Several Lancaster County Chapter members attended the 118th Annual Convention of the Virginia Division United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) at the Dulles Marriott, Oct 3 – 6. Across the State, there are a total of 80 UDC chapters representing a membership of over 2,300 members.
Although a lot of UDC business was conducted, one of the highlights of the Convention was Friday evening’s Historical Evening and the presentation of the Cross of Military Service to eight recipients – three to World War II veterans, two veterans of the Global War on Terror, a National Defense Medal, an Armed Forces Expeditionary Service Medal Korea and a Meritorious Service Award. The convention also provided several historical presentations on subjects such as “Mosby Rangers and Their Ladies”, Virginia Daughters Kate Mason Rowland and Laura Ratcliffe, and a musical concert “Songs From the Home Front”.
When the awards portion of the program kicked off, Jo Ann Fickling, President of the Lancaster County Chapter, was front and center as the Chapter received recognition for outperforming all others in several categories. The most prestigious award was 1st place in Membership Development. Jo Ann Fickling and Cheryl Brown Davis, Chapter Registrar, accepted the plaque from Fran Toberman, State Chairman for Membership Development during the President’s Banquet on Saturday evening. This award considers the number of new members and number of supplemental ancestors verified by members of the Chapter. Additionally the Lancaster Chapter received the award for the most new members to UDC as a percentage of the Chapter’s starting membership at the beginning of the year, a growth of 35 percent. The Chapter also shared the award for most new Chapter members with the Chesterfield Chapter, each Chapter bringing 13 new members in over the last year.
Fickling was quick to point to all the hard work of Registrar Davis who was kept busy researching and processing new member applications and supplemental ancestor applications. Of course, these accomplishments would not have been possible unless all the Chapter members contributed to the overall growth of the Chapter by inviting friends and neighbors to the meetings in order to learn about and join the UDC.
In addition to these efforts, over the last year the Lancaster County Chapter members donated 860 hours of time and talent and monetary items valued over $2,600 to local causes. They donated over 430 hours to a variety of patriotic activities, donated items to veterans valued over $320.
Currently, the Chapter is actively pursuing projects such as the restoration of local monuments, the identification and marking of Confederate graves, and other efforts which support our current military service members and their families.
Membership is open to women ages 16 and older who have a Confederate ancestor that served honorably in the Army, Navy or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America or provided material aid to the cause. The objectives of the United Daughters of the Confederacy are Historical, Educational, Benevolent, Memorial and Patriotic.
The Lancaster County Chapter meets on the third Wednesday of each month, September through June. To find out more about the organization and UDC, call 804- 580-2245.