Abby Spotswood has received the 2017 DAR Good Citizen Award from the Roanoke Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (RVDAR). She was recognized at the meeting on March 10 and read her winning essay to the members.
The DAR Good Citizen is nominated by senior classmates. The award recognizes individuals who possess outstanding qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism in their homes, schools, and communities.
Once students are chosen as the DAR Good Citizen they are invited to participate in the scholarship portion of the program and write a timed essay.
Chapter Regent Sharon Menzies and DAR Good Citizen Chair Shannon Campbell presented the award to Spotswood, who was accompanied by her parents, Laurie and Shannon Spotswood.
Campbell introduced Spotswood and described her many accomplishments at William Byrd High School and in the community.
Spotswood was named Top Terrier in the fall of her senior year— the highest single honor bestowed on a student at William Byrd. Five students were nominated by the senior class submitted a resume that was shared with the staff, who then selected the Top Terrier by a vote. Principal Tammy Newcomb has said that the Top Terrier represents the qualities of a Terrier— a champion. The Terrier serves as a model of integrity, loyalty, and courage of character for everyone.
Spotswood is a candidate for vvaledictorian and served as a junior marshal for last year’s graduating class. She is a member of the Beta Club, a Board of Education Seal candidate, Early College Scholar candidate, and a Governor’s Seal candidate.
She was captain of the varsity sideline cheerleading squad during her junior and senior years and was team captain of the JV softball team.
She is an officer in the SCA. She is also a member of the Elephant Club, serving as treasurer her junior and senior years. She is the Math Pound and Latin Club president, and a member of the Reindeer and History Clubs, and the Byrd Buddies organization.
Spotswood has participated in activities to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Relay for Life. She participated in the RELATE program and Freshmen Mentor programs at William Byrd. She has also volunteered with Feeding America and the Ronald McDonald House.
She is a contributor for Future Female Leaders, a Salem Red Sox employee, and a Chick-Fil-A employee.
Spotswood plans to attend Virginia Tech in the fall, studying biochemistry to enter the field of scientific research.
The topic of her essay was “Our American Heritage and Our Responsibility for Preserving It: How America has advanced the cause of freedom in the rest of the world.” In her writing, she described America’s influence in World War II and the country’s impact during the Cold War.
“I think we have been so successful because of how well our country endures and thrives,” said Spotswood. “Other countries recognize that our people have equal opportunity to succeed through our freedoms, which inspires people to take a stand and fight for their rights. Hopefully, America can keep on persuading even more countries to grant their people the liberty they deserve.”
The DAR Good Citizen Award was created in 1934 and is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship.
The RVDAR held its annual open house for prospective members at the meeting on March 10. The DAR, founded in 1890, is a non-profit, non-political, volunteer women’s service organization with 3000 chapters in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and internationally. Members of the DAR document their direct lineage to a patriot in the American Revolution.
The Roanoke Valley Chapter meets at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church on Hardy Road in Vinton on Saturday mornings generally from September through May. The group was chartered in 1961 and celebrated its 56th anniversary last November. Officers include Regent Sharon Menzies, Vice Regent Lisa Gascoyne, Secretary Cindy Higgins, Treasurer Linda Upchurch, Registrar Eleanor Dye, Chaplain Ellen Hannah, and Historian/Librarian Terry Eades.
The RVDAR is involved in numerous community service projects on the local, state, and national level. The local chapter makes hand-tied blankets for veterans at the Virginia Veterans Care Center and pocket flags and care packages for deploying troops. In addition to the Good Citizen Award, they present an award to an Air Force JROTC cadet at WBHS each spring. They support and participate in veterans’ parades and events.
A recent project funded by RVDAR member June Ryan is the donation of Girl Scout cookies to a Reserve Unit deploying from Joint Base Andrews, including pilots, boom operators, and maintenance personnel. Miniature pocket flags to be placed in the inside pockets of their uniforms were sent as well. Flags are packaged with a card that says, “A flag for your pocket so you can always carry a little piece of home. We are praying for you and we are proud of you. Thank you for defending our country and our freedom.”
Upchurch announced that the RVDAR in 2019 will be making a one-time donation of $500 for a Winifred Marshall Breeden Memorial Scholarship through Health Focus of Southwest Virginia at Lewis Gale, to be given to an applicant pursuing a career in a hospital/medical field.
The scholarship is to be presented in memory of Winifred “Winkie” Breeden, who passed away in 2017 at age 100. She was a charter member of the local RVDAR chapter. She enjoyed a 45-year career with Lewis-Gale Hospital. The scholarship is funded by memorials received by the RVDAR on her passing.
State and national DAR projects involve contributing to, restoring and maintaining historic sites, locating and marking Revolutionary War Patriot gravesites, placing monuments around the world to memorialize people and events throughout American history, and preserving genealogical records, documents, and artifacts at the DAR headquarters. They support six specific schools and colleges and provide scholarships to American Indian children.
Contact Eleanor Dye at 890-1627 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries about documenting genealogy for membership.