps of General Lafayette during his Farewell Tour of the United States in 1824 to 1825, including his stay in Fredonia. Johnson mentioned that during the New York State Convention, a reading of an excerpt from Lafayette’s journal was shared and it spoke of his visit in Fredonia. It described the twinkling lights on a Saturday night with the men standing on one side of the street and the women and children on the other side, eagerly waiting to see General Lafayette. Johnson suggested that perhaps the chapter could donate money for the marker which will be placed in Fredonia. She also mentioned that perhaps members could wear period clothing during the “visit” of General Lafayette.

Regent Johnson then spoke about the Pearls and Patriots Project. Here members would write about their patriot and put it online for everyone to read. Johnson suggested that as a new project for 2021 one member per meeting could share with the rest of the chapter the history of her patriot.

Johnson stated she had reserved the Webb’s Captain’s Table Restaurant in Mayville, New York for the Christmas Party. The date is Saturday, Dec. 5 at noon. The menu is the same as last year and the price is $22.50, including the tip. Johnson said that she needs to have an exact number of people who plan to attend the party so the restaurant can reserve a room appropriate for social distancing.

Johnson mentioned that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and she passed out pink ribbons to all members. In addition, Johnson stated October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

She also reminded members that Veterans Day is November 11 and that the chapter usually does something to remember the veterans. She mentioned the Western New York Heroes out of Buffalo. This group helps veterans and service dogs. It was agreed that members would bring monetary donations to the next meeting to support the Western New York Heroes.

The next scheduled meeting will be on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at the YWCA in Westfield. If you had an ancestor who fought for freedom in the Revolutionary War and would like to join us, please call Pietro at 392-1166 or email jbpietro@gmail.com.

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