State for First Time in 75 Years
The National Color Guard and Congress pages gather in front of the First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem following Sunday’s Memorial Service.
The 121st Congress attracted 474 Compatriots and guests to Winston-Salem, N.C. and its connected Marriott and Embassy Suites hotels. From July 9 through July 13, a full slate of activities kept attendees occupied. While most of the meeting was held in the Marriott, the larger banquets and luncheons were held in the Embassy Suites.
In addition to the business of the society, social events included side trips to Old Salem and Bethabara, communities settled by the Moravians in the 18th and 19th centuries and BB&T Ballpark for an evening of minor-league baseball action. The Congress was kicked off with a welcome reception by the North Carolina Society, which was hosting a congress for the first time in 70 years. Under the direction of Larry Guzy, the national chairman of the Congress Planning Committee, and Stephen Pittard, the state chairman, all events went according to plan like a well-tuned machine.
New officers elected
The initial election of officers was conducted on Tuesday with three contested races. Guzy and Treasurer General Stephen A. Leishman (DESSAR) vied for the position of Secretary General, with Leishman prevailing and Larry Cornwell (ALSSAR) defeated Paul Hayes of the D.C. Society in the race for Genealogist General. In the race for Treasurer General, former-Genealogist General Joseph W. Dooley went against former Executive Director Joe Harris (NCSSAR) and Timothy Bennett (DCSSAR). With none of the candidates getting a majority on Tuesday, Dooley and Harris faced each other in a Wednesday morning runoff election with Dooley garnering the most votes.
The other officers elected, by acclamation, were: President General Larry J. Magerkurth (CASSAR); Chancellor General Thomas E. Lawrence (TXSSAR); Registrar General Lindsey C. Brock (FLSSAR); Historian General Charles R. Lampman (CASSAR); Surgeon General Dr. Abraham Ruddell Byrd III (AZSSAR); Chaplain General Rev. Dr. James C. Taylor (TXSSAR); and Librarian General Michael C. Wells (ALSSAR).
Elected to the SAR Foundation Board was outgoing President General J. David Sympson and Dr. Samuel C. Powell (NCCSAR).
Later, PG Magerkurth announced his appointments to the Executive Committee as spelled out in the NSSAR bylaws: Past President General David N. Appleby (MOSSAR); Col. Robert F. Towns (GASSAR); John L. Dodd (CASSAR); Paul M. Wilke (OHSSAR) and Powell.
Business sessions conducted
Following the posting of colors, an invocation was given by Chaplain General Rev. A. Clark Wiser, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem and the presentation of gifts, which included a $20,000 gift from Mrs. Eleanor Niebell.
Nine past Presidents General attended and gave greetings. They were Carl K. Hoffman, Howard F. Horne Jr., Larry D. McClanahan, Henry N. McCarl, Roland G. Downing, Nathan E. White, Bruce A. Wilcox, David N. Appleby and Edward F. Butler Sr.
In new business, an amendment, known as “The Florida Amendment” was passed, bringing the NSSAR
Above, Virginia President Bob Bowen presents a tribute to MIAs and POWs from all American wars; above right, President General J. David Sympson and First Lady Evelyn Sympson enter Tuesday night’s banquet in Colonial attire.
Above, the George Washington Ring is passed from President General J. David Sympson to President General Larry J. Magerkurth during the Wednesday night banquet; below, Chancellor General Thomas E. Lawrence swears in PG Magerkurth with assistance from the new First Lady, Barbara; left, Sympson honors P. Anthony Zeiss following his Tuesday night performance.
bylaws into compliance with the national charter. Now, all trustees, including Past Presidents General and members of the Executive Committee must be elected annually.
Another amendment, which would have expanded the duties of the Historian General was discussed and tabled.
Tuesday night’s banquet in the Embassy Suite’s Grand Pavilion Courtyard featured a pre-dinner presentation by compatriot Bob Bowen, which saluted American prisoners of war and those missing in action through the years. Following dinner, P. Anthony Zeiss, the president of Central Piedmont Community College, did a
Contestants and officials in the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest are, from left, first row: Garren Tyler Bragg (Indiana), Emily Hennessey Price (Maryland), Braden Grace Causey (Florida), Kelcie Nicole Marquardt (Kansas), Sophia Smithe (Texas), Alan Booth (Virginia), Luke H. Macfarlan (Arkansas); back row, National Committee Chairman Jonathan E. Goebel (ESSAR), Jacob Sackett-Saunders (Delaware), Samuel T. Bishop (Georgia), Ryan J. Huang (Ohio), Hamilton S. Winters (Louisiana), President General J. David Sympson, Zachary LaMachio (Mississippi), Gabriel Moore (Kentucky), Phillip P. Cozzi (Illinois), Jackson Causey Bloom (North Carolina), Benjamin S. Simon (Alabama), and Lawrence E. McKinley, vice chairman and senior advisor to the Rumbaugh Oration Committee.
Youth Programs Highlight Congress Once Again
North Carolina’s Jackson Causey Bloom edged out two-time competitor Kelcie Nicole Marquordt of Kansas in the finals of the Joseph S. Rumbaugh Oration Contest. From a field of 16, Bloom pocketed a check for $3,000 and was a guest and speaker during Monday’s Youth Awards Luncheon.
Other awards presented during the luncheon included:
- Cadet Lt. Col. Sierra McVeigh of Eustis High School in Eustis, Fla., won the Outstanding JROTC Cadet Award and a check for $1,000.
- Amanda Schanz of Virginia won the Knight Essay Contest and a check for $2,000.
- Robert B. Rasmussen of Hutchinson, Minn., won the Eagle Scout Scholarship, which is worth $8,000. The second-place winner, Garrett F. Weeks of Ogden, Utah, won $4,000 and Harrison P. Hatcher of Riverview, Fla., won $2,000, for third place.
A donation to the Children of the American Revolution was also presented during the luncheon. National President Mary Lib Schmidt represented the C.A.R., which is raising funds to build “comfort homes” through the Fisher House Foundation. These homes are made available to families of servicemen and servicewomen being treated at military and Veterans Affairs medical centers.