This month the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution surpassed 1 million total members who have joined the organization since its founding in 1890. The DAR is a women’s service organization whose members can trace their lineage to an individual who contributed to securing American independence during the Revolutionary War.

The local Casa Grande Valley Chapter has a current membership of 70, and 121 women have been verified as members since 1981. The chapter became the 13th chapter in Arizona with 13 organizing members. The chapter is excited to join the National Society in celebrating this milestone by spotlighting members of the chapter through the years.

Throughout Casa Grande Valley’s nearly 40-year history, the membership has included many remarkable women from the local communities of Casa Grande, Coolidge, Arizona City, Florence, Maricopa, San Tan Valley, Valley Farms and Eloy. Nancy Diveley Wofford, an organizing chapter member, has recently been recognized as a NSDAR Woman in American History awardee. She and her mother, Vesta Diveley, and sister, Letatia Passmore, Michel Smith and Ruth Norris were among the organizing members who met initially in 1980. Nighly Gillespie and Nayla Ramirez, Nancy Wofford’s daughters, are also chapter members, joining in 1996.

Another member, Ann Dessert, was recently honored with the prestigious NSDAR Community Service Award. Lela Herman, daughter of Ruth Norris, has been an active member since 1982, and Vinnolia McBride joined in 1974. Other members who were admitted in the Nineties include Nancy Holcombe, Georgia Koehler, Karen Nesbitt and Maureen Ryon. Past chapter regents include Marion Lerzo, Nancy Wofford, Lela Herman, Jacquie Sands, Jeanette Andriano, Mary Lee Matthias, Joyce Wold, Gail Piggott and Merrilyn Ridgeway. Twenty-six chapter members are deceased.

They are just some of the 1 million women who have joined DAR since 1890. Each member has a unique story, but all share a passion for historic preservation, education and patriotism and a dedication to her local community by continuing to support the DAR mission today.

The Casa Grande Valley Chapter focuses much of its efforts on education through Constitution Week initiatives, Arbor Day activities, supports our veterans through participation in Veterans Day parades, the Wall That Heals and the Pinal County Veteran Stand Down, and recognizes youths in Pinal County with awards for their scholarship, their patriotism and their character.

Chapter meetings are held on the first Saturday of each month except during the summer. Contact Regent Jan Klein, 520-836-1154, or janklein325@gmail.com. The chapter website at http://www.casagrandevalleydar.org/ has more information.

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