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October 20, 2012 - The National Society Of The Colonial Dames of America Biennial Council Meetings

What: Biennial Council Dinner

Where: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Pentagon City

When: 10/20/2012

Time: 6:30 pm

Honoree(s): Roll of Honor and Former National Officers

Gala Chairperson(s): Vaughan Morrissette

Founders: Founded in 1891

President(s): Stuart Cobb, former President, Hilary Gripekoven, current President, Marcy Moody, incoming President

Invocation: Dr. Steven M. Bucci

Quote of the evening: Hilary Gripekoven, current President: Tonight we honor 43 of our most distinguished members. Recipients of the Roll of Honor must be nominated by their Corporate Societies. It is awarded to Dames who have been seriously committed over a long period of time, usually holding multiple positions of responsibility at the local and state level. It can be especially significant as a way of recognizing the members who work daily for the organization frequently behind the scenes.

Attendance: 380

Attire: Black-tie

Blacktie Photos by: Scott Maucione

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America celebrated their Annual Awards Ceremony on October 20, 2012. The event honored exceptional members with the Roll of Honor Award and celebrated the new incoming officers on the state and national level.

Women from Oregon to Florida convened at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City to honor their fellow Dames over dinner and speeches. Sally Hopper of Colorado, former President of NSCDA, and one of the 43 Honorees of the evening, said, "It is always inspiring to meet with Dames from around the country who have the same goals and dedication to Colonial history, and to learn of state societies’ historic projects. We were inspired to stimulate a spirit of true patriotism and a genuine love of country, and to preserve and restore buildings connected with the early history of our country. This we continue to do by educating ourselves and others, particularly young people."

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, founded in 1891, is an association of 45 Corporate Societies with over 15,000 members. The Society headquarters is located at Dumbarton House (pictured below), a federal period house museum in Washington, D.C. The NSCDA has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortlandt House in 1897.

In November 2000, the NSCDA received the prestigious Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of historic sites from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Today 41 diverse properties are owned outright by the Corporate Societies of the NSCDA, 13 additional museum collections are owned by the Dames and 30 more properties receive substantial volunteer and financial support from Dames.

During the Spanish-American War the Dames inaugurated the tradition of outfitting hospital ships in times of war. After the Navy acquired Solace from the Cromwell Steamship Lines in 1898, The NSCDA contributed more than $18,000 to help convert her to military use. The ship carried wounded and ill servicemen from the Caribbean theater back to the United States until after the war ended.

After the war the Dames raised money to erect a monument (pictured at right) in Arlington National Cemetery as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors who gave their lives for their country. This monument stands as the first ever built and dedicated in Arlington by a society of women. It was unveiled on the afternoon of May 21, 1902, on the eve of Cuban independence. President Theodore Roosevelt made the address.

The memorial is a 44-foot tall Corinthian column of granite supporting a globe and eagle with wings outstretched. The globe is banded with thirteen stars, for the thirteen Colonies, while around the base of the monument is a bank of 48 stars - one for each state in the Union at that time.

On Sunday during The NSCDA Biennial Council meetings in Washington D.C., a memorial service is held at this monument. The National Patriotic Service Committee and the National Historical Activities Committee are responsible for this service during alternate Biennials.

The Dames run museums in a majority of the states and offer scholarships to history and political science majors as well as accomplished Native American nursing students. The Congressional Workshop Scholarship is awarded to several deserving high school students annually.

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