Starting a New SAR Chapter
The Sandhills Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
Rodney (Rod) Herbig moved from Illinois in 2016 to retire closer to his family here in Pinehurst. Being an active member and past President of the Fox Valley Chapter of the SAR, where he led the Boy Scout and Eagle Scout recognition program. Rod began looking to engage in a local SAR Chapter in his new community.
Rod contacted the NCSSAR Office for help and attended a meeting at the Raleigh Chapter of the SAR. To attend this meeting, he had a 1.5 hour drive (one way) and got very lost on hie way to the meeting and arrived late. The distance to the Raleigh chapter and unfamiliarity of the area was not a good fit for someone in his retirement years. Rod then attended a meeting at the Marquis de Lafayette SAR Chapter in Fayetteville and also found that the commuting distance and unfamiliarity of the area in the evening as a deterrent to continue to be an active SAR compatriot. Next, Rod attended a NCSSAR Meeting in Raleigh and met John Thornhill and other compatriots at the meeting. Rod was still looking for a SAR Chapter where he could continue to actively participate. Rod determined that there were no existing SAR Chapters that were close enough for him to actively attend. John Thornhill provided him a list of current SAR compatriots in and around Moore County. Rod decided that he was going to contact them to see if there was any interest in starting the work to establish a SAR chapter here in the Sandhills.
Rod began reaching out to each SAR compatriot using John Thornhill’s list. He was able to get about ten existing compatriots to attend his first meeting. He explained his experiences serving at the Fox Valley SAR Chapter and how a local SAR chapter could serve our community and educate the public about the sacrifices of our Revolutionary War Patriots. Rod continued to conduct these monthly meetings for more than two years. Rod drew in a number of men(SAR and Non-SAR) by posting these SAR meeting notices in the local newspaper (The Pilot) and invited all to attend on a Saturday. Some of these men believed that they had ancestors that served in the Revolutionary War and didn’t know how to begin the genealogy search and documenting the SAR application process. We all worked to get them started on their family searches and provided sources of supporting documentation for their applications. John Thornhill was a huge help to our members by attending some of our weekend meetings and advising us with completing applications and genealogy searches these past years.
We also increased our community visibility by participating in a SAR wreath presentation ceremony at the Veterans Day ceremony, at the Moore County Veterans Park in Carthage these past two years. The veterans and members of the public greeted Rod in his full Revolutionary War military uniform and took many pictures with Rod. This was a very successful public outreach opportunity which included a picture of the celebration in The Pilot newspaper and resulted in increased interest with our SAR Chapter efforts.
With Rod’s tireless work and encouragement over these past two years, we now have nearly 25 men on our communications roster and we will reach the required number of SAR Members to qualify for submission of a Sandhills Chapter of the Son’s of the American Revolution Charter request. We hope to receive our Chapter Charter this Fall.
Submitted by Bruce Fensley