Contributed article and photo
From sun-up to sun-down, the local Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) were washing, drying, dipping, plating, and distributing 125 plates of assorted chocolate covered strawberries. It was a challenge but according to the newly elected chapter regent, Helen Masten, “It was well worth the effort as well as enjoyable to work together as a chapter to build a scholarship fund for local high school students.”
The main focus for the “Strawberries for Scholarships” is to provide two annual DAR student scholarships for high school students who are dual-enrolled at EAC. This scholarship helps defray the costs of books and fees that can sometimes be prohibitive for the families. The scholarships are awarded to the top two essay finalists, who write on a topic that is linked to American patriotism.
This is the 5th year the chapter has organized the fundraiser, donated all the necessary supplies and come together in making this happen. According to Talana Hooper, Recording Secretary of the chapter, “We would not be able to continue doing this without the wonderful response each year from the community.”
The local Safeway store also continued to partner with the chapter by ordering fresh strawberries and keeping them in cold storage until the day of the event. Jessica Score, Tom Flowers and Brenda Chacon, from the produce department, made sure they were not accidently sold.
Another vital partner in this project for the third year were students at Mt. Graham High School who participate in the school’s Community Outreach Program and accrue volunteer hours for community service towards graduation requirements.
This year the student volunteers were Gianna Chavez, Matthew Mayer, Mckenzie Moreno, and Shelby McNutt. This was Shelby’s second year to help and Gianna plans on coming back next year. The students were joined by school sponsors Shanna Masten and John Nicholas. Susan Syfert, the chapter’s corresponding secretary, added “The students and sponsors all worked efficiently and made a large task fun and easy to accomplish. We so appreciate their large contribution to this fundraiser. It was a very rewarding experience for all of us.”
In addition to the students, their sponsors and chapter members, Lee Krzyminiski, an experienced baker and culinary arts school graduate, volunteered her time. She demonstrated her ability to swizzle the strawberries and worked size-by-side with one of the high school students who learned the technique quickly.
With another successful year of providing “Strawberries for Scholarships”, the local DAR Gila Valley Chapter expresses their “heartfelt” gratitude to all who made contributions of goods, volunteered their time and ordered plates of strawberries for their families and friends.