District III of DAR recognizes good citizens

Mar. 05, 2013 @ 04:59 PM

Local high school students and others from Mecklenburg, Stanly, Concord and Cabarrus counties were recognized as Good Citizens by the District III chapter of the North Carolina Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Saturday.

The event is held annually and the winner of the District III award moves on to compete against winners of other districts in the state. The winner of the state competition then competes with others nationwide to be named the national winner.

“When you look at the young people’s records, they have just been outstanding,” Valerie Hargett, the state DAR committee chair, said in reference to the students honored at Saturday’s event.

The reception was held at the Monroe Country Club and began around 2:30 p.m. with the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and the American’s Creed as well as the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Mark Erwin, who is the president of Erwin Capital, Inc. in Charlotte, was the event’s guest speaker.

During the Clinton Administration, Erwin served in two positions. In 1997 he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and from 1999-2001, he served as a United State Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of the Seychelles and the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros. He has remained active in civic affairs and has served on the boards of 35 civic, charitable and education organizations. He worked as an adjunct professor at the Business School of Winthrop University for several years and guest lectured at many schools and universities. He received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Winthrop University in 1994 and in 2000, he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine” from the governor of North Carolina, according to a statement about Erwin’s history from local NC DAR chapter.

“In history, those who have been successful have been persistent,” Erwin said during his speech Saturday.

He gave examples throughout history about how persistence paid off in the end. This included such examples as George Washington losing a number of battles during the American Revolution but in the end winning the final battle, which was the most important as well as Abraham Lincoln unsuccessfully running for many different public offices and failing before eventually being elected president of the United States.

“The single most important thing he did, he had persistence over everything,” Erwin said while speaking about Abraham Lincoln.

In addition to having persistence, Erwin encouraged the students being honored at the reception to do what they could to be good leaders and to get involved locally as well as to follow three standards in order to be successful, which were to do something that will make a difference, do something that will do some good for others and to have fun.

After Erwin’s speech, winners of the organization’s essay contest were named as well as the students from throughout District III who received the Good Citizen honor.

“The DAR Good Citizens Award is presented to a high school senior that has demonstrated the qualities of a good citizen,” Hargett said.

The faculty and senior class of each high school chose a student to receive the award who displayed the qualities of dependability, leadership, patriotism and service, she said.

Scott Ortlip of Charlotte Christian School was named the District III winner while Emily Gale of Northwest Cabarrus High School came in second place and Paul Shaver, Jr., of Butler High School, came in third.

“I feel really honored that my class and faculty gave me the award, Matthew Wilfong of Piedmont High School, who was one of the Good Citizens award winners, said.

Cooper Wilson, of Union Academy felt similarly and said he works to stick to the qualities of being a good citizen in his every day life.

“I try to live my life by being a good person,” Wilson said.

For more information about the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), visit www.dar.org.

Daughters of the American Revolution John Foster Chapter (Union County area) Good Citizens:

Strahinja Talic of Central Academy of Technology and Arts

Kathleen Cashman of Cuthbertson High School

Kimberly Rivers of Forest Hills High School

Sarah Fisenne of Marvin Ridge High School

Breyana Thomas of Monroe High School

Joshua Hawkins of Parkwood High School

Matthew Wilfong of Piedmont High School

April Sandoval of Porter Ridge High School

Hannah Hoang of Sun Valley High School

Emma Gutt of Weddington High School

Cooper Wilson of Union Academy

Kellie Karpovich of Union County Early College