Overland Trail DAR's Patriot Award Ceremony honors local students and adults for citizenship

The Overland Trail Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution handed out 15 awards during its annual Patriots Award Ceremony on April 1, honoring students for their good citizenship and writing skills and adults for outstanding service to their communities.

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 considers the whole student, including school work, community service, and outside activities such as sports, Scouts and other areas of interest. This year’s the recipient’s of the Youth Citizenship Medal are:

5th grade
Cache la Poudre Elementary: Mary Basta
Eyestone Elementary: Anabelle Salas
Rice Elementary: Gabrielle VanRyn

6th grade
Cache la Poudre Middle School: Erin Hayhow

7th grade
Cache la Poudre: Arwen Lyons

8th grade
Cache la Poudre: Ethan Hlawaty

The American History Essay 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.

Topic for 2016–2017: The National Park Service was established by Congress in 1916. The National Park Service manages approximately 84.4 million acres of national parks. Pretend you are writing a journal while visiting one of the 58 national parks. Identify its location. Discuss why and when it was established as a national park. What makes this park one of our national treasures?
This year’s essay winners are:

Rice Elementary – 1st place Gabrielle VanRyn
2nd place Sedonie Van Eaton
3rd place Hayden Jungen

Cache la Poudre Middle School – 1st place Karlie Vercauteren
2nd place Emma Santillanes
3rd place Parker Volesky

Overland Trail Chapter’s Outstanding Teacher of History award was presented to Rice Elementary School teacher Lindsay Holmes, who was cited for the way she used the American History Essay contest as a teaching tool. Her 5th grade students kept journals on their adventures and knowledge of one of our national parks.

Paddy McGregor was honored with the Overland Trail Chapter Community Service Award. The award is designed to recognize individuals for outstanding unpaid voluntary achievements in cultural, educational, humanitarian, patriotic, historical, citizenship, or environmental conservation endeavors.

U.S. Army reservist Staff Sgt. Lee J. Cooper received the chapter’s DAR Distinguished Citizen Medal. The award is presented annually to a person who fulfills the qualities of honor, service, courage, leadership and patriotism. It’s open to first responders, active duty military and veterans 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.

The Overland Trail Chapter works with schools in Wellington, LaPorte and the mountain schools of Stove Prairie, Livermore and Red Feather Lakes to recognize outstanding students. The event was held at the American Legion in LaPorte and Larimer County commissioner Steve Johnson presented the awards.

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 overlandtrail.coloradodar.org or contact the Overland Trail Chapter at overlandtraildregistrar@yahoo.com