PASO ROBLES – For the last 70 plus years, the El Paso de Robles NSDAR Chapter members have made a difference in the community while preserving patriotic history.
The El Paso de Robles Chapter was officially organized on Feb. 15, 1950, with Marie Appleton appointed as their first organizing regent. Now, Lisa Wood is the chapter’s current regent, continuing their volunteering tradition within the community.
Despite some 2020 challenges, the NSDAR members were still able to contribute. Chapter members learned how to collaborate from home using Zoom, a new method they plan to keep using.
Since the chapter was limited on the fundraising events they could do this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, they focused many of their efforts on raising funds for National Wreaths Across America Day.
“We raised close to $4,000 to buy wreaths to lay on the Templeton Cemetery. They have 350 veteran gravesites there. This year we raised enough money to lay wreaths on every one of those gravesites,” said Wood.
Leftover wreaths were laid on veterans’ graves found at the Shandon Cemetery.
Chapter members didn’t expect the outpouring of support they ended up receiving for the wreaths.
Mr. Lawrence Mora, Commander of the American Legion #220 and organizer of the Templeton Cemetary, and his wife donated $500 for the wreaths.
Wood shared, “We outdid ourselves this year. Which was very unexpected, being it was COVID-19 year, we weren’t sure how much money, if any money, anyone had to donate.”
On a national level, NSDAR members have been sewing masks to donate to those in need during the pandemic. Nationally, NSDAR members have sewn and donated over 100,000 masks.
For the National DAR Day of Service, local NSDAR members put together a local food drive in Templeton for Thanksgiving dinner. Chapter members, along with the help from three Templeton 4-H groups, Templeton Cub Scouts No. 434 and Templeton Boy Scouts No. 434, collected non-perishable food items and monetary donations for turkeys.
All the donations collected were donated to the Salvation Army and helped provide Thanksgiving dinners to 30 households in Templeton.
“We have some outstanding women who are go-getters. We range from all ages, and I’m going, to be honest, some of these older ladies, which I am one of them, can do pretty much anything the other ones can. We are pretty strong and active,” says Wood.
The El Paso de Robles Chapter, NSDAR also advocates for women’s health issues, including domestic violence and breast cancer. Their newsletters bring light and awareness to various topics affecting women.
With 53 members in the El Paso de Robles Chapter alone, Wood is very proud of the women she works with, saying, “We’re getting bigger and stronger every day with the help of all our members.”
To honor local firefighters and police officers in Paso Robles, chapter members have planned a “pizza party” to be delivered to the station in the next month.
Their pizza party was initially planned for Dec 2020 but was delayed due to COVID restrictions.
The chapter hopes to have pizza and cookies delivered to the Paso Robles Police and Fire department soon to thank them for protecting our city.
“We like to preserve the memory of our veterans who fought in the American Revolution right up to what’s going on today,” Wood said.
If you would like more information on how to get involved or donate, visit elpasoderobles.californiadar.org.
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization with more than one million members who have joined the organization since its founding in 1890. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. DAR members passionately carry out the timeless mission of promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. For more information, visit elpasoderobles.californiadar.org.