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ARKANSAS PRESIDENT SHARON STANLEY WYATT REPORT 2015-2016
ARKANSAS: Sharon Stanley Wyatt – February 12, 2016
The Arkansas Society United States Daughters of 1812 has been steadily working this past year to promote the “Purposes of our Society”.
Arkansas Society can boast of 130 members consisting of 120 adult women, nine FADD and one junior member. We are still seeing a growth trend as the President George Washington Chapter, having organized in May of 2015, adds new members to charter. Thanks to the work of our chapter registrars as well as State Registrar Jo Ann Cooper, we have a total of six applications and two supplementals pending with the national registrar.
The Arkansas Anchor and Star newsletter is published monthly with “extras” coming out after a “veteran’s or special event”. This president communicates with the state wide membership through the Dear Daughters letter published in the newsletter.
Arkansas supports the national projects with programs and monetary donations. Our schools chairman, Amber Friday-Brown, is an alumna of College of the Ozarks who makes regular visits to this school and attends all special events. We continue to support all of our schools through monetary donations, a total of $465.00 in 2015, as well as box tops and labels.
Cities and towns of Arkansas are being made aware of history and historic spots by events held and newspaper coverage. These events emphasize our focus on 1812 veterans as well as veterans of all wars.
In 2015, 63 members reported participating in Veteran’s Day activities, 787 volunteer hours, hundreds of comfort items donated, $3,790.00 monetary donations, 62 stamps were mailed,10,287 coupons were mailed.
Four Arkansas 1812 gravesites were located and marked and one was rededicated, all in a manner worthy our 1812 soldiers. This president spent six months in preparation for the marking and dedication of my fourth great-grandfather David R. Rushing. Proving his grave location in Dover, Arkansas, obtaining a government marker and planning the celebration which was attended by sixty-five friends and relatives, one coming from as far away as California to witness the event, were a labor of love. The setting at the hilly, rural cemetery on beautiful fall day in October was enhanced by the mournful melody of the bagpipes playing “Shenandoah” and “Amazing Grace”. All were grateful an 1845 gravesite was marked as well as his involvement in the War of 1812 was acknowledged.
This president also personally participated in the dedication of Thomas H. Flippin’s marker at Flippin, Arkansas, and two 1812 gravesites in Marianna, Arkansas.
Simon Bradford Chapter member Kay Tatum participated in the Veterans History Project and interviews were sent to the Library of Congress. Sheila Beatty, Arkansas’s Veterans Chair, was appointed a Representative to Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. Six funerals were attended where members stood in flag lines including Veterans with no family of record and a missing in action soldier.
Activities for Gold Star Mothers and Blue Star Mothers were attended. Flags and Valentines and hugs and kisses were given freely by Arkansas Society 1812 members! This state president shall never forget having attended the Spirit of 45 event where 140 WWII veterans were thanked and given flags and kisses! Another memorable occasion was the witnessing the awarding of the Silver Medal to a friend who is a Viet Nam War veteran. Arkansas’ Baseline-Meridian Chapter members participated in “Wreaths Across America”, placing 140 wreaths on veteran’s graves.
This president attended the JROTC awards banquet for two cadets personally awarding two JROTC medals. Nine more RJOTC medals were given at local high schools throughout the state as well as four ROTC at Arkansas colleges. 117 members reported flying the American flag on all holidays and thousands of small American flags were given to adults and children at schools and veterans events.
The “200th Commemoration of the Louisiana Purchase Land Survey” was successful for the Arkansas Society as event attendees became aware of the connection of the “purchase”, the “survey” and the land grants to the War of 1812 through the information provided by this state president as well as the state marker chair, Sheila Beatty. See the February 2016 News-Letter for important details from this event.
The Old State House Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas houses a wealth of art and antiques which are on loan and gifts of several genealogical societies of Arkansas. The Arkansas Society U.S.D. 1812 has many artifacts housed in this museum. Transactions starting in the early 1940’s give a history of many items of furniture and memorabilia dating back to the early 1800’s members and chapters of the Arkansas Society 1812 loaned to the Old State House Museum. This president, being a licensed appraiser, has taken on the task of photographing and cataloguing the items with an 1812 connection. A notebook is being prepared to pass on to the next president as a record of a part of the history and belongings of our State Society.
This state president has experienced a most successful, fulfilling year traveling over 1,500 miles across the state to attend 1812 events, representing U.S.D.1812 at other society meetings and DAR, UDC and CDXVIIC conventions. The Arkansas State Society is looking forward to 2016 with excited anticipation of another good year. Plans are already being made for the February 2016 Council meeting where attendees are being invited to wear Edwardian costumes to enhance the celebration of the Super-Centennial of the Arkansas Society United States Daughters of 1812.
Sharon Stanley Wyatt
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