Patriotism, education, and historic preservation. These are the traditions that guide the Daughters of the American Revolution, a volunteer service organization that was founded over 100 years ago and has seen a recent rebirth in Turlock.
As is indicated in its name, membership in the club is based on being able to prove lineal decent from a patriot of the American Revolution.
Arleen Richards was a charter member of the Turlock chapter, reestablished in 2006, and is the current chapter president.
"I'm really interested in genealogy. When I discovered I had an American Revolution patriot in my family, I realized I could join the DAR," Richards said.
Even though the Turlock chapter has only been active for seven years, it is very involved in the community. The club presents good citizenship awards and scholarships to local high school seniors, and members of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps and Sea Cadets. Good citizenship is also the focus of the medals presented to local 8th grade students at the end of the school year.
The Turlock DAR is active in a number of projects to benefit American veterans and active military, including Wreaths Across America, which places wreaths at military cemeteries to honor those who died serving their country; Project Patriot, which provides soldiers at the military hospital in Germany with phone cards so they can call home; Quilts of Honor, making quilts to present to wounded warriors; sending care packages to service men and women overseas; and visiting those currently at the Veterans Administration hospital in Fresno.
According to Richards, the Turlock DAR is aiming to contribute to the national organization's goal of 1 million hours of community service in one year.
On Saturday, the club presented its first ever Community Service Award to Thea Harris, member of the Turlock Historical Society and co-author of the book "Turlock, California — A Pictorial History."
"We want to honor those people who are providing service to the community," said Richards.
The Turlock chapter of the DAR meets from 10 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of the month, October through June. The next meeting will be held Nov. 2 at Cloth & Quilts, 625 E. Main St., Turlock. Guest speaker for the November meeting will be Pastor Charles Roots, Chaplain at U.S. Navy (Ret).
Guests are invited to attend DAR meetings. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.