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Erasmus Perry Chapter, NSDAR, Chapter Meeting & Event Highlights



Field Trip to Woodlawn Museum, October 2022

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In October the Erasmus Perry Chapter enjoyed a Fall outing to the Woodlawn Museum in Sandy Spring, Maryland.  A guided hike on the Underground Railroad Experience Trail was followed by a tour of the Museum.  The outing culminated with lunch at a nearby restaurant. 


Project Patriot, September 2022

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 In our September meeting we collected for AMVETS / Project Patriot and presented the Conservation Week program. 


Regent’s Summer Message, 2021

Susan Finkle-Sourlis

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Last year marked the 90th Anniversary of the founding of our chapter. Although the celebration was subdued, it was still an important milestone in our history. We worked hard to keep in touch and meet when could, socially but not emotionally distant. We accomplished so much. We made and donated more than 2,000 masks; we raised money and created moon bags for the Kwek Society; we met Reisha Raney, heard her DAR story and Daughter Dialogues; learned  about DAR schools; and although there may have been a few hiccups we pursued. It is a testament to the dedication of our members that we are still going strong in 2021.


Pages from Summer 2021 Newsletter vThe Summer 2021 edition of "Shared History," the Erasmus Perry Newsletter, is here!

Thanks to Editor Amy Reams and the contributors! 


February 2021 Meeting - Reisha Raney

In February we were treated to a virtual presentation by DAR member Reisha Raney, who currently serves as Organizing Secretary of the Maryland State Society DAR.  She is Maryland's first African American DAR state officer and a direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson's grandfather.  Reisha spoke of her lineage to William Turpin, a patriot who fought against the British in the Revolutionary War.  Turpin's mother was Mary Jefferson, aunt of the nation's third president,Thomas Jefferson. William Turpin's son Edwin married a woman of color, Mary.  Reisha also spoke about the historical work she is doing uncovering the stories of women of color in the DAR.  She has created a podcast, Daughter Dialogues, which "explores the lives of women of color in the DAR."  The podcast can be accessed through


November 2020 Meeting - By-laws by the Fireplace

Due to the Covid pandemic the meeting was again held outdoors in the picnic pavilion.  It was a beautiful fall day and we lit a fire in the fireplace to ward off the chill breeze.  Many thanks to Lea Crawford, Melissa Hurley and Sharlene Aquino for providing firewood. 

The main topic for discussion was the proposed changes to the chapter by-laws.  We had decided that it was necessary to amend the by-laws to allow for electronic meetings during times when we cannot meet in person, such as during the Covid pandemic.  Melissa and Susan presented the proposed changes they made using materials and language provided by NSDAR and MSDAR.  A spirited discussion ensued.  The new by-laws were finalized in ____. 


October 2020 Meeting - Two New Members

Due to the Covid pandemic the meeting was held outdoors in the picnic pavilion. 


 Eva Maria Carney from the Kwek Society spoke at the October meeting.  The Kwek Society provides moon time bags, educational materials, pads, tampons, liners, and underwear to Native American students and communities without ready access to these expensive menstrual supplies.  Their website is at


clark whitaker swearing in

We also swore in two new members, Sara Clark and Diane Whitaker.


March 2020 Meeting - CANCELLED DUE TO COVID!

 Annotation 2021 09 02 185410 Redacted

... It would be 6 months before we saw our DAR family again.



National Defense Luncheon

November 10, 2018

Defense luncheon

 Erasmus Perry members attended the National Defense Luncheon at Chartwell Golf & Country Club in Severna Park, Maryland. Members are pictured here with the guest speaker Major General (MG) Jim Adkins, (USA Retired) and President, Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution.  MG. Adkins presented the story of the Maryland 400.  


October "Music & Celebration" Meeting Minutes

October 13, 2018

At our October meeting, chapter members enjoyed a celebration of Song! Member MaryBeth Weber lead us in the singing of the National Anthem and other patriotic tunes.  As the anniversary date just occurred, member also recognized the DAR Founders Day, which is celebrated on October 11th each year as a day to celebrate the original founding of DAR.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded on October 11, 1890. The NSDAR founding members were Mary Desha, Eugenia Washington, Ellen Hardin Walworth and Mary Smith Lockwood.


New Member Swearing-in Ceremony

September 8, 2018

Our Erasmus Perry Chapter continues to grow as two new members were officially sworn in at our September meeting!

                                             Nita               Melissa

New members Nita Kavalauskas and Melissa Hurley being sworn in by Chaplain Marge Psaltis.


Welcome Back, "Meet & Greet" Meeting Minutes

September 8, 2018

The meeting was called to order at 12:00 by Regent Susan Finkle-Sourlis. Opening pledges were led by Paulina Garner. Marge Psaltis gave an invocation by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Mary Alice Silbert introduced the prospective members & guests.   The following summer birthdays were remembered:  

                                                       July:                Paulina Garner, Doris Nickoles, Marge Psaltis, Amy Reams

                                                      August:           Lois Spencer, Becky Belcher; 

                                                      September:      Elaine Clarkin, Kitty Diggs and Nita Kavalauskas

Regent Susan's ice breaker had each member introduce herself & answer an extra question for fun.  Treasurer Kitty Diggs gave the monthly treasurer’s report, collected dues & distributed the 2018-19 yearbook.  June meeting minutes were approved.

New members Nita Kavalauskas and Melissa Hurley were sworn in by Marge and welcomed by the group.

Vice Regent Mary Ellen recognized Amy Reams for her newsletter work last year. Amy requested articles for the December newsletter, personal interest articles are welcome. Marge Psaltis was recognized for her literacy promotion & as chaplain.  Mary Ellen received a past regent pin for her service while Mary Alice received a certificate for 25 year of service.

September 17-23 is Constitution Week. Nita presented information about the Bill of Rights history and explained that George Washington originally proposed a holiday of Thanksgiving for the Constitution.  How will you celebrate Constitution Week?

Regent Susan presented an overview of this year's programs. The December potluck luncheon location will either be held at a restaurant or a member’s home.  April's meeting topic will be American history and may include a field trip to the Museum of American History.  Member-donated items collected for veterans will be taken to the Fall Forum by Susan. 

Carol Federighi gave a National Defense Minute on the oldest Marine post in the country.  Paulina presented information on the Maryland flag for the Flag Minute.  Doris spoke about musical instruments used by American Indians while Elaine spoke about the American Spirit magazine.  Mary Alice displayed the DAR banner she shows to thank veterans for their service.

Thank you to Kitty and Susan for providing the refreshments.  Please contact Hostess Committee Emily Sudbrink to sign up for future meetings. Volunteer Opportunities:  Teaching ESOL or literacy contact Marge; Sponsoring Christmas wreaths in December contact Ruth Ann.

  Potluck Luncheon

June 9, 2018

Our June Chapter meeting was hosted by Elaine Clarkin at her lovely home in the Leisure World Community of Silver Spring.  Following the luncheon, chapter Regent, Mary Ellen Draper presented gifts of appreciation to hostess Elaine Clarkin & recognized members for outstanding service to the chapter with small DAR gifts.  Mary Ellen announced that a flag will be flown over the United States Capitol to honor chapter Chair of the Flag of the United States of America committee, Pauline Garner, on her July birthday.  Mary Ellen received a gift of appreciation from the chapter for her two years of service as Chapter Regent.  All members enjoyed a delightful afternoon of good food & fellowship!


June patio pic    

                                                                               New Member Swearing in Ceremony

June 9, 2018

Our June Chapter Meeting featured another new member swearing in ceremony!  Ruth Ann McCormick was officially sworn by fellow member Elaine Clarkin as the newest member of the our flourishing Erasmus Perry Chapter, NSDAR.  

Welcome to the DAR, Ruth Ann!!

Ruth ann


Installation of 2018-19 Chapter Officers

June 9, 2018

Elaine Clarkin installed the following new 2018-19 Chapter Officers:  Susn Finkle-Sourlis, Regent; Mary Ellen Draper, Vice Regent; Sharlene Aquino, Secretary; Kitty Diggs, Treasurer; Mary Alice Silbert, Registrar.  

New Officers


New Member Swearing in Ceremony

May 12, 2018

Our May Chapter Meeting opened with another new member swearing in ceremony!  Carole Federighi was officially sworn in as the newest member of the Erasmus Perry Chapter, NSDAR.  Chapter Chaplain Marge Psaltis officiated the ceremony.  The Erasmus Chapter membership continues to grow with each passing month!

Welcome to the DAR, Carole!!


 Pictured from left to right:

Carole Federighi & Chapter Chaplain Marge Psaltis


May 2018 Chapter Meeting 

Park Ranger Presentation on Clara Barton House

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 The Erasmus Perry Chapter was honored to have Ranger Kevin Patti from the National Park Service speak about the remarkable life of Clara Barton.  Among her notable achievements were founding the American Red Cross and the National First Aid Association of America.  Clara Barton’s house in Glen Echo, Maryland is a frequently visited National Historic Site.  Currently undergoing renovation the house will reopen to the public after completion.

     A gift of appreciation from the chapter was given to Ranger Patti at the meeting and a donation to the National Park Service to benefit Clara Barton House was later made.  Chapter Regent Mary Ellen Draper sent a note to the National Park Service expressing gratitude for Ranger Patti’s informative talk to the chapter and complimenting his exceptional speaking skills.

       Ranger Kevin Patti’s talk on Clara Barton, who was a member of DAR, was enjoyed by twelve members, five prospective members and one guest.


April 2018 Chapter Meeting Presentation

April 14, 2018

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On Saturday, April 14 Erasmus Perry members gathered at 12:00 noon at Behnke Nursery in Beltsville, MD. The warm and sunny day was ideal for the chapter Spring outing arranged by Maddie Mbeh, chair of the Conservation Committee.

     Attendees brought bagged lunches and chapter Regent Mary Ellen Draper provided iced tea and a platter of cookies.  Tables were set in a colorful garden motif.  Our presentor, Christopher Lewis, is a volunteer from the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association.   His demonstration included a power point presentation to educate us about the life of bees and their impact on society.  He stressed the need to plant the flowers and trees that bees need in order to gather the nectar for the honey.  The Black Locust Tree is especially important.  Everyone was given a list of native wildflowers that attract pollinators. This was a beautiful day to celebrate both Earth Day and our conservation project of encouraging bee pollination.Following his presentation, he led the group on a brief tour that included seeing the bee hotel, rain garden and pollinator gardens.

       The field-trip was well-attended and greatly enjoyed by chapter members, several HODARS and one guest.


 113th State Conference of the Maryland State Society, DAR

March 22-23, 2018

Turf Valley Hotel & Conference Center, Ellicott City, Maryland

Regent Mary Ellen Draper & Vice Regent Susan Finkle-Sourlis attended the Maryland State Conference as chapter delegates.  Registrar Mary Alice Silbert was recognized for doing 90% of MSSDAR genealogical work over the past year.  First Vice Regent Susan Finkle-Sourlis received a certificate and ribbon in recognition of her completion of the New Members Course.

Conference attendees

 Pictured from left to right:

Mary Ellen Draper, Susan Finkle-Sourlis & Melissa Hurley


 Erasmus Perry Chapter received the following Certificates:

Second place in the state Project Patriot coupon test

Creating and Gaining National approval for a new public website

Promoting and Supporting Literacy in our community

100% Participation in the President General’s Project “Moving Forward in Service to America”

Second place for Most Coupons Clipped—4.93 Pounds

Outstanding Support for Educators and Students as well as Revitalization Efforts.

copy 2 mssdar certificate

 Certifate of Award for new Chapter website


March 2018 Chapter Meeting Presentation

March 10, 2018

Rob Scheer of Comfort Cases and his son Greyson joined us for our St. Patrick's Day Irish lunch and celebration.   Elaine Clarkin and Marie Wendt provided a delicious meal while Sheila Emerson baked homemade Irish Soda Bread prepared from a family recipe.   Mary Beth Weber served as piano accompanist while members sang "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".    Elaine Clarkin, substitute Chaplain, read two lovely Irish Blessings.   Sheila Emerson, Webmaster, announced the NSDAR approval of the Erasmus Perry Chapter website. Regent Mary Ellen Draper thanked Sheila for her rapid development of the website and presented her with a bouquet of green and white flowers.   Guest speaker Rob Scheer gave an enlightening talk on Comfort Cases. Members were asked to bring donations to the May meeting and volunteers will help assemble Comfort Cases at the Gaithersburg headquarters. Chapter Regent Mary Ellen Draper thanked Rob and presented him with a gift of appreciation. 

             mary beth piano 2       march buffet     March mtg speaker


February Chapter Meeting Presentation

February 10, 2018

 Luis Alcazar, a member of the Brunswick Volunteer Rescue and Ambulance Company was our February meeting speaker.  Luis gave a most informative presentation on when/how to seek emergency medical assistance.  He spoke specifically about signs recognizing strokes, when to call for help from either 911 or the local Fire Department, as well as demonstrated the proper hand position for CPR and lifesaving procedures.  Luis' excellent presentation was appreciated by all in attendance.  Many thanks to Amy Reams in arranging this program. At the conclusion, Amy thanked Luis on behalf of the chapter and presented him with a gift of a USA flag mug.


Pictured from left to right:

Luis Alcazar & Program Committee Member Amy Reams


January Chapter Meeting

New Member Swearing-in Ceremony

January 13, 2018


Pictured from left to right

Nicole Woods & Registrar Mary Alice Silbert

 At the January chapter meeting, Nicole Woods was officially sworn in as the newest member of the Erasmus Perry Chapter, NSDAR.  Registrar, Mary Alice Silbert, officiated the ceremony.  Welcome to the DAR, Nicole!


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 2017 Chapter Highlights


  December Chapter Meeting

New Member Swearing-in Ceremony

December 16, 2017

Sheila swearing in

Pictured from left to right

Sheila Emerson & Member Elaine Clarkin

At the December Christmas chapter meeting, Sheila Emerson was officially sworn in to the Erasmus Perry Chapter, NSDAR, by member Elaine Clarkin.  Welcome to the DAR Sheila!

xmas luncheon 2017

Christmas luncheon 2017 attendees


 National Defense Luncheon

November 18, 2017

cropped luncheon

Pictured from left to right:

Secretary Doris Nickoles, Regent Mary Ellen Draper, Historian Marie Wendt, & Registrar Mary Alice Silbert

On November 18, four chapter officers represented the Erasmus Perry chapter at the Maryland State Society DAR National Defense Luncheon held at Lowe’s Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. Mary Ellen Draper, regent; Doris Nickoles, secretary; Mary Alice Silbert, registrar; and Marie Wendt, historian attended the annual event, which began with a reception at 10:30 a.m. and continued with a luncheon at 11:00 a.m.. The guest speaker was Colonel Thomas Rickard, Garrison Commander of Fort George G. Meade. As always, the National Defense Luncheon was well-attended and enjoyed by all.


October Chapter Meeting Presentation

"Refugees in America"

October 14, 2017 

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Pictured from left to right:

Meagan Hume & Marge Psaltis, Chaplain

The chapter invited Meagan Hume of HIAS to give a presentation on refugees and services that her organization provides.  The organization serves all refugees regardless of national, ethnic, or religious background in 20 cities in the US and in 11 locations globally. Meagan started her talk by explaining who is a refugee, where are they fleeing from, and where can they go to find safety, shelter and resettlement. She also discussed the importance of refugee services for women and children who are in special need as the most vulnerable. 

Following resettlement, HIAS supports both refugees and host communities around the U.S. to ensure successful integration. Meagan has worked in different cities around the country. She talked about her time in Philadelphia and the importance places like community gardens. These are spaces where refugees can meet, feel safe and part of a community. 

Meagan is a Policy and Advocacy Associate at HIAS and she has worked with refugees and on refugee policy for the past six years. Meagan, the granddaughter of Marge Psaltis, holds a Bachelor's Degree from Bryn Mawr College and a Master's Degree in International Development from the University of Minnesota.  


Pollinator Garden Contest

June 2017

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                           Joan Compton's Winning Garden                                                                   Maddie Mbeh

                                                                                                                                               Conservation Committee Chair

Today, climate change and the misuse of our natural resources pose a real threat to our national security and to the well-being of future generations. Agriculture depends on pollinator species such as honey bees for many of the key food crops grown in the United States, and the dramatic decline in their numbers could have a devastating impact on food production in the future both here and abroad. Contamination of our land and water, destruction of our forests and wetlands, the introduction of non-native species of plants and animals, and a warming climate also threaten our infrastructure and health as well as the majestic beauty of our great country. The mission of this committee is to educate members about these issues and to promote and encourage good stewardship practices that benefit the environment. 

In June 2017, the Conservation Committee held a Pollinator Garden contest. Erasmus Perry chapter members anonymously submitted photos of their pollinator gardens. At the June potluck and meeting, held at Marge Psaltis' home, attendees viewed these photographs and voted for "best garden."  Joan Compton's exceptionally beautiful garden won the contest and Joan received a prize of an Audubon Hummingbird Feeder and a bottle of Hummingbird nectar. Additional conservation activities are planned for spring 2018.


 NSDAR Community Service Award

May 13, 2017

community service award

Pictured from left to right:

Secretary Doris Nickoles & Registrar Mary Alice Silbert

The NSDAR Community Service Award is given to a member who has donated many hours of service to her local community. Mary Alice has donated much of her time and efforts to the Sandy Spring Museum, the National Capital Chapter of the Model T Club, and the Ashton Methodist Church. Her areas of service include organizing records at the Museum, serving as Secretary of the Model T Club, and Chairing the Membership and Pre-School Committees at Ashton Church. There are many other tasks she performs for the church including the Co-Chair of the 100th Anniversary Celebration and working in the church office. For these efforts we presented her with the pin and certificate at our May 13th meeting at Mrs. K’s Tollhouse.


April 2017 Chapter Meeting Presentation

 april 2017 mtg

Pictured from left to right

First Vice Regent Susan Finkle-Sourlis & Speaker Anne Browne

"What So Proudly They Sewed: Patriotic Women and the Historic Flags They Sewed" was the topic of the chapter's April 2017 meeting.  Anne Browne, Maryland State Chair of the Flag of the United States of America Committee, was our speaker. First Vice Regent, Susan Finkle-Sourlis , (chapter program committee chair) thanked Anne Browne and presented her with a gift of appreciation from chapter members. 


Dedication of Bell Tower Plaque featuring Erasmus Perry's name

April 2, 2017




Valley Forge Pic

 Pictured from left to right: 

                                   Regent Mary Ellen Draper, Member Joan Compton, Registrar                                                                             Mary Alice Silbert & First Vice Regent, Susan Finkle-Sourlis

 Four Erasmus Perry Chapter members' representatives attended the dedication of a plaque at the Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge National Historical Park, on April 2, 2017.  The plaque, inscribed “Erasmus Perry MD Militia American Revolution,” was placed on the Bell Tower's Wall of Honor.  The members & their spouses then joined guests at a lovely reception. The chapter thanks Registrar/past Regent Mary Alice Silbert, who took the initiative to make this honor possible.


March 2017 Chapter Meeting Presentation

anne heniger                   corned beef   

Speaker Anne Henniger                                                 

At our March chapter meeting, Amy Reams provided refreshments--Corned Beef and Cabbage. Anne Henninger was our speaker whose topic was "Espionage in the Revolutionary War."  We sang "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling". Meeting concluded with an Irish Blessing read by Regent Mary Ellen Draper. 


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