ELIZABETHTOWN — “Honoring Our Youth” was the theme of the March 9th meeting of the Battle of Elizabethtown Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Members hosted a luncheon at the Powell-Melvin Building in Elizabethtown for student honorees, their parents, teachers and administrators. Robert Taylor, superintendent of Bladen County Schools, was also a guest.
Vice Regent Terry Smith conducted the meeting and introduced the categories. Six area students were recognized for essay writing, citizenship and JROTC leadership. The middle school essay contest topic celebrated the 100th anniversary of America’s National Parks Service. The high school essay contest was co-sponsored by the DAR and the Italian-American Society; its theme was the impact technology could have had on the voyage of Christopher Columbus.
Seventh-grade winner Marissa Council and eighth-grade winner Josefina Torres, both students at Tar Heel Middle School, shared their essays on Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., and Grand Canyon National Park. They were accompanied by teacher Phillip Turnage and Principal Jennifer Smith.
Aaron Paulus, a sophomore at Freedom Christian Academy in Fayetteville, shared his winning essay on how marine propulsion techniques developed after Columbus’ voyage could have increased the speed and shortened the trip. He was accompanied by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Paulus and Asstistant Principal/teacher Natalie Munoz.
Andrew Bolton, a senior at Freedom Christian Academy, received the Good Citizen Award. He was unable to attend the luncheon and will receive his certificate at the school’s award program in the spring.
National Defense Chair Sharon Natale introduced the JROTC awards. Programs at both East Bladen High School and West Bladen High School selected student leadership award winners. East Bladen’s LTC Kevin Brown recognized sophomore Ashton Magby for taking advantage of growth opportunities offered by JROTC. They were accompanied by her mother and the previous year’s recipient Cadet LTC Jasmine Ransom. West Bladen’s Col. Eli Ballard recognized junior Victoria Guerra, who plans to join the Army after graduation to train as an operating room specialist. They were accompanied by her mother CarolRose Bedsole Guerra and Principal Peggy Hester.
Following the awards program, the Battle of Elizabethtown members conducted their business meeting. New officers were elected for 2017-2019. Members sponsor the Battle of Brown Marsh Children of the American Revolution chapter; several children and sponsors will attend the state CAR conference at the end of March. Delegates were selected to represent the BOE chapter at the state DAR conference in April. The chapter was recognized for contributions to Crossnore, a DAR-sponsored school in western North Carolina and by the Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs in Fayetteville for the Valentines for Veterans project. Members represented the chapter at the annual Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge commemoration in February. Conservation Chair Elizabeth Morris reported on a tree planting project.
Vice Regent Terry Smith announced plans for the May meeting to be held in conjunction with the Harmony Hall Homecoming; in addition to providing support for the on-site activities, the chapter will hold its installation of new officers there on May 13.