For the 2019 DAR National Day Of Service, the Little-Rock Centennial Chapter prepared and wrapped 145 Veteran Shoe Boxes for the Veterans Shoe Box Project. Our chapter coordinates with the Voluntary Services Office at Central Arkansas VA Healthcare System on this special project. The boxes, along with many others that will be collected throughout the area, will be distributed by our chapter to veterans this December. We are honored to participate in this great project again this year, and look forward to many more years of participating.
Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock is a historic landmark, and it was an honor for some members of the Little Rock Centennial Chapter to participate in placing flags all through the cemetery Memorial Day weekend. The flags will remain until after July 4th to honor all men and women veterans buried at Mount Holly. Mount Holly has 500 veterans from all American wars from the Revolutionary War to the first Iraqi war.
February was another big month for the Little Rock Centennial Chapter.
Our monthly meeting kicked off with a program on chapter projects that a few members have been working on. Taylor Newkirk showed the new chapter website and Facebook page, Layne Baker showed an example of the new chapter newsletter, and Rachel Norwood spoke about her project of mapping all of our chapter member’s Patriots including their service. We are so proud of all of the outstanding work these ladies are doing moving our chapter forward.
Our Chapter Regent then installed new member Paula Slater. We are thrilled to welcome Paula to the Little Rock Centennial Chapter.
Our chapter also participated in a few events in the community during the month of February. We partnered with the Gilbert Marshall Chapter on Valentine’s Day to serve cookies and coffee at Towbin Healthcare Center VA for the National Salute to Veteran Patients Week.
Our chapter then hosted a bingo night for the veterans at Towbin Healthcare Center later that evening. This is an amazing event that we have hosted the past few years, and are already looking forward to the next. After playing a few rounds of bingo, we served snacks and visited with the veterans.
The chapter was also honored to celebrate the birthdays of the veterans at Towbin Healthcare Center that were born in February. We were joined by the ASDAR State Regent, Junelle Mongno, as well as members of other DAR chapters in our Quapaw District.
What a wonderful month it was getting to serve our veterans!
December was a busy month for the Little Rock Centennial Chapter.
We started off the month by working with the ladies of the Gilbert Marshall chapter to prepare gift boxes for the Veterans Show Box Drive on December 5th.
Next up was our monthly chapter meeting where Dr. Daniel Littlefield, Director of Sequoyah National Research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, spoke about Native Americans in WWI and the Arkansas connection. [Insert a fun fact or two here]
We also installed a new member at our December meeting – Carolyn Eastham.
Our chapter wrapped up the month by assisting with the distribution of the shoe boxes to veterans at Ft. Roots Towbin Healthcare VA System in North Little Rock and McClellan VA Hospital in Little Rock. There were a total of 1,651 shoe boxes donated by forty-eight organizations and fifty individuals. The Little Rock Centennial Chapter donated a total of 123 boxes. We are honored to be a part of this project, and can’t wait for next year.
On October 20, 2018, the Little Rock-Centennial Chapter celebrated a new Centennial Chapter DAR sign at the Centennial Chapter DAR Penny Pine Memorial Forest in the Ouachita National Forest near Mt. Ida. ASDAR Vice Regent Gretchen Mcgee and other current and former state officers attend the ceremony as did representatives from the Akansa Chapter and the Major Jacob Gray Chapter. Mr. Norman Wagner, Supervisor of the Ouachita National Forest and other National Forest personnel were also present.
Candy Roman, Regent of Little Rock-Centennial Chapter DAR, presided over the program which was held at Joplin Methodist Church in Joplin, AR. A reception followed the ceremony, with refreshments provided by Little Rock-Centennial Chapter and the Akansa Chapter.
As part of the celebration ceremony, a brief history of the Penny Pine Forests were shared with the group, including how the Centennial Chapter DAR Penny Pine Memorial Forest came to be.
In the 1930s the Penny Pine Memorial Forest program began when Margaret March-Mount, a Region 9 National Forest employee initiated a fund-raising plan to encourage school children and civic groups to help reforest our national forests. Her Pennies for Pines Children’s Conservation Crusade encouraged donating pennies to plant pine trees in the national forests. The Civil Conservation Corp (CCC) did the actual work of planting and caring for the forest.
In 1939, Mrs. Henry M. Robert, DAR President General, chose the Penny Pine Memorial Forest as one of her Golden Jubilee National Projects. Mrs. Robert asked that each state support a memorial forest, with the project culminating in 1941 on DAR’s 50th Anniversary.
Mrs. Charles Miller, Arkansas DAR State Regent answered the challenge and in turn encouraged each Arkansas DAR chapter to support such a memorial forest. Three Penny Pine Memorial Forests were planted in Arkansas. The Fort Smith Chapter planted trees on 25 acres, and the Pine Bluff Chapter planted 4000 trees in the Arkansas National Forest.
On March 22, 1939, the Centennial Chapter planted 5000 trees on a 20-acre plot a few miles east of Mt. Ida in the Ouachita National Forest. A wooden sign was erected to dedicate the Centennial Chapter DAR Penny Pine Memorial Forest. A few years ago, the sign was taken down for repair work. Unfortunately, the sign was lost during this time.
The Little Rock-Centennial Chapter thanks the US Forest Service, Ouachita National Forest, and the Caddo-Womble Ranger District for the new Centennial Chapter DAR Penny Pine Memorial Forest sign and for the re-dedication of the Centennial Chapter DAR Penny Pine Memorial Forest.
Article written and provided by Kathy Balkman, Registrar