DAR celebrates Constitution Week

Photo Courtesy Bonnie Briscoe: Local DAR Gila Valley Chapter prepares for in-person Constitution Week program. Pictures are, back, from left, Bonnie Briscoe, Paula Price, Stephanie Newton, Talana Hooper, “John Hancock” (John Ratje), Vicki Foote, Susan Syfert, Jean Reynolds, and Kerry Kelley; front, from left, “Mr. Constitution” (Gary Burnett), Ruby Cochran, Helen Masten, Mollie Carlin, and Wilma Gibson-Jones.

By Bonnie Briscoe/DAR

For the eighth year in a row, The Friends of the Safford Library and the Gila Valley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will co-host the annual Constitution Week program. Last year, due to the pandemic, the program was virtual. This year, in welcoming everyone back, it will be an in-person program entitled “Honoring Our Constitution and Revolutionary Patriots”.  

This lively event of historical interest will take place on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Safford City-Graham County Library Program Room. All are invited to attend; admission is free. Even though restrictions, compared to last year, have been lifted on masks and social distancing at this time, the library will accommodate anyone who wishes to follow the earlier guidelines. 

Safely packaged, freshly-baked refreshments, using authentic recipes from the revolutionary era, will be provided by The Rustic Barn Bakery. Enjoy Mary Ball Washington’s gingerbread, applesauce cake from the historic 1874 Michie Tavern, and pound cake by Virginia’s well-known baker in the early 1800s, Mrs. Mary Randolph.  

John Hancock, portrayed by John Ratje, will step forward in time from the days of the American Revolution to give an overview of how the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution came about. For those in the audience, there will be an opportunity to learn more about the values on which the Constitution was based through a free online Constitution course.

Gary Burnett, affectionately known by the DAR as “Mr. Constitution”, will hand out Constitution booklets, free of charge, to those who make a commitment to read the Articles and Amendments in this document that govern the United States of America.

Have you ever known anyone in your life who was directly related to an American Revolutionary patriot and heard in what ways he or she supported the cause for our nation’s independence?  Here is your chance to meet Vicki Foote, a member of the DAR Gila Valley Chapter. She will honor, not only one but two patriots, a father, and son, in her German family line, with personal stories of challenges and sacrifices they faced immigrating to the American colonies, fighting for independence during the American Revolution, and helping to build a strong foundation for our young country.

Photo Courtesy Bonnie Briscoe: Bonnie Briscoe waves to the crowd while dressed in historical clothing during the 2019 July 4 Parade.

This program will also include the current generation of young Americans by paying special recognition to local high school winners of the DAR Patriotic Essay Contest. These students will share their patriotic values as their Constitution-based essays are read.

Added to the event this year, will be drawings from a trifold hat that will provide door prizes from our “Founding Fathers” for the younger children in the audience. Families are encouraged to attend.

For further information: contact the library (928) 348-3202, Bonnie Briscoe (928) 428-5904, or any other member of the local DAR Gila Valley Chapter.

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