Dear Fellow Patriot,

As we near the end of another challenging year, I wanted to take a moment to reach out one last time with several thoughts: to remind you how our Society has not just survived, but prospered, through the second year of the pandemic; to whet your excitement for 2022; and most of all to say “thank you!”. VSSR is largely the reflection of what each of you brings to our Society. As such, I’m particularly grateful for your strength, loyalty, and support, and hope you’re able to enjoy the slower pace and family time the Holiday season provides.

2021 was once again a year like no other. But despite its challenges, recall that with September cocktails at Historic Tuckahoe and November oysters at Wilton House, we were finally able to join in-person at the first live events since the arrival of COVID. It was wonderful to see familiar faces as well as new members after being limited in our ability to gather for so long. Notwithstanding the complications of the virus, our remarkable recruiting team continued to grow VSSR membership throughout the year with a tireless and creative series of events. Finally, after an off year for travel, September also saw Virginia’s delegation represent your Society at the GSSR Triennial in Boston where VSSR — for the third time in a row — was recognized as having the top membership growth record among all state societies over the three prior years!

Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, VSSR continued to provide philanthropic support for selected causes highlighted by our lead role supporting the recently dedicated Rochambeau statue on the Yorktown waterfront. Again in 2022, your society will make significant grants to other worthy organizations and award scholarships to selected high school and college students based on our essay competition.

So VSSR heads into 2022 with renewed optimism and excitement. We have planned for a very strong slate of member and recruiting events next year, and invitations will shortly be going out for our next event, the historic George Washington’s Birthday black tie gala to be held February 26 at the Commonwealth Club. Our size and resources provide remarkable strength and capability, but keeping VSSR strong and vibrant requires not just time – from our officers, board, and members – but also financial resources.

As a 501(c)(3) organization, VSSR’s Patriots Fund allows for donations which qualify as a charitable deduction, subject as always to IRS guidelines and your individual situation as a taxpayer. And while it’s true the Patriots Fund primarily funds our Society’s philanthropic gifts and scholarships, it also provides critical as-needed support for our annual operating budget. Member dues are our lifeblood, but they do not meet 100% of our operating needs. So as you take time to celebrate the Holidays, please consider a 2021 donation to the Patriots Fund.

As always, however, the most meaningful contribution is the gift of your time and support as members of the Sons. On behalf of your Board and Officers, I want to thank each of you for your dedication, passion, patience, and support throughout these last challenging and historic months. Most of all I look forward to seeing all of you at one of our 2022 events!

With very best wishes for wonderful Holidays,

J. Mark Bearden