Michigan Society

Sons of the American Revolution

West Michigan Chapter News & Announcements

WMC Meeting Features Patriot Biography Presentation

At the last WMC chapter meeting (May 10), members and guests were honored with a special presentation of a biography of Patriot Dr. George Sager by his fifth-g-grandson, Roger Cotner. (For Dr. Sager's full biography, please click here.) Compatriot Cotner opened his remarks with a special shout-out to MISSAR Genealogist Michael Huey for the critical work he performed in connecting Roger with his Patriot. Patriot Sager lived in Ohio for the remainder of his post-War life and Roger is from there, as well.

On a recent trip to his alma mater, Wittenberg University in Springfield, Roger stopped by Darby Township Cemetery in Plain City, Ohio in an attempt to locate his Patriot's grave marker, but it could not be found. Undaunted, using his research, Compatriot Cotner contacted a Darby Township trustee and obtained permission to erect a new marker for Dr. Sager with help from the Veterans Administration. Roger's hard work paid off (see photos above), and Dr. Sager's gravesite will be formally dedicated May 28, 2017.

WMC Honors Local members at Annual Meeting

It was Ladies Night at the 2017 WMC Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids, and it was an evening of celebration and special recognition of contributions over the past year of not only of members and friends, but of their wives and significant others. Chapter president Ken Goodson presented the SAR’s Distinguished Service Award to Tom Lannon of Grand Rapids for his work as WMC Co-Treasurer, as well as for his work on veterans programs and the chapter's scouting programs.

Awarded the Roger Sherman Bronze Medal for outstanding service were: Mark Ackerman of Grand Rapids for his work as Flag Chair, James Biener of Grand Rapids for his role as Co-Treasurer and work with veterans programs, Jason Gideon of Grant for his tenure as WMC 1st Vice President, as well as his work on the chapter newsletter and member of the color guard, Charles “Chip” Stevers of Ada for his tenure as WMC 2nd Vice President and his meeting organization efforts, and Craig Rich of Holland for his work as chapter media liaison.

Mark Johnston of Plainwell received the Bronze Medal of Appreciation for his work as WMC Secretary and as liaison with the local chapter of Children of the American Revolution, which includes his daughters Jasmyn and Natalia.

Awarded a Certificate of Distinguished Service was Ron Strauss of Wyoming for his work documenting the West Michigan Chapter’s history.

Awarded Certificates of Appreciation were: Kameel Chamelly of Martha’s Vineyard for hosting the annual meeting, Harry Rinker of Kentwood, and Nathan Triplett of East Lansing.

Also recognized at the annual meeting were Grand Rapids-based Moses Clark Society of the CAR officers Danielle Taylor (Senior Society President), Society President Alycia Pietrzar, and Chapter Secretary Ovilia Taylor, who received the SAR Bronze Medal of Appreciation for their service.

Elizabeth Kraatz and her children Alice and James received the Bronze Medal of Appreciation. James Kraatz is an SAR member, but also serves as State Secretary of the CAR and has been instrumental in working with the State Society to recognize our veterans, additionally serving as a member of the SAR Color Guard in two key events during the year. Alice serves as Second VP of the State Society of the CAR and initiated the appeal to the Michigan State legislature to proclaim March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day in Michigan.

Please click on any of the photos above to launch the gallery of images from this event. (Photos courtesy of Cyndie Hartmann)

WMC Particpates in Ceremonies Honoring Vietnam Veterans

Michigan Senate Resolution #35 states: "All citizens of the state of Michigan are encouraged to honor our Vietnam veterans." Your Western Michigan Chapter of the SAR did just this. On March 29, the 44th anniversary of when the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last known prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil, we participted in a celebration that was held at Bronson Park in Kalamazoo, and Kanley Chapel, on the Campus of Western Michigan University, to recognize and thank Veterans of the Vietnam War. All Vietnam-era veterans in attendance were individually recognized and received a special commemorative pin issued by the Department of Defense.

Please click on any of the photos above to launch the gallery of images from this event.

WMC President Ken Goodson Gives Talk to Students

Compatriot Ken Goodson delivered a talk on the American Revolution with particular emphasis on Washington's Guard to a select group of 5th and 6th graders at Lamont Christian School on January 19. WMC Compatriot Thomas Lannon, who organized the event, was also present. After the talk, both compatriots fielded questions from the class. (photo courtesy Lamont Principal Joseph Oosterheert)

Local Belle Tire Receives Flag Award

Compatriot Mark Ackerman (not pictured) presented an employee of the Kalamazoo Street Belle Tire in Kentwood (outside of Grand Rapids) with a Flag Award certificate on 11 February 2017.

WMC Tours Ford Museum

On Saturday, January 14, West Michigan Chapter members and their guests gathered for lunch then toured the Gerald R. Ford museum, guided by Compatriot Harry Rinker.

Robert DeNooyer Chevrolet in Holland Presented Flag Award

WMC Compatriot Craig Rich presented Robert DeNooyer Chevrolet a certificate on October 22 for proudly flying Old Glory at his dealership. DeNooyer stated that they endeavored to find "the largest flag we could get," so a flag the same size as flown over Marine barracks was procured. The dealership employs an outside contractor to assist with care for the flag because of its size. (Click on thumbs to see photos full size.)

WMC-Sponsored Genealogy Workshop a Big Success

Thirty-one local residents and a representative of the Detroit DAR attended the October 15 Genealogy Workshop held at the Herrick Library in Holland. Compatriot Doug Rasmussen put in a tremendous amount of work along with fellow compatriots, Jason Gideon and Ronald Strauss to organize the event, which was co-sponsored by the Holland DAR, the Holland Genealogy Society, as well as the Library, all of whom had representatives present. WMC President Goodson noted, "I could not have been more proud of the quality of the presentations by Trustee Rasmussen and Genealogist Huey and the help all members gave during the session. Our members were patient answering all questions with respect and giving follow up contact information after the meeting."

Please visit the WMC Facebook page and the Herrick District Library Facebook page for more information and photos.

Compatriot Doug Rasmussen Hits the Airwaves to Promote the SAR

Here is a recording of Doug Rasmussen on The Pledge Radio (1260-AM or 96.5-FM, western Michigan area) discussing the SAR and the October 15, 2016 Genealogy Workshop. (Make sure your browser can launch MP3 files, or right-click on the link and select "Save target as..." to download and listen offline.)

WMC Present Flag Award to Hutchinson Systems

L-R: Compatriot Thomas Lannon, Compatriot Mark Ackerman (Quality/Production Assistance Technician at Hutchinson), Cedric Duclos President & CEO of Hutchinson Global AV & BD Systems, Jim Todoroff Executive Vice President of Hutchinson Anti-Vibration Systems North America, and WMC President Ken Goodson. At the Hutchinson Grand Rapids Plant, April 6, 2016.

MSCAR Says "Thank You!" to the WMC

Members of the Michigan Society of the Children of the American Revolution (MSCAR) sent the West Michigan Chapter a card with this photo on it thanking us for our generous donation of $300 at the 45th Annual Great Lakes Regional meeting.