Our Chapter

The chapter draws its name from our county, Manatee, located just south of the beautiful Bay of Tampa. Manatee is also the name of the river that flows past our doors. The name Manatee appears to have come from the Cariban Indian language which referred to the sea cows or water mammals (manatees) that live in the river. The organizing regent was Mrs. Blanche W Henrickson. Other organizing officers were Aileen Botkins, Marie Craighead, Moreen Carlisle, Mary Harris, Margaret Brewster, Susan Fay, and Helen Taylor. The chapter was organized September 14, 1951.



Manatee Chapter Genealogy Workshop January 28, 2017

This year Saramana SAR asked to join us for our third annual Genealogy Workshop. Finding new members is vital for both Saramana SAR and Manatee Chapter DAR.  Dick Mahaffey, Past President; Preston Adams, Treasurer and Doug Erb, Vice President joined 20 attendees for the event. Each attendee received s a packet with his/her identified Patriot, worksheets, reference materials along with the presentation so they could follow along with the program. During the two breaks Manatee Chapter Officers and members interacted with the attendees addressing questions and giving encouragement. 


Presenters were (left to right) Cindy Russell, Vice Regent; Sharon Spry, Regent;

Kathy Doddridge; Registrar & Tina Roark; Recording Secretary


Manatee Chapter Regent, Sharon Spry chosen as  Manatee County Veterans Council Auxiliary Member of the Year 2016

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Manatee Chapter Celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the founding of the NSDAR

Oct 9th, 2015 125th Anniversary of NSDAR

NSDAR logo_c_72_whiteThroughout 2015, the Daughters of the American Revolution will be celebrating 125 years of service to America. The DAR was founded on October 11, 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. This significant anniversary is an incredible opportunity to share DAR’s fascinating history as well as our organization’s contemporary relevance. We look forward to honoring the members who made the DAR what it is today and celebrating those who continue their work for the future.

 Manatee Chapter adopts a Sea Turtle Nest!

Manatee Chapter Conservation, Turtle Watch, Anna Maria Island, FL

Manatee Chapter Conservation, Turtle Watch, Anna Maria Island, FL

  Happy Endings and a Bright Vision for the Future!

Our Chapter celebrated the end of another great year with our Annual Luncheon Meeting and Installation of new Officers for 2015-2017 Terms.  This year’s event was held at the home of Sydney Shaurette with all in attendance contributing luscious salads and decadent desserts for us all to enjoy. We are all so looking forward to a relaxing summer and an exciting beginning of our meeting schedule in the fall.

Final 2015 officer choice

        Manatee Chapter designated Department of Defense -Vietnam War Commemorative Partner

Vietnam Doc final twoVietnam Doc one final

The Commemorative Partner Program is designed for federal, state and local communities, veterans’ organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families. Commemorative Partners are encouraged to participate in the Commemoration of the Vietnam War by planning and conducting events and activities that will recognize the Vietnam veterans and their families’ service, valor, and sacrifice.


Manatee Chapter thanked 40 Vietnam veterans for their service, sacrifice and valor at the Bradenton Senior Softball Banquet on Friday March 6th, as a part of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration.
Manatee Chapter is proud to be a Commemorative Partner and to have the chance to honor our nations Vietnam veterans. Pictured with the recipients is Sharon L Spry, regent, Manatee Chapter, NSDAR.


Manatee Daughters Honor 28 Vietnam Veterans of River Isles

The event was held on Friday, November 20, 2015 at the River Clubhouse as a part the monthly Pancake Breakfast.  Over 120 attended the event including: John Amelung, Gene Back, Jerry Bodalski, Jack Chambers, Gene Garrison,Dave Germann, Jerry Gilmore, Lloyd Graft, Gary Hartzler, Ron Hyland, Burt Jackson, Larry Jackson, John Lingle, Don Maxim, Carl Morgan, Terry Neubaum, Arnold Nilson, Don Olschefskie, Nick Osier, Roland R Pelletier,Gary Richardson, Marcia Rihm, Philip Rihm, Mark Schafer, Mike Solomita, John Wallace, Robert Seely, Ron Schneider.

Manatee Daughters honor 30 Vietnam Veterans at the Encore RV ResortDAR Encore RVThe December 28 ceremony took place at the Manatee Encore RV Resort in Bradenton. It was the chapter’s third such event this year and was held as part of an NSDAR initiative marking the 50th anniversary of the start of U.S. combat operations in Vietnam. Pictured left to right (front) are Sally Timm (Manatee Chapter), Timothy Maloney, Mike Maloney, Marc Reardon, Allen Makela, Kevin Falls, John Curvey, (row 2) Jim Townsend, Gwen Makela, Patricia Applebee, Kelly Kerns, (row 3) Clifford Mapes, Meg Smelser (Manatee Chapter), Gary Pontius, Richard Rasmussen, Robin Knuutila, Tom Bray, Sharon Spry (Regent, Manatee Chapter), Michael Catella, Robert Cox, Robert Ernst, (rear) Darrell Sears, Robert Hayes, Robert Novak, Ralph Garner, and Tom Proffer.  Not shown: William Bacon, Vincent Bruck, Ernest Chapman, Dave Diener, Harry Knowles, Stephen Larson, David Martin, Ian Pelham, and Robert Phippen.

Manatee Daughters honor another Vietnam Veteran at our recent meeting!

Anna BruckerAnna Benardo Brucker (middle) received her Vietnam Veteran certificate and lapel pin from Regent Spry at the

February 12th meeting.  Linda Craig (right) of M.O.T.S. said a few words about her organization and its role in caring

for Manatee and Sarasota County troops and their families, during and after deployment.

Manatee Daughters honor Vietnam Veterans at Faith United Methodist Church


Vietnam Veterans honored November 13, 2016

Back Row: Bill Campbell, Karl Hasbrouck

Middle Row: Walter Hunt, Dr. Bob LaMastro, Fred Mack, William Porterfield, Dan Munini, Bob Sanders, John Tucker, Chuck Thoreson, Lynden Warren

Front Row:Nelson Applegate,Jr., Jim Carlson, Jim Dart, Garry Metcalf, Bill Dooley, Bill Seagers, Sharon Spry, Ron Schoenfelder, Ed Trottier

Not pictured: Gary Folz, Robert Laney, Robert Lenz, Charles Richell, Michael Selby

Manatee Daughters honor Vietnam Veterans with Bay Chorale


Kathy Doddridge receives NSDAR Community Service Award – March 2016


Kathy Doddridge, left, with Sharon Spry, Regent of the Manatee Chapter received the DAR’s Excellence in Community Service award.

Doddridge volunteers with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring and the Sarasota Audubon Society and Nature Center.  Turtle Watch Director, Suzi Fox

praised Doddridge’s enthusiasm, passion, kindness and politeness, while Cynthia Wilson,award chairperson for the DAR, quoted Jeanne Dubi,

president of Sarasota Audubon,as applauding her abilities with the public as an Audubon ambassador in her written recommendation.

Don Courtney, USA (ret) receives NSDAR  Community Service Award – August 2014

courtney 2014

The Manatee Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) made a surprise presentation during a recent Manatee County Veterans Council meeting. Manatee Chapter regent, Sharon Spry and chapter chaplain, Carol Saggau presented Don Courtney, Chairman of the Manatee County Veterans Council, with a Community Service Award. As chairman of the Manatee County Veterans Council, Don is responsible for leading this coalition of independent veterans organizations to foster fraternal relations amongst all veterans, create and maintain a greater public awareness and interest in veterans service to the community, to provide a forum for the identification and discussion of issues and actions that impact veterans and their families and to inform veterans/families on matters affecting veterans.

As stated by Regent Spry, “The National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, encourages us to recognize those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the community. For Manatee Chapter, this was a no brainer! ”Several letters of recommendation were written in support of this award. Larry Bustle, County Commissioner stated “Manatee County citizens, and especially Manatee County veterans, owe Don Courtney a large debt of gratitude for his community involvement and his successful efforts to make Manatee County a better place for all and a community that is proud of the sacrifices of its veterans.” W. Brad Steube, Sheriff wrote, “I believe that Mr. Courtney’s record proves him to be an outstanding citizen and I hope you will find him worthy of an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution.”

Suzi Fox receives NSDAR Conservation Award – February 2014

utf-8''P2140011Ms. Fox spends countless hours educating residents, visitors, businesses, local officials and law enforcement on how to utf-8''P2140009work together to preserve sea turtles and shorebirds. She also has worked with coastal residents and businesses on turtle-friendly lighting. As a result, there has been a dramatic decrease in hatch-ling disorientation achieved at seven different properties after converting to turtle-friendly lighting. Disorientations were reduced to zero at all sites. At the February 14, Manatee Chapter DAR meeting, chapter regent, Sharon Spry, and chapter member, Kathy Doddridge, presented Ms. Fox with the Conservation certificate and medal. In the audience were Manatee County Commissioner, John Chappie, Suzi’s sister, Nancy Banman, as well as chapter members and guests.

Installation of Officers 2014 

2013 Officers Manatee corrected2013 Sharon Meg

Constitution Week Celebration Luncheon- 2013

SharonMichaelLIndaTop 4 2Manatee Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) hosted the annual Constitution Week Luncheon at the Bradenton Yacht Club on Saturday, September 14, 2013. Attendees were members/guests of the five NSDAR chapters located in Sarasota and Manatee counties including: Allapatah, Myakka, Osceola, Sara De Soto and Manatee and the Saramana Sons of the American Revolution Chapter (SAR). Setting the tone for the day, the Saramana SAR Color Guard posted the colors followed by the pledge of allegiance along with a robust singing of the Star Spangled Banner. One of the highlights of the day was the vocal performance by Manatee Chapter’s Margaret Smelser singing “The American Anthem”. As anticipated, there were few dry eyes in the room! We were honored to have our own Manatee Chapter daughter, Linda Gallen introduce her son, County Commissioner Michael Gallen as our guest speaker. Having taught government at Lakewood Ranch High School and an attorney, Michael presented a very interesting overview of the origin of our Bill of Rights and the evolution of our Constitution as a living and breathing document. He provided clarity and insight into why the 14th Amendment is critical to the freedoms we as citizens are guaranteed.

Chapter projects reflect the objectives of our Society – Historical Preservation

2017 History Essay Award Winners – Thank you Saint Joseph’s Catholic School!

 5th Grade - 2017 History Essay Contest Winner

5th Grade – 2017 History Essay Contest Winner

6th Grade inner, 2017 History Essay Contest

6th Grade inner, 2017 History Essay Contest

7th Grade History Essay Winner - 2017

7th Grade History Essay Winner – 2017



Cathy Slusser, Director of Historical Resources for the Clerk of the Court, Manatee County, was presented with the Women in History Award for her continuing excellence in preserving and promoting Untitledthe vast historical resources of the county.

Overseeing the Historical Records Library, Manatee Historical Village Park, Florida Maritime Museum, The Palmetto Historical Park and Manatee Agricultural Museum is only part of her job.

She is the author of the trilogy, From a Heavenly Land, based on the Atzeroth family of Terra Ceia.

Carol Chamberlain 2011


Our chapter honored two of our own Manatee Daughters: Carolyn Chamberlain and Janet Entwistle, with the “Women in History Award.”

Our chapter supports the Manatee Historical Commission through donations for special projects, most recently the restoration of the park’s church steeple.

We organize genealogy seminars to assist all interested in tracing their lineage.     


We assist DAR supported schools through donations of Box Tops for Education and Campbell’s UPC labels.

We sponsor awards for local children participating in the Manatee County History Fair.

Our chapter actively supports outstanding students in their pursuit of obtaining DAR Scholarships. We are generous financial supporters of all DAR Schools.

Our 2016-2017 DAR Good Citizens Award Winners


Palmetto High School Award winner

Palmetto High School Award winner


Lakewood Ranch High School Award Winner

Our 2015-2016 DAR Good Citizens Award Winners




Our 2013-2014 DAR Good Citizens Award Winner



Our 2012-2013 DAR Good Citizens Award Winner

This student also placed third in the state competition.

                   Emily Blackburn


Paws for PatriotsOur chapter supported “Paws for Patriots” through Southeast Guide Dogs, Inc. We raised funds in support of “Paws for Patriots” our State Regent’s project in 2012.

Dear Manatee Chapter, Thank you for your caring gift of $250 designated for the Keith G. Hirst 90-Day Challenge. And because of the matching challenge presented by Keith G. Hirst, your gift has now been doubled! We’d like to say a double “thank you, thank you” for this generous contribution. We appreciate your friendship with Southeastern Guide Dogs. You’re helping to change lives, and for that we think you’re pretty amazing. Warm regards, Titus Herman, Chief Executive Officer – 7/23/2013

Our chapter presents awards to three local JROTC units annually.

We provide entertainment for residents at the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans Home.

Chapter members are actively involved in the support of the Manatee County Veterans Council.

The chapter participates each year in the Veterans Day Parade, local commemorative events, and parades promoting patriotism.   Veterans Day Parade

We collect stamps used as physical therapy tools for wounded veterans.

We purchased wreaths for the Sarasota National Cemetery supporting the Wreaths Across America.

Our chapter provides items to Manasota Operation Troop Support which assist local military families along with troops overseas.

We generously support the efforts of the National Society’s DAR Project Patriot Committee.