Article by Bonnie Briscoe, DAR member
The DAR Gila Valley Chapter is preparing for their “Strawberries for Scholarships” fundraiser for Valentine’s Day. Contributed photos from 2020
After two years of pandemic shut-down, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) are gearing up with their local student awards and scholarship fundraiser to, once again, provide plates of chocolate covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day.
Since February 2016, the local DAR Gila Valley Chapter has been offering an assortment of freshly-dipped and nicely decorated strawberries. During this time, Safeway has provided the strawberries with a generous discount and is doing the same this year to help fund the chapter’s scholarships and awards for local high school students. The whole twelve-hour process of dipping, arranging the plates and distributing the orders begins early on Valentine’s Day and is done by DAR members along with volunteer students and sponsors from Mount Graham High School.
Despite the pandemic, the DAR chapter continued raising funds for scholarships and student awards by creating and selling patriotic wreaths. Now, with a number of restrictions lifted, the chapter is back to providing plates of strawberries for those scholarships and awards!
Each year of fundraising has been more successful than the last, allowing the chapter to increase the offer of three scholarships instead of one. This fundraiser supports one $500 & two $250 scholarships for high school students residing in Graham County who are dual enrolled in general education classes at EAC. The additional fees and cost of books can be a burden on the families of these deserving students, and DAR is honored to be part of their solution.
Last year, during Constitution Week celebration (September 17-23), the chapter awarded a $500 scholarship to Brooklyn Dorr and a $250 scholarship to Lanthan Nelson and Carson Richins, all three students from Thatcher High School. Each applicant wrote an essay from the designated topic dealing with the principles of the U.S. Constitution and their relevancy for today. A number of essays were submitted and all had merit, which made the final selections difficult.
The fundraiser also goes toward student awards. The chapter gives a monetary gift in May to one senior from each of the seven high schools in Graham and Greenlee counties who is chosen for the DAR Good Citizen Award. With students submitting essays and high schools choosing good citizens, this was strong encouragement for the chapter to return to this Valentine’s Day tradition; “Strawberries for Scholarships and Student Awards!”
The DAR is taking orders now, and recommends calling ahead before the cutoff date of Feb 8 in case supplies run out due to the demand. The cost is $10 for a half-dozen chocolate covered strawberries and $20 for a dozen.
To order, text or call 928-432-5122 and give your name, phone number, and number of plate size desired and if you would like assorted, or all the chocolate to be dark, milk, or white or all coated with pecans. Pickup is Feb. 14, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., at 830 S. 20th Ave (SW corner of 8th Street and 20th Ave, just south of Home Depot by the RR tracks) in Safford. Payment, in the form of cash or check, is due at pickup.