More than 100 members and guests of the Maine State Organization Daughters of the American Revolution met March 24-26 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport for its 119th State Conference.

State Regent Elizabeth Blake Hotchkiss presided over the weekend events. The theme for Hotchkiss’ three-year term is “In defense of the seacoast!” and meeting locations corresponded with the skirmishes that took place around the state. The Penobscot Bay Region was the focus for this gathering.

The Hostess Chapters were Lady Knox, in Rockland; Molly Ockett, in Fryeburg; Pemaquid, in Head Tide; and Penobscot Expedition, in Searsport.

Conference guests included Cornelia Olde, reporter general, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; Debora Refior, Northwestern Division vice chairwoman, Women’s Issues, past vice president general, NSDAR and honorary state regent of Alaska; and Wendy Stanley Jones, state regent of New Hampshire. Also attending were Maine Honorary State Regents Ann Thomas, Polly Bartow, Virginia Spiller and Sandy Swallow, and Sons of the American Revolution State President Clyde Berry.

A student awards program and tea were held Saturday afternoon to honor the state winners in the American History and Christopher Columbus essay contests. The Maine state DAR Good Citizen winner was presented by state chairwoman Polly Tarbell Bartow.

Emma King from the Ocean Avenue Elementary School was the fifth-grade winner and she was sponsored by the Elizabeth Wadsworth Chapter.

Sophia Tanguay from the Massabesic Middle School was the sixth-grade winner and she was sponsored by the Rebecca Emery Chapter.

Nevaeh Daigle from the Highview Christian Academy was the seventh-grade winner and she was sponsored by the Mount Desert Isle Chapter.

Sydni Plummer from the Windsor Elementary School was the eighth-grade winner and she was sponsored by the Koussinoc Chapter.

Kiley Eckstein from the Highview Christian Academy won the Christopher Columbus essay contest for high school students and was sponsored by the Mount Desert Isle Chapter.

The DAR Good Citizen was Jacob Ketch, a senior from the Old Town High School, sponsored by the Esther Eayres Chapter. After graduation, Ketch plans to attend the University of Maine in Orono to study kinesiology.

Keynote speakers for the conference were Reporter General Connie Olde and Warren Riess. Oldes’ luncheon presentation was “DAR — Past, Present and Moving Forward.” Riess spoke during the Saturday evening banquet about the settlers in the area and who was available to fight at Castine during the failed Penobscot Expedition.

The Majabigwaduce Chapter in Brooksville hosted the State Regent’s Reception preceding the formal Saturday evening banquet.

The annual Member’s Memorial Service was led by State Chaplain Earlene Chadbourne Sunday morning. The roll call of chapters included 26 members that died this past year. A wreath was placed at the DAR marker in the Tolman Cemetery following the service.

The annual meeting of the conference included reports of state officers, presentation of award certificates by the state chairwoman and reports of chapter activities and accomplishments by the regents and by-laws revision.

Membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution is open to any woman 18 or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution. Members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests, but all share a common bond of having an ancestor who helped contribute to securing the independence of the United States of America.

The NSDAR was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 177,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years.

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