Submitted by Daughters of the American Revolution
More than 4,000 members of the Daughters of the American Revolution gathered this past week in the nation’s capital for their 131st Continental Congress, the service organization’s annual meeting. The week-long convention, which was projected to draw the largest attendance in the organization’s history, consisted of business sessions, committee meetings and social functions, in addition to formal evening ceremonies that honored national award winners and featured outstanding keynote speakers. This year’s convention was the first in-person gathering in three years, after the 2020 and 2021 editions were conducted virtually due to the pandemic.
In attendance was Virginia State Regent LeAnn Fetherolf Turbyfill, member of the Fort Lewis Chapter in Salem. Turbyfill was elected to the office of Vice President General at this year’s Continental Congress. She will serve a term of three years with NSDAR’s National Board of Management. Each year, seven new Vice Presidents General are elected for a total of twenty-one serving at any one time. These National officers advise and guide the work of the society.
Wednesday’s Opening Night Ceremony speakers included U.S. Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, who was honored with the DAR Americanism Medal; and philanthropist/business leader David Rubenstein, who was presented the DAR Medal of Honor. Friday’s Historic Preservation Night Ceremony honored former Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, among others; and the Saturday National Defense Night Ceremony featured keynote remarks by Robert Dalessandro, Deputy Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission. Other national awards were presented throughout the week to outstanding honorees exhibiting excellence in historic preservation, education and patriotism.
“I am both proud and excited to welcome our members back to our DAR Headquarters, especially so that they may experience the grandeur of DAR Constitution Hall following its massive $15 million restoration,” said DAR President General Denise Doring VanBuren. “We have so much to celebrate, with more than 35,000 new members welcomed and 14 million hours of community service provided since we last gathered for our congress in person back in 2019. It is a pleasure to see our members return to our complex and to our nation’s capital for the first time in three years. We will together rejoice in our vibrant mission of service, fulfilling our joyful obligations to the memory of our ancestors.”
LeAnn Fetherolf Turbyfill has served the NSDAR since becoming a member in 1986. She has held numerous state chairmanships and has served as State Corresponding Secretary, State Organizing Secretary, and State Regent. In addition to serving as State Regent, she has been the chair of five national committees: Pages’ Event, Americanism, Chapter Achievement Awards, Celebrate America!, and Public Relations and Media. Turbyfill holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Dickinson College. She also has served as C.A.R. Senior Society President and as a Senior State Society officer in four positions. Turbyfill has been the Salem/Roanoke County Food Pantry Board Member for five years and president for one year, an English tutor to a Bhutanese refugee and her family, and is the Turbyfill Family Historian.
The DAR Continental Congress is a time-honored annual event that has been held in Washington, D.C. since the organization’s founding. Members from across the country and around the world gather at the DAR National Headquarters to report on the year’s work, honor outstanding award recipients, plan future initiatives and reconnect with friends. To learn more about its important work, visit www.DAR.org.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution 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 nearly 190,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.
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