GLADWIN COUNTY – The John Alden Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) honored ten Good Citizen school winners from Midland and Gladwin counties and two American History Essay Contest winners at a recent Recognition Tea at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Guest speaker Elizabeth Lumbert, Director of Dow Gardens, spoke on “Creating Community” and the “Power of Community”. Her main points were to know yourself, align your core values with purpose, stay engaged, challenge ideas and viewpoints, find and offer other solutions.
DAR Good Citizen must exhibit qualities of dependability, service, patriotism, and leadership. Each student was selected by their school for meeting these qualifications. There is an optional essay component. The Good Citizen from each local high school was recognized and awarded a DAR Good Citizen pin, certificate and wallet card.
Nathan Bright from Calvary Baptist Academy was chosen as the John Alden Chapter winner. Nathan is the son of Sarah L. Bright. His school sponsor is Mary Hillebrand.
The other DAR Good Citizens this year are Cora Mae Fassett of Beaverton, the daughter of Stacie Fassett; Ethan Korson of Bullock Creek, son of Spencer and Jennifer Korson; Brooke Marlena Ward of Coleman, daughter of Denyell Herkel and Mike Ward; Noah Essex of Freeland, son of Heather and Todd Essex; Lillian Renee Brumm of Gladwin, daughter of Sandi Kulik and John Kulik; Hailey Linda Tanis of H. H. Dow, daughter of Scott and Becky Tanis; Brody Ankoviak of Meridian, son of Katy Ankoviak and Dan Ankoviak; Madeline J. Dollard of Midland High School, daughter of Benjamin Dollard and Kathy Dollard; and Mani Micheal Mesh of Windover, son of Tonya Ross and Bradley Mesh.
The DAR Good Citizens essay was on the topic, “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It,” with the focus question, “You and your peers are our nation’s leaders of tomorrow. How would you energize America’s youth to fully engage as effective citizens? Why is that important?” Nathan Bright began his essay by asking what motivates complete commitment. From history, he says that securing commitments among warlords, revolutionaries, governments, and other leaders varied greatly – some tried force, incentives, intimidation or guilt, with results that did not necessarily last. He states, complete commitment requires something deeper, and internal – “complete commitment requires Belief”. “I must inspire belief in American Freedom – a belief that freedom is not only worth fighting for, but also worth dying for...but also worth living for… precious enough to energize effective citizenship. I must energize America’s youth to fully engage as effective citizens by inspiring belief in a common vision of freedom.”
The John Alden Chapter awarded Nathan Bright with an American flag that had been flown over the Capitol Building in Lansing, and a monetary award from the chapter. He also received a special Tribute from the State of Michigan, signed by Governor Whitmer, Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist, Senator Stamas and Representative Glenn. As the John Alden Chapter DAR winner, Bright will advance to the Michigan DAR state competition.
For the first time, the John Alden Chapter invited area schools to participate in DAR American History Contests. The American History Essay Contest is for students in grades 5-8. The winner was Lily Knizacky, a 5th grader at Pine River Elementary School. Her essay was on “The Voyage of the Mayflower”. She was presented a certificate and a medal.
The Christopher Columbus contest is for students in grades 9-12. The essay was: “A Sailor’s Experience as Part of Christopher Columbus’ First Expedition to the Americas”. The winner was Elaiyna Hope Schwartzkopf, an 11th grader at Calvary Baptist Academy. She was presented a certificate and a book on Christopher Columbus. Both students will advance to the Michigan DAR state competition.
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. DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org.