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Young writer wins American Flag Essay Contest

Olivia Grace Ralbovsky, winner of this year’s DAR essay contest with her dog Louis, who is sometimes the subject of her writing. Photo Submitted.

Olivia Grace Ralbovsky, winner of this year’s DAR essay contest with her dog Louis, who is sometimes the subject of her writing. Photo Submitted.

— Statewide, there are approximately 7,000 members within the Daughters of the American Revolution. The national chapter formed in 1890 and there are 168,000 members across the country. Applicants must prove their lineage back to a Revolutionary War soldier.

Corrine Scirocco, regent for the Saratoga chapter, has been with the organization for ten years and said there are many options to prove lineage.

“There’s all kinds of ways, like the census. I have seven ancestors anybody younger will need more. You can have a cousin or an aunt or somebody else (to link back to),” said Scirocco.

Gloria Waldron Hukle has been a member of the Fort Crailo chapter in Rensselaer for five years and has attended many events hosted by the Saratoga chapter.

“I think that the DAR is a fabulous opportunity for women to be involved and make a difference … This is not your grandmother’s DAR. This is an organization of women who are involved in many community events and affairs, they’re dedicated to historical preservation. … It’s a lot more than proving out your lineage,” said Hukle.

The chapter offered the contest to fifth- and sixth-grade public, private, parochial and home schooled students in the Saratoga, Shenendehowa and Corinth school districts. Last year the contest yielded over100 entries, but this year that fell quite a bit. Eight entries were received by the Saratoga chapter, and about 50 were turned in statewide.

“Some of the children wrote lovely essays, but not ‘What it means to me.’ … Olivia looked at the flag and felt empowered,” said Linda Lewis, the Saratoga chapter’s corresponding secretary.

“That’s the first contest she’s entered, and she’s got a very strong interest in writing. She’s writing stories all of the time,” said Olivia’s mother, Suzanne Ralbovsky. She also said that Olivia writes on a variety of things including stories about her dog Louis, girls her own age, and some mysteries. She added that her teacher, Alison Robbens, is “pretty inspiring.”

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