December 1, 2016
Dear Fellow Patriot,
We enter the final quarter of the year with good news to share. Your Board of Managers and Executive Committee have worked hard to support and lead our Society – and we are proud of our Society’s continued progress. As shared in last year’s President’s report, I emphasized our Society’s strength and active status – and you will be proud to know that 2016 has been equally successful.
Gentlemen, our accomplishments are as follows:
- George Washington’s Birthday Dinner – A near sold out event with over 200 men and guests; VMI Pipe and Drum’s “grand re-entry”; and presentation of a young George Washington by Mr. Bill Garner, President and CEO of The George Washington Foundation.
- Society Membership – A current membership of 523 – inducting 44 new members at the aforementioned George Washington’s Birthday Dinner; through the 3rd quarter of this year, we have already received over 20 new applications.
- Charitable Giving – A strong Patriot’s Fund enabling charitable giving to both local organizations and individuals. This year, we were pleased to provide support to the following historic organizations or places: The Virginia Historical Society, The Hanover Tavern, Mason’s Hall and The Friends of Shockoe Hill cemetery.
- Scholarship Awards– Continued tradition of recognizing academic achievement – dating back to 1902; pleased to have awarded $5,000 and $2,500 to Miss Frances C. Leake (University of Virginia) and Mr. Christopher N. Blackburn (Virginia Tech) respectively.
- New and Improved Website – Negotiating this fall a local web designer to redesign the Virginia Society Website (www.vssr.org); old and outdated, we are targeting to have it completed by 1st quarter 2017.
- Improved Payment Channels – Your Society is taking a giant step into the 21st century – by accepting credit cards; Beginning this month, we will begin accepting credit card transactions (a small convenience fee will apply) for any and all Society transactions.
- Oyster Roast – Continued celebration of the Oyster for the 8th consecutive year; held at the Historic Wilton House in the heart of Richmond’s West end and in conjunction with the Colonial Dames and the Society of Colonial Wars
- Annual Meeting and Reception – A record number of attendee attending our annual meeting in May –numbering close to 160 members and guests
As you know, none of the above accomplishments could be possible were it not for you – our member. More so, none of what we do, year in and year out, could be possible were it not for contributions to the patriot’s fund.
In order to continue our good work, The Virginia Society of the Sons of the Revolution (VSSR) asks its members to give generously to our charitable program, the Patriots Fund. It is through this fund that the Virginia Society is able to direct significant charitable gifts, like we have shared above, to deserving non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations that meet the object of our Society: by the actions of the descendants of revolutionary heroes to perform their duty in keeping before the public mind the memory of the services of their ancestors and of the times in which they lived.
Your board is pleased to share that for this year’s Patriots Fund campaign, we will continue our charitable support of the Virginia Historical Society and our permanent flag collection display. In addition, we will focus on three new areas for financial support – all of which support our mission:
- Menokin – Warsaw, Virginia – Supporting the preservation of Frances Lightfoot Lee’s (signer of the Articles of
Confederation and Declaration of Independence) home. Funds would be designated for the on-going preservation of the property.
- Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown – Beaverdam, Virginia – The only remaining original standing home of Patrick Henry. It was at Scotchtown where his “Liberty or Death” speech was formulated. In addition, the site serves as an annual naturalization ceremony site for new U.S. citizens. Funds would be designated to support on-going operations.
- Yorktown Victory Center – Educational Outreach – Yorktown, Virginia – Funds would be designated to support history educational opportunities for children including summer camp and classroom outreach.
To provide our strongest support to these worthy projects, our Patriots Fund goal for this year is $25,000 and can only be met through the generous participation of all members of the Society. Please consider a donation of at least $100 or more. If each of us donates at least $100, this year’s total would reach well over $50,000. Also, if your employer matches your charitable gifts, please take advantage of their program to increase your Patriots Fund donation.
For our history, our ancestors and a future that celebrates and honors our freedom and how it was won, please give generously.
Let me finish by saying that I couldn’t be more proud to have served as your Society President and I thank each and every one of you for your ongoing support of our many activities. More so, I encourage those that have considered serving to reach out to any of our officers to share your interest and inquire about upcoming opportunities.
Carter V. Reid