Minutes of the January 19, 2002 meeting of the Tampa Chapter SAR


President Tetrick called the meeting to order at 12:04. Jim Washburn offered the invocation, Compatriot Wilkeson led the pledge to the flag and President Tetrick the pledge to the SAR.


Members present: Dwight Tetrick, Fred Patton, Elwin Thrasher, Marty Miller, Jim Washburn, Joe Hill, Jack Bolen, Ed Neugaard, Claude Richie, Bob Yarnell, and Kevin Yarnell.


Welcome guests: Larry Knight, June Bolen, Billie Washburn, Fimie Richie, and Jim Armitage SAR from the DeVane chapter


The SAR membership approved the minutes of the December meeting as published in the newsletter.


The secretary reported filing the chapter’s annual report with the state. The current membership stands at 21.


The Treasurer reported a balance of $2,562.92. Marty Miller will audit the books for 2001.


President Tetrick reported receiving information concerning the Good Citizenship Awards. He noted the forceful and negative tone of the letter. Bob Yarnell agreed to look into the matter, but commented on the chapters past ineffective efforts.


Kevin Yarnell reported on the essay contest. The local chapter received three essays. He commented on the high quality of the themes of the essays but the poor writing. The local winner will be selected next week and forwarded on to the state contest.


President Tetrick introduced Larry Knight who recently submitted an application for membership. He also introduced Ed Neugaard. Ed joined the SAR through the Vero Beach Chapter and has transferred his membership to us. He is a professor of languages at USF.


President Tetrick introduced Jack Bolen who introduced Chuck Wilkeson a SAR member from the Lakeland chapter. Compatriot Wilkeson installed the 2002 officers.


Jack Bolen suggested a spring golf outing for the chapter. President Tetrick appointed Jack to look into this.


Bob Yarnell asked for some feedback about sending the newsletter via email. For the most part this seemed to work well. A few members were unable to open the attachment. Bob will mail these members an alternative form.


The meeting recessed for lunch.


President Tetrick reconvened the meeting and introduced Compatriot Wilkeson who spoke about the Society of the Descendants of Washington’s Army at Valley Forge. He began his talk with some background concerning the six months Washington spent at Valley Forge. The conditions were far from good. Housing, in small cabins, was cramped, cold, and dirty. Even water was scare at the outset of the encampment.


But it was at Valley Forge that Washington built the Continental Army. He was able to bring together the men and officers who often came from widely varying backgrounds. The cohesion that resulted served the army well in the coming years. Training took place during the winter led mainly by a guest, Baron Von Steuben, a Prussian soldier. This work turned the army into a significant fighting force.


The society is open to all descendents of those at Valley Forge. Over 1700 persons have been approved for membership. The Florida Brigade has over 60 members. Compatriot Wilkeson is the Brigade Commander. The society supports many activities including an essay contest for students and a yearly pilgrimage and encampment to Valley Forge. The annual National meeting is held in conjunction with this encampment.


Compatriot Wilkeson announced the formation of a museum devoted to the Revolution that will be located at Valley Forge. The museum will merge three significant collections of revolutionary era artifacts.


The speaker had several handouts that would assist those seeking membership and showed several books concerning Valley Forge. A brief question period followed.


President Tetrick thanked Compatriot Wilkeson on behave of the chapter. A gift, which was to be presented, has been delayed due to a problem with the National Merchandise department.


Marty Miller won the 50/50 drawing and graciously donated his half of the winnings to the chapter. Fourteen dollars was thus added to the treasury.


President Tetrick led the recessional and Jim Washburn gave the benediction. The meeting adjourned at 1:32.


Respectfully submitted,


Kevin Yarnell

Chapter Secretary