Eliza Lucas Pinckney Chapter
Organized: October 8, 2005
Organizing Regent: Pharen Johnson
In 2005, a group of 25 women came together to form the Eliza Lucas Pinckney Chapter, NSDAR. Inspired by a love of country and service to their community, the founding members chose Eliza as their namesake for a simple reason. “She exemplified to me what the DAR stood for: God, Home, Country,” according to founding member, Martha Erwin. Mrs. Pharen Johnson was the founding regent and within 3 years, the chapter had more than tripled in size and was actively engaged in DAR activities and programming within the Charleston area. Today, our membership is thriving and we have 190 members.
Throughout the chapter’s decade-plus history, the members have focused on the DAR mission of historic preservation, education, and patriotism through their programming and chapter outreach. The ladies have led and participated in numerous programs assisting veterans and members of our Armed Services (Tri County Ministries, financially supporting the new Fisher House Charleston, Vietnam Veterans memorial celebrations; letters to active duty military); celebrating our patriotic heritage (Charleston’s revolutionary war history, battlefields, and Communities in the Classroom activities); honoring and preserving our past (colonial cemetery documentation and clean-up); and volunteering and financially supporting Tamassee DAR school. Our Juniors page at state conferences and Continental Congress. This spirit of volunteerism would not have been possible without a dedicated group of chapter leaders, engaged members, and a vibrant Juniors program.
The pinnacle of the chapter’s first decade was the conservation of Eliza Lucas Pinckney’s 18th century salmon colored sack-back gown (robe a la francaise) with The Charleston Museum. This historic preservation project saved an important piece of colonial history and one of the few extant objects of Mrs. Pinckney owned by The Charleston Museum. With generous support from an NSDAR Special Project Grant in the amount of $5,000 and the balance raised by our chapter, we were able to accomplish the $23,000 budget. A special viewing of the gown was arranged for President Anne Turner Dillon during her visit to South Carolina. Further, an article recognizing the conservation project was published in the May/June 2017 edition of American Spirit magazine.
Eliza Lucas Pinckney Chapter, NSDAR members are active participants in SCDAR and NSDAR programs and committees. We currently have 9 members serving in positions with the South Carolina State Society NSDAR. Our members have chosen to be involved, entrepreneurial Daughters who enjoy using the talents and skills of our diverse membership to contribute to our community – local, state, and national – to further the DAR mission and live up to the standard of God, Home, & Country as exemplified by our namesake, Eliza Lucas Pinckney.
CURRENT CHAPTER MEMBERS SERVING IN STATE & NATIONAL POSITIONS
NSDAR 250 Task Force Member: Patricia Westgate Sayko
SCDAR State Corresponding Secretary: Patricia Westgate Sayko
SCDAR State Organizing Secretary: Brenda Todd Larsen
SCDAR American Heritage Chair: Karen Keough McCay
SCDAR American Heritage Co Chair Art/Sculpture: Laura Jenkins Todd
SCDAR DAR Magazine Chair: Claudia Patterson Farmer
SCDAR DAR Museum Outreach: Gayle Goudy
SCDAR Lineage Research Co Chair: Ivy Flint Blake
SCDAR Public Relations & Media Chair: Melissa Cliett Levesque
SCDAR Public Relations & Media Vice Chair, Social Media: Jill Templeton
SCDAR Volunteer Information Specialists Chair: Jill Templeton
SCDAR Historic Preservation Grant, Vice Chair: Melissa Cliett Levesque