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DAR chapters recognize good citizens at luncheon

Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat Tessa Aldridge, left, and her daughter, Murphy, recite the Pledge of Allegiance Monday before the Daughters of the American Revolution national defense luncheon. Aldridge, and three other high school students were selected as DAR Good Citizens.

NATCHEZ — Being named one of four Good Citizens of the year by the Daughters of the American Revolution Monday meant more to Dakota Vaughan because of who voted for him to receive the honor.

It wasn’t the members of the organization or even a committee of random community members.

The reason the Cathedral School senior was so honored to receive an award for his leadership, good citizenship, community service, dependability and patriotism was because his fellow classmates voted for him.

“When people you know and have grown up with your whole life vote for you, it just makes it that much more special,” Vaughan said after the DAR national defense luncheon at the Carriage House. “It’s an honor and one that I wasn’t really expecting.”

Vaughan plays football and soccer at Cathedral and plans on attending the University of Southern Mississippi.

Each year the Natchez Chapter DAR and the William Dunbar Chapter DAR have a joint meeting to announce the recipients of the DAR Good Citizen Award.

The award is given to one senior student from each of the area high schools — Cathedral School, Trinity Episcopal Day School, Adams County Christian School and Natchez High School.

Guidance counselors from each school prepare a list of nominations and students vote on who they think should be selected.

Trinity senior Murphy Aldridge shared Vaughn’s sentiments about the honor of being selected by her fellow classmates.

“The fact that they selected me makes me know that people actually like me and recognize the things I do around the school and the community,” Aldridge said. “I just try to help people in whatever way I can.

“It was definitely an honor to receive this award.”

Murphy is the secretary of the Key Club, vice president of the book club, president of the photography club and plays basketball.

She plans on attending Ole Miss to study psychology or marketing.

Natchez High senior Joy Cameron said she was familiar with the DAR award and recognition because the past two Natchez seniors to receive the award were her friends.

“They had told me about the award and what an honor it was, and the whole time I was just thinking, ‘That sure would be nice if I won that,’” Cameron said laughing. “I did end up being selected, and it feels great.”

Cameron plays cello with the NHS band and is planning on attending Southern Mississippi to study criminal justice.

ACCS senior William Ladner said he also knew about the award because his friend and former soccer play, Kevin Campbell, received the award last year.

“Kevin had told me about the award, and I was just very thankful to have been selected,” Ladner said. “I try to do my best to be a leader in everyday situations, so it’s nice to get this recognition from my peers.”

Ladner is a member of the student council, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and plays soccer, tennis and runs track.

Ladner plans to study nursing at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.