The Jose Maria Amador Chapter held its February student awards event and chapter meeting at 10 a.m. Sat., Feb. 9, at Pleasant View Church of Christ in Pleasanton. The annual Awards Ceremony included a patriotic performance by Pleasanton's YoungAmerican Patriots Fife and Drum Corps (YAPS), presentation of awards, and refreshments.
“We honored the DAR Good Citizen students, and the Christopher Columbus Essay and the American History Essay winners,” said Chapter Regent Diane Groome.
The American History Essay Contest for the 2012-2013 academic year included community fifth-eighth grade students who submitted essays on the topic, "Forgotten Patriots Who Supported the American Struggle for Independence." Contest chairpersons Phyllis Houghton, Judy Herrera and Nancy Villarreal worked with local libraries and school to encourage local students to enter, and Houghton arranged for the judging of the contest.
The three first-place winners of the American History Essay Contest, Windemere Ranch Middle School sixth-grader Amanda Yang, Harvest Park Middle School seventh-grader Stacy Shimanuki, and Wells Middle School eighth-grader Alexandra Stassinopoulos, each received $100 from the Jose Maria Amador Chapter and were presented with a medal and a Certificate of Recognition signed by Ca. State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan and U.S. Congressman Eric Swalwell. Swalwell was on hand to personally hand the winners their certificates. Each winner read their essay and introduced accompanying parents and teachers in the audience.
The Jose Maria Amador DAR Chapter is dedicated to selecting young people from the community who exhibit leadership, dependability, service and patriotism in daily lives when giving the DAR Good Citizen Award. Chairperson Laurie Robertson presented the Chapter and Ca. State Society DAR (CSSDAR) District IV winner, Valley Christian High School senior Olivia Coackley, with a $500 award from the Jose Maria Amador Chapter, a medal and Certificate of Recognition signed by Ca. State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan. U.S. Congressman Eric Swalwell also gave Coackley a signed Certificate of Recognition. She read her winning essay and introduced her accompanying parents.
Chairperson Carole Vercellino presented the Christopher Columbus Essay Award to Chapter and CSSDAR District IV winner, Dougherty Valley High School 10th-grader Augustine Chemparathy. Competing students submitted essays on the topic, "How were high faith and indomitable courage demonstrated in the life and actions of Columbus, and how did they give to mankind a new world?” Chemparathy received a $100 cash award from the Jose Maria Amador Chapter, a medal and a Certificate of Recognition signed by Ca. State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan and U.S. Congressman Eric Swalwell. Swalwell personally presented his signed certificate to Chemparathy, who read his essay and introduced his accompanying parents.
All of the students who entered the contests received Certificates of Participation.
DAR is a volunteer service organization based on lineage to someone who fought or gave aid to the American Revolution. The society provides contest, awards and scholarships, supports schools, preserves historic building and artifacts, and celebrates exceptional events in American history.
Currently, members are making plans to attend the exciting 105th Ca. State Conference, March 7-10. For information about DAR membership, contact Jose Maria Amador Chapter Regent Diane Groome at 510-866-4032.