DAR members reflect on a busy, but sad year
Ladies of the Lake Daughters of the American Revolution members had another year of accomplishments but mourned the deaths of five valued and longtime members: Anita “Billy” Rosendahl, Arlene Reed, Evelyn Schwenneker, Bonnie Wonder and Bonnie Amdahl. Both “Billy” and Bonnie Amdahl had served the chapter as regents.
Regent Mary Thunhorst began her second year of DAR leadership by attending the Iowa Society DAR 118th State Conference in April. The Ladies of the Lake Chapter was recognized at that time for their outstanding historical preservation work in addition to receiving a Chapter Achievement Award.
Another award came in the form of the participation certificate given to the Okoboji Middle School students for their help in the DAR’s setting a mark recognized by Guiness World Records for cards sent to servicemen. Regent Thunhorst had directed this project prior to her retirement from the social studies classroom at the middle school.
In May, Ladies of the Lake Vice Regent Colleen Lemkuil continued the chapter’s support for the Baker School Renovation Project by monitoring the DAR grant progress on the building and by conducting a garage sale for additional funds. That month the chapter honored Kiah Ritzer of the Okoboji Middle School with the DAR History Award.
The chapter offered a successful family history workshop in June conducted by Carolyn DeLay, State Lineage Research Chairman. ISDAR Vice Regent Marsha Hucke lent additional support by attending the workshop. LOL Registrar Diane Lavender also helped those in attendance as they researched their family history to determine DAR eligibility.
Also in June members learned a great deal of local history when Joe Ulman of the Spirit Lake Protective Association spoke to the group at their meeting held at the Minnewaukon State Park.
The Ladies of the Lake members expanded their knowledge of country schools in July when Wesley Peters, the high school student who wrote the history of O’Brien County One-room Schools, spoke to the group. Again the chapter’s Baker School Project was a focus of this program since it was originally in the O’Brien countryside before being moved to Sheldon’s Prairie Arts Historical Park. Also in July the chapter installed new members Diana Sanders and her mother Delma Hanby.
Local history and the area’s resources were the topics for the August meeting held at the Dickinson County Nature Center and the nearby Westport School. At this meeting Wanda Merrill told of her patriot’s involvement in the Revolution continuing the program feature initiated by Mary Thunhorst. At each meeting a different member tells of her patriot with pride in his part in achieving our nation’s independence.
September is the time when DAR members nationwide recognize Constitution Week. This year the local chapter was honored to have a nationally recognized expert Dr. Andrea Frantz of Buena Vista University speak on the First Amendment specifically. Her presentation entitled “Understanding the First Amendment: It Matters Now More Than Ever” was relevant and well-received. A newspaper article and the distribution of Constitution Week posters provided additional local recognition of this monumental event.
October found members attending two very worthwhile programs. First they learned more about the local 911 program at a meeting held at the Okoboji Lutheran Camp in Wahpeton. Michael Ehret with Dickinson County Emergency Management was the speaker. Later in the month Jo Winkowitsch of the Unitarian Church Grief Share Program met with the group at the Lakes Regional Hospital. Having experienced many personal family deaths as well as the loss of five chapter members, Ladies of the Lake members found this an appropriate closure program for the year.