DAR gives awards

Published 9:16 pm Thursday, May 10, 2012

Faye Sobel, right, regent of the Constantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, presents Anthony Torres, center, with his ROTC award and Good Citizen scholarship during the group’s meeting Thursday. On the left is Torres’ father, Jose Torres.

It was a day of awards at the Daughters of the American Revolution meeting on Thursday.

The Constantia chapter presented a Good Citizen scholarship and ROTC award to a Nansemond River High School student and also presented a 50-year membership pin to one of its members.

Anthony Torres, the scholarship winner, read his award-winning essay to the club.

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He was given two hours to write the essay on the spur of the moment, he said. The topic was on American heritage and citizens’ responsibility for preserving it.

“I just wrote what came to mind,” he said. “I was really happy (to be selected).”

Torres received a $1,000 scholarship with the Good Citizen award. The group used to give $500 but raised enough money this year to up the ante, club regent Faye Sobel said.

In addition, Torres received the ROTC medal given by the group. To receive the medal, he had to be in the upper 25 percent of his ROTC class and in overall academics, and demonstrate character, dependability, leadership, discipline and an understanding of the importance of democracy.

Torres said he has participated in ROTC since his junior year. He now is a senior.

“I’m the highest-ranked cadet,” he said, adding the higher-ranked cadets usually have been in the program for three years. “My lieutenant colonel said I had the maturity and leadership to have a position.”

Torres has been accepted to Old Dominion University and is waiting to hear back from a couple other schools. He hopes to join the Navy ROTC once in college.

He also works at the Regal Harbour View Grande 16 cleaning theaters after shows and working at the concession stand.

Also at the meeting, 92-year-old Alma Cross Duke received a pin for 50 years of membership in the organization.

She appeared to feign surprise, but admitted later she really had forgotten that she had been a member for 50 years.

“I really do enjoy the people that are here,” said Duke, who wears a cross necklace to remind people of her maiden name. “It really is wonderful.”

Duke’s actual 50-year anniversary with the organization was in December, but she had been unable to attend meeting since then.

“They’re doing so many new things now,” she said.