The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Local DAR sponsors essay contest


The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is working to recruit more members and to promote kids' interest in the nation's beginnings.

The DAR wants young people to realize where their freedom to participate in activities and to attend school originated.

"We want to encourage kids to understand what our American way of life is all about," said Carol Mason of the Fort Sidney DAR.

The local DAR is working on a project to encourage 5th and 6th graders at West Elementary to participate in an American History essay contest. In the essay, the kids must imagine they are alive during the time of the Revolutionary War and describe the changes that might have taken place in their lives as the war unfolded. This work will be judged by the National DAR.

"It's a connection to the history of our country and to value that history and how and why we got to where we are today," Mason said. "And to maintain a connection to our ancestors who wrote the constitution and to maintain our way of life."

The purpose of this essay contest is to promote freedom, she said.

"Compared to most other countries, we are very fortunate," Mason added.

Jacqueline Ohlmann of Lexington, a state regent of the Nebraska State DAR visited Sidney last week to remind local members not to forget their ancestors who fought in the revolution.

Olhmann informed the group that a larger than normal number of Americans were applying for membership in the DAR, indicating that citizens of this country are becoming more interested in learning about their family history and connections to the Revolutionary War.

Local prospective members were invited to the meeting and were encouraged to continue research to find their ancestor who participated in the war for American independence.

"The purpose was to encourage local chapter members to continue to promote this freedom obtained due to the Revolutionary War," Mason said.

There are 20 members in the Sidney chapter of the DAR. Six prospective members attended the presentation last week.

"There are a lot of ways to become a member if you can trace your lineage back to the Revolutionary War," Mason said.

The DAR was founded in 1890 and is headquarter in Washington D.C. It is a non-profit, non-political women's volunteer organization that promotes the preservation of patriotism and American history. It also works to secure America's future through better education for school children.

The local DAR plans to decorate the military room at the Fort Sidney Museum for the holiday season and will encourage local high school students to write essays in a Christopher Columbus essay contest held by the national DAR. The Sidney area has had six state winners in this contest in the past.

The Fort Sidney chapter was founded in 1982 and was named to honor the frontier fort of the same name. The Nebraska DAR has 27 chapters with 1,000 members while nationally there are 3,000 chapters with 170,000 members.


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