Jane Mann recalls growing up in Grant, Ala., and attending a primary school built by the nonprofit Daughters of the American Revolution (Alabama chapter) back in 1925.
“I owe a great debt to this group,” she says. DAR’s mission is to support education, patriotism and historic preservation, and it has chapters in all 50 states. In order to become a member, one must be able to trace her lineage back to someone who fought or assisted the American front during the Revolutionary War.
Mann now is regent of Aloha Chapter DAR, and has been part of the organization since 1994. She says that the Aloha Chapter has three volunteer genealogists and a small genealogy library in the basement of its chapter house for those wishing to trace their roots. For library operating hours, call 949-7256 or email ALOHA_DAR@twc.com.
“Finding your roots is important,” she says.
A big part of what the local DAR does is honor those who have served and died for our country. The group attends Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Dec. 7 remembrance ceremonies to pay tribute by offering wreaths, and honors veterans of World War II in the 442nd Infantry and 100th Battalion.
“During one of our meetings this year, we’re going to this Oahu cemetery and we’re going on a tour,” Mann explains. “There’s a Civil War veteran who is buried there.”
Another aspect of DAR’s mission is historical preservation. Members donate funds and sponsor fundraisers to send money to the national organization for such efforts.
Here at home, the Aloha Chapter focuses a lot on education. It partners with public high schools, and seniors can enter to win scholarships. Winners of the island competition go on to states, and then to the Southwest Region finals before hopefully making it to nationals.
“The nationals give about $80,000 worth of scholarships for different majors,” explains Mann. Junior ROTC programs benefit from the chapter, which awards one medal to each school for an outstanding member. University of Hawaii at Manoa’s ROTC program also benefits.
“We donate to Toys for Tots,” adds Mann, noting that last year the group collected almost $2,000 worth of toys.