About the Chapter
In the late spring of 1992, DAR members Agnes Van Orden, Mary Lou Chianese, Jean Katz, Claire Pellarin, and Beverleigh Schlieben met to organize a new Pennsylvania chapter. Along with Elizabeth Carfagno, Roselyn Doverspike, Beverlee Felkner, Rachel Kemble, Nancy LaRocca, Marion O’Neill, Diane Orr, Edith Orr, Jean Torongo, Marjorie Torongo and Marilyn Watson, they are known as the organizing and charter members.
On August 29, 1992, organizing officers were installed by the state organizing secretary and twelve of the sixteen organizing and charter members signed a “report to organize.”
Organizing officers were: Agnes Van Orden, regent; Mary Lou Chianese, vice regent; Beverleigh Schlieben, chaplain; Jean Torongo, recording secretary; Beverlee Felkner, corresponding
secretary; Marjorie Torongo, treasurer; Elizabeth Carfargno, registrar. Beverleigh Schleiben also served as parliamentarian.
Additional DAR members Joan Henry, Patricia Kondash, Charlotte Rieger, Francella Smith, and Carole Tafaro joined the newly forming chapter, bringing the total number of charter members to twenty-one.
Committee members during the organizing year were: American Heritage and American History Month, Beverlee Felkner; DAR School, Patricia Kondash, Carol Talfaro; Flag of the USA, Jean Torongo; Finance, Marjorie Torongo, Mary Lou Chianese, Jean Katz; Genealogical Records and Lineage Research, Elizabeth Carfagno; National Defense, Jean Katz; Program, Mary Lou Chianese, Elizabeth Carfagno, Agnes Van Orden; Public Relations, Mary Lou Chianese; Ways and Means, Marjorie Torongo.
In keeping with the bylaws of the National Society, three names were submitted for consideration: Washington Crossing, Bowman Hill, and Samuel Merrick. On October 7, 1992, the National Board of Management confirmed the new chapter as Washington Crossing Chapter of Yardley, Pennsylvania, making it the 146th chapter formed in the state of Pennsylvania.
The 10th anniversary was celebrated at the home of Mary Lou Chianese on October 12, 2002. Organizing and charter members in attendance were: Mary Lou Chianese, Jean Katz, Nancy LaRocca, Claire Pellarin, Beverleigh Schlieben, Jean Torongo, Marjorie Torongo and Agnes Van Orden. Charter members attending were: Joan Henry and Francella Smith. A membership of 43 was reported to National in January of 2003.
By 2005, membership had reached 50 or more members and it was no longer practical to continue holding meetings in members’ homes. Arrangements were then made with the David Library of the American Revolution (DLAR) in Washington Crossing for the use of its facilities. Our relationship with the DLAR continues today and we are grateful to its Board of Trustees for its many courtesies over the years.
On October 13 2007, at the David Library, the chapter celebrated its 15th anniversary. In honor of the occasion, the Bucks County Commissioners proclaimed October 13 as “Washington Crossing DAR Day” throughout Bucks County. Meg McSweeney, chief operating officer of the DLAR, was the featured speaker of the day and presented a program on the legacy of Sol Feinstone, the founder of the David Library. In attendance were past regents Agnes Van Orden, Mary Lou Chianese, and Jean Torongo, and current regent Glenda Baggesen-Jensen. A special guest in attendance was Roberta P. McMullen, Pennsylvania State Society DAR registrar. The membership of 76 was reported to National in January 2008.
Having achieved a membership of over 100 members, in 2010 our by-laws were amended to provide for a second vice regent and to honor our founding regent as “Honorary Regent.”
Throughout the years, the chapter has been recognized with membership and achievement awards from the National and State societies and individual members acknowledged for outstanding service.
With great pride, the chapter celebrated its 20th anniversary on October 20, 2012, with a membership of 124 and a proven record of dedicated service to the objectives of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
2011-2014 Officers and Committee Chairmen
Regent Sally Haulman
First Vice Regent Dotty Gannon
Second Vice Regent Carrie Wetherby
Chaplain Marianne Morgan
Recording Secretary Mary Lou Chianese
Corresponding Secretary Shari Vetter
Treasurer Nicole Schuster
Registrar Karen Nilsen
Historian Jean Torongo
Librarian Jennifer Goodwin
Parliamentarian Sandy Miller
Honorary Regent Sue Van Orden
American History Essay Contest Susan Weber, Debbie Versfeld
American Indians Nancy Bremble
C.A.R. Mary Lou Chianese, Emily McCarthy
Conservation Martha Cleaves
Constitution Week Sandy Miller
DAR Magazine Judi Biederman
DAR Schools Mary Seiferman
DAR Service for Veterans & Project Patriot Barbara Epting, Dotty Gannon
Genealogical Records Chris Roberts, Karen Nilsen
Junior Membership Christine Jacknick
Lineage Research Karen Nilsen, Chris Roberts, Marguerite Mogila, Marianne Morgan, Barb Ortolf
Literary Promotion Lorraine Kish
Membership Lorraine Kish, Karen Nilsen, Marguerite Mogila
National Defense Jen Viscusi
Program Carrie Wetherby, Leslie Jones
Public Relations Jennifer Goodwin
Volunteer Information Specialist Karen Nilsen
Audit Judi Biederman
Bylaws Sue Van Orden, Jean Torongo
Communications Judi Biederman, Karen Nilsen
Finance Nicole Schuster, Judi Biederman
Hospitality Leslie Jones
Insignia Mary Lou Chianese
Webmaster Judi Biederman
Yearbook Sally Haulman, Erin Maguire