DAR honors outstanding Lely JROTC cadet from Marco Island

Chris Curle
Special to teh Eagle
Lely High School sophomore, Mauricio A Rocha of Marco Island, with his mother, Lizbeth Palacios, displaying his DAR outstanding JROTC cadet certificate.

Marco Island’s Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapter held its first “regular “meeting at Marco Lutheran Church April 15 at the Marco Lutheran Church. It was the first in-person meeting for the members since the Zoom meetings of the virus restrictions.

Each year, the DAR awards a medal to an outstanding JROTC cadet who has shown leadership skills and academic achievement. This year’s medal and certificate was presented to Lely sophomore Mauricio Andre Rocha, who lives on Marco Island. His proud mother, Lizbeth Palacios, was at the meeting to see her son honored.

JROTC is the acronym for Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Its website reads in part: “The U.S. Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) is one of the largest character development and citizenship programs for youth in the world. The National Defense Act of 1916 established organized JROTC programs at public and private educational institutions… Each military service must have a JROTC program to ‘instill in students … the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.’ JROTC’s mission is, “To motivate young people to be better citizens.’ ” To learn more visit http://www.usarmyjrotc.com/

Members of Marco Island’s Daughters of the American Revolution enjoy a post-meeting lunch at CJ’s on the Bay.

DAR and the Lely Senior Instructor selected Cadet Lt. Rocha for his commitment and service as the JROTC’s Commander of Delta Company. He also is on the drill team. Rocha is taking Honors courses, plans to go to college and study film. Congratulations, Cadet Lt. Rocha!

At the meeting, member Peggy Eckhold outlined a proposed DAR project, a give-a-book/take-a- book children’s library. The chapter will pay $300 for the Little Free Library Project kit. Peggy volunteered her husband to assemble the library stand over the summer. She is waiting for Mackle Park officials to approve placement of a Little Free Library there. That would be the first such children’s library on Marco. To learn more about the project visit www.littlefreelibrary.com.

After the meeting, many of the members retired to CJ’s On the Bay restaurant for lunch.

DAR is a service organization with 180,000 members in three-thousand chapters worldwide. Members are women eighteen years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

Monthly DAR meetings are at 10:30 a.m., on the third Thursday of each month. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. The chapter has 73 members and welcomes visitors from other chapters. Please contact Ellen Camm, ellencammg@gmail.com, 317-372-1174.

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