Rochester DAR awards presented

By Bonnie Kottschade

Three local youths received awards from the Rochester Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution at their annual awards ceremony on April 10.

The organization consists of women who are direct descendants of patriots who fought to gain independence during the Revolutionary War.

Jenna Saunders, a homeschooled 11th grader, was named the Rochester Chapter winner of the "Christopher Columbus Essay contest." The essay topic was "Christopher Columbus' Early Influences and Experiences."

Jenna has also been named the DAR State of Minnesota Christopher Columbus Essay winner and will be presenting her essay during the DAR State Conference in Mankato on April 24. Jenna plans on continuing her education at RCTC next year through the post-secondary education opportunity to earn both college and high school credit. Jenna is the daughter of John and Janel Saunders of Pine Island.


Students in the American History Essay contest wrote on the topic: "The Transcontinental Railroad." The 2010 Rochester Chapter sixth grade-winner is Hanad Yussuf Mohamed, a student at John Adams Middle School. He is the son of Yussuf Ibrahim and Ibado Arte of Rochester.

The eighth grade winner is Mackenzie Joy Phillips, a homeschooled student. She is the daughter of Randy and Robin Phillips of Rochester.

The essays were judged for historical accuracy, adherence to topic, organization of material, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation and neatness.

Jessica McCamish, a Mayo High School senior who plans to pursue a career in nursing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was named the Rochester Chapter winner of the "DAR Good Citizen Scholarship Essay Contest." She is the daughter of Dale and Meg McCamish of Rochester.

Jessica has been a member of various organizations including the Spanish club, Young Life, student government, Rochester student school board member, dance team, homecoming queen and the school newspaper. She has volunteered at the Dorothy Day House, Women's Shelter, is a regular blood donor, hometown gratitude and a participant in the Multiple Myeloma annual walk. The DAR Good Citizens are nominated by their teachers and must exhibit qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism.

Tom Ostromreceived the "DAR Local Media Award" in acknowledgment of the many years he has given "radio air time" to the activities and mission of the local DAR organization. Ostrom is a retired RCTC instructor of American history, anthropology and geography, a writer of articles in newspapers and journals, the author of three books and is on a weekly radio program, KROC-AM, which airs Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m.

The guest speaker for the event was Bob Bardwellspeaking on "It's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it." He is the founder of Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch and Miracle Lodge in Stewartville.

At the ceremony, Bardwell was awarded the local "DAR Community Service Award." Unaware that he'd even been nominated for the award, Bardwell was also told that he was not only the winner for the state of Minnesota but also the North Central Division of DAR (which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.) He is now one of eight individuals competing at the National level. The National winner will be recognized at Continental Congress for Daughters of the American Revolution out in Washington D.C. in July.


Bonnie Kottschade is a member of the Rochester Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution.

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