State of the Chapter – 4 December 2021

Ron Hillabrand
Posted in: News

Blue Ridge Chapter

First North Carolina Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. Chartered on 21 April 1928 in Asheville, North Carolina and became the Blue Ridge Chapter.

First of all, we want to compliment and thank the 74 members of this chapter for hanging there with us and helping us to complete a very busy year. Secondly, we want to thank our Executive Committee for their attendance, input and support in making this a most successful year. The direction and support from the North Carolina SAR was incredible. Especially from our Regional Vice President John Boyd and our State President Jay DeLoach. They are always spot on.

We were given three (3) goals to accomplish in 2021. The first objective was to prepare for the 250th Anniversary (Sestercentenial) of our country’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britian. We lent our support and enthusiasm to the securing of the 2026 National Congress for North Carolina. It’s coming to a city North Carolina city near you. Another component of the first      goal was to present programs for the public. We conducted 5 wreath laying events, 4 civic events, Flags of the Color Guard was presented 4 times to surrounding communities. We increased our      Blue Ridge Color Guard ranks by 25% and are looking to add a drummer and add two more Color Guard members. Our Chapter has taken advantage of the $100. uniform reimbursement, more      than any other chapter in the state (3times). NCSSAR challenged the chapters to perform a minimum of one grave marking each year. In 2021, we did two (2) patriots Joseph Chapman and James Alexander. Ron Chapman has set his sights on two more for 2022. As a part of promoting the 250th Anniversary Medals to our patriots and to the public at large, we have three (3) members who    have received the gold level medals. In 2022 we will reach out to the civilian community as well as our own membership to grow that number.

The second goal was to increase the membership in the North Carolina Society to 2,200 members by 2025. Blue Ridge Chapter started 2021 with 64 members and we started 2022 with 71 Blue Ridge NCSSAR members plus 3 dual chapter members giving us a total of 74 members. That is about a 20% increase in membership. In addition, we have met the challenge to retain 95% of our membership which we have exceeded. A big thanks to our chapter Registrar Mike Burkhart and to our chapter Genealogist James Brush. A “Mentoring program has been implemented and our Color Guard has become a major face of the SAR in Western North Carolina with many thanks to our Commander Larry Chapman and the Color Guard troops.

Our third goal was to enhance our partnership with Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 2021, we have teamed up with DAR Chapters Abraham Kuykendahl, Samuel McDowell, Ruth Davidson and Rebecca Sevier Wadell for many events. In 2022, we are planning on additional events with the DAR and have teamed up with the DAR to recruit new members for both organizations. A joint genealogy training/research program with the DAR has been scheduled for later this year.

Add our presence to commemorative events at Cowan’s Ford, Ramsour’s Mill, flag retirement ceremonies in various counties and it is easy to see that the Blue Ridge Chapter is an active, energetic, busy chapter that is always looking for new members to help us reach our challenging goals for the recognition of the sacrifices our Patriots made for us.