Overland Trail chapter NSDAR holds Patriots Award Ceremony

Overland Trail Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution held their annual Patriots Award Ceremony on Feb. 1 in LaPorte.

The Overland Trail Chapter works with schools in the Wellington, LaPorte and Mountain area schools of Stove Prairie, Livermore and Red Feather Lakes to recognized outstanding students. Each year, the chapter recognizes youth from each school with the DAR Youth Citizenship Medal; American History Essay contest winners; and the DAR Citizen Award to the high school senior from Poudre High School. In addition, the chapter recognizes citizens in our communities for their outstanding service. Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson assisted in the presentation of the certificates. More than 100 family and friends of the students and chapter members attended the awards ceremony.

The DAR Youth Citizenship Medal is for a boy or girl in grades 5 through 11 giving one medal per grade per school. The medal is given to those youth who fulfills the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism. This award looks at the whole student in their school work, community service, outside activities such as sports, Scouts and other areas of interest. They are recommended by their teachers and the recommendations are reviewed by the school staff where the recipient’s names are sent to the chapter. Each student receives a certificate and a medal.

This year the recipient’s of the DAR Youth Citizenship Medal are:

5th grade:
Trevor Nye – Rice Elementary School
Raelynn Marshall – Cache La Poudre Elementary School
6th grade:
Bailey Coombs – Wellington Middle School
Riley Santillanes – Cache La Poudre Middle School
7th grade:
Jordan Peisner – Wellington Middle School
Max Condell – Cache La Poudre Middle School
8th grade:
Kelsey Nelson – Wellington Middle School
Jillian Jesser – Cache La Poudre Middle School

The DAR Good Citizens Medal is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. The program is open to all high-school seniors enrolled in accredited public or private secondary schools that are in good standing with their state boards of education. The student selected as the school’s DAR Good Citizen must have the qualities of dependability, which includes truthfulness, loyalty, and punctuality; service, which includes cooperation, courtesy, and consideration of others; leadership, which includes personality, self-control, and ability to assume responsibility; and patriotism, which includes unselfish interest in family, school, community and nation to an outstanding degree. The student selected receives a certificate and a medal. This year’s recipient of the DAR Good Citizens Medal is Jordan McKee from Poudre High School.

The next award to be presented was the American History Essay Contest winners. This contest was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation’s great history and learn about history in a new light. Each academic year, a unique essay topic is chosen and guidelines are made available. The contest is open to all students in grades 5-8. Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness.

A winner will be selected from each of the four grades to advance to the state level. The state winner from each grade will advance to the divisional level. The divisional winners will advance to the national level where the winners are announced. All National winners will receive a certificate, medal and a monetary reward.

The 2013-2014 Topic for this essay was: “Pretend you are a boy or a girl during the colonial fight for freedom. Using historical facts, discuss how the war is affecting your life.” The war dramatically changed the lives of children during the Revolution. Some actually followed their fathers into battle; others stayed home and assumed new responsibilities that were necessary for their families’ survival. Imagine yourself in the place of such a child taking on important and often adult responsibilities. Describe some of the changes that are taking place in your life and that of your family as you face this new situation. You may portray either a historical child or a fictional child living in the era of the American Revolution.

The three winners of the essay contest are all Rice Elementary School students:
1st place Abigail Larsen
2nd place Gillian Hadfield
3rd place Alexandria Auch

Each year the Overland Trail Chapter recognizes schools or businesses in the local area for the correct way to fly the Flag of the United States of America. The U.S. Flag Committee was designed in 1909 at national headquarters DAR to promote a strong patriotic feeling and respect for our flag. Its principle objectives then are still fundamental today: to keep the flag flying, to protect it continuously under all conditions, and to educate citizens regarding its correct usage. What better way to Celebrate America than to fly the flag.

The following schools were presented the Certificate of Award for the Flag of the United States of America.
Rice Elementary School, Wellington
Cache La Poudre Elementary School, LaPorte
Wellington Middle School, Wellington
Cache La Poudre Middle School, LaPorte

The Certificate of Appreciation was presented to the George Beach American Legion Post 4 for their outstanding support of the Overland Trail Chapter’s Patriots Award Ceremony. For the past two years they have supported this event that recognizes our community heroes and students.

This is the first year the chapter has given the Community Service Award. Community Service Awards Committee was established by the National Board of Management in April 1995 as an opportunity for chapters and states to recognize worthy individuals in their communities for outstanding unpaid voluntary achievements in cultural, educational, humanitarian, patriotic, historical, citizenship, or environmental conservation endeavors. This year’s recipient for his outstanding volunteer work on the creation and continued support of the Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado is the plaza board President Diggs Brown, Major, U.S. Army (retired).

The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal was established to recognize worthy citizens for extraordinary service in the defense, promotion and/or preservation of our American heritage of freedom. The DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal is a new award which began on Jan. 1. It is presented to an individual, eighteen years of age and older, who fulfills the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership, and patriotism. This medal may be awarded to emergency first responders; active duty military and veterans of the United States Armed Forces; and citizens who have contributed to the defense and/or security, and thereby the freedom, of the community, state, or nation in an exceptional manner.

It is with great honor the Overland Trail Chapter presents the very first DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal in the state of Colorado and possibly the nation to: Michael A. Harmon, Major, United States Air Force. Major Harmon is assigned to his current position at NORAD and USNORTHCOM headquarters, Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote patriotism, preserve American history, and support better education for our nation’s children. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 175,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit dar.org. For information on the Overland Trail Chapter visit http://overlandtrail.coloradodar.org/ or contact the Overland Trail Chapter at overlandtraildar@frii.com .

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