History of Our Chapter
The Thomas Heyward, Jr. Chapter NSDAR was organized on April 5, 1976. Constance Smith was the first Regent. When fully organized, the chapter had a total of thirty-three charter members. The chapter has continued to experience steady growth over the past forty years and currently has over eighty members and associate members.
Members of the chapter have participated in many state projects over the years. As part of a state project the chapter provided over a thousand hand knitted skull caps to deployed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 1979, the chapter placed a bronze bust of Thomas Heyward, Jr., in Beaufort's Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. Each September, chapter members gather at the bust to celebrate Constitution Week with a program and Proclamation of Constitution Week by the mayor of the City of Beaufort.
In 1990, the chapter was instrumental in establishing a Beaufort Heritage Society Luncheon with participation by five local hereditary society groups. This event has since expanded to include a fall barbecue.
In 2017, the chapter donated a banner commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War to Blackstone's, a local Beaufort restaurant where the chapter board meetings are held. The banner is displayed in a prominent location so it can be seen by every patron as a reminder of the sacrifices made by service members and their families.
At chapter meetings, a metal "birthday box" is passed, and members are urged to make a contribution for every year of their age. The collected funds are sent to the Tamassee DAR School to use where the need is greatest. The chapter also supports Tamassee DAR School with money and items for the Thrift Shop.
Annually, the chapter participates with the National Society in presenting certificates and awards to DAR Good Citizens from the three local high schools. The chapter also participates in the American History essay contest for students in fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Awards are also presented to local noteworthy JROTC students and to an Outstanding Teacher of American History. A Community Service award is presented to a deserving local organization each year in May.
The chapter has a long tradition of an annual Christmas Tea and a Spring Luncheon. After the Christmas Tea, members deliver Christmas Cards and other items to the Victory Veterans Home in Walterboro, South Carolina.
Each year the chapter participates with Wreaths Across America to place wreaths on headstones at the Beaufort National Cemetery where there are more than 20,000 graves of veterans of all wars beginning with the Civil War.
Our members volunteer with many local charities and are involved with activities such as delivering meals, tutoring children after school hours, and supporting military wives. Also, several chapter members volunteer at the Beaufort Branch of the Heritage Library working with people interested in genealogy.