Clara Barton Chapter History
The Clara Barton Chapter in Huntington Beach was organized on January 13, 1974. By 1994, there were fifty-one members in the chapter. We have grown steadily since then, and now have a membership of over 150.
Our chapter members have served and continue to serve the Society at the district and state levels:
- In 1998, Regent Patsy Weikart was selected as the California State Outstanding Chapter Regent. She went on to serve as California state librarian from 2000 to 2002 and has since served on numerous state committees.
- Jennifer Garvin, our current chapter regent, is the state chairman of the Page Committee and also serves as national vice chairman Southwest Division of the Flag of the United States of America Committee. Jennifer was named Outstanding Junior and in 2013 was named Outstanding Chapter Regent.
- Michelle Wikum is a personal page to the State Regent and is the state chairman of Junior Membership.
- Other pages in the chapter are Nicole Russo and Julia Staudinger.
- Sharon Maas, a past regent, is also District XII director, and state chairman of the Protocol Committee.
- Karen Kurtz, a past regent and current chapter VIS chairman, is District XII VIS chairman, and assistant VIS California state chairman. In 2004, she was the national winner of the screen saver contest. In 2013, she was honored as the California State VIS Representative of the Year.
Our chapter is named after Clara Barton, who was born on Christmas day in the year 1821 in North Oxford, Massachusetts. She began working early in life, teaching school in Oxford for ten years. Clara then taught in a girl's academy in Clinton, New York, and later in one of the first "free" schools located in New Jersey. After two years, she resigned and went to work in the Patent Office in Washington, DC, where she was working when the Civil War began.
At once she saw the plight of enlisted men and solicited friends for supplies to help soldiers in the field. Clara was at several battles in December 1862, giving out food, supplies and friendship, and she gained the names of "The Angel of the Battlefield," "Daughter of the Regiment," and "Their Florence Nightingale of America."
After the war, she turned her attention to the thousands of missing soldiers. Clara became a nurse and later founded the American Red Cross, becoming its first president. Clara died April 12, 1912, at the age of ninety years, in New York. She joined the DAR and subsequently became the First Surgeon General, NSDAR.