Treasure Coast Founding Members
Seated from left: Vera Dixon McEwen, Madalen Dingley Leetch
Standing from left: Elizabeth Kersey Throckmorton, Esther Bryant Bailey, Mildred Farry Hallock, Sue Bull Barkett, Mary McGonigle Hawley, Elizabeth L. Dingley Walker, Augusta Holmes Vinson
On June 2, 1967, a group of four women gathered for a tea, held in anticipation of forming a Vero Beach chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. Five months later, on October 18, 1967, their dream was realized. A luncheon meeting held at the historic Ocean Grill provided the backdrop as 35 charter members joined together with a common purpose: to promote education, history, and patriotism.
Organizing Regent Madalen Leetch, who also served our national organization as Chairman of the Resolutions Committee, provided capable leadership for the fledgling chapter. By 1976, the year of our nation’s bicentennial celebration, the chapter had grown to a membership of 80 and was actively involved with projects ranging from Constitution Week to Junior American Citizens Committee and American History Month essay contests as well as the DAR Good Citizens Award. In addition, chapter members researched two historic sites and subsequently dedicated historic markers, one at McLarty Museum to commemorate the campsite of the survivors of the 1715 wreck of the Spanish Fleet, the other to memorialize Fort Vinton, a supply post during the Seminole Wars.
In 1981 the chapter held its first annual luncheon/fashion show/bridge party and the event has been sponsored every year since. The annual fund raiser has generated thousands of dollars which have benefited both DAR-supported schools and local high school scholarship programs. The prestigious Golden Apple Award, given for “dedication to leadership in teaching American citizenship values,” has been awarded four times, twice to individual members and twice to the chapter as a whole.
As we turn the page to this new millennium, our chapter membership continues its steady growth, today boasting a membership of 183 Daughters. We are ever mindful of our rich 34 year history and the hard work and dedication of the Daughters who have gone before us. We look forward with eager anticipation to the challenges that lie ahead as we enter the 21st century.
Written 2001 by
Treasure Coast Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution celebrated 50 years in 2017.