Chapman wins state award

Published 8:03 pm Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bobbie Chapman was named a 2009 Community Service Award winner from the Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution at the DAR state conference Saturday at the Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel.

“It’s very humbling,” Chapman said. “It is my joy and honor to do community work with the Western Tidewater Free Clinic and Suffolk Partnership. I have found it very rewarding to continue to work in the health area, and this award just touches my heart.”

The award was designed to recognize DAR members for their “outstanding achievements in educational, humanitarian, patriotic, historical or citizenship endeavors or environmental conservation,” according to a DAR newsletter.

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Frances Carr, regent for the Constantia chapter of the DAR in Suffolk, said Chapman’s work was “more than deserving” of the award. Chapman was awarded the chapter’s community service award, and her application was sent to compete in the state level, where she won again.

The chapter wanted to keep the award a surprise for Chapman, but that proved increasingly more difficult when Chapman said she was not planning to attend Saturday’s event.

In fact, up until the day before the conference, Chapman still did not know about the win and had not changed her plans, until Carr finally broke down and told her she was going to be honored.

“I thought, ‘I’m not picking up her state award,’” Carr said. “I called and I said, ‘I would like for you to come to the meeting.’ And she said, ‘Oh, I don’t know,’ and finally I said, ‘I would like for you to come to the meeting to accept your award.’ She just shrieked, “Oh, I didn’t know! I wouldn’t have done that to you,’ and I said, ‘I know, that’s exactly why I’m calling.’”

Chapman’s application included letters of recommendation from several community leaders praising her work in her community, at her church and specifically with the Western Tidewater Free Clinic.

“As one of the founding members of the Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk, Va., I know for certain that the clinic would not be in existence today if not for the tireless volunteer efforts of Bobbie Chapman,” wrote Terri Babineau, WTFC board member and volunteer physician. “She is an inspiration to those around her and teaches by example. When I teach medical students and residents and even my own children, I use people like her to show how to have happy and fulfilled life through service.”