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Long Time Imperial Beach Resident Virginia Syverson has been named the National Honoree of the William O. Perry Volunteer Award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge

Sep 12, 2018 11:29AM ● By Paul Spear
Long Time Imperial Beach Resident Virginia Syverson has been named the National Honoree of the William O. Perry Volunteer Award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge

San Diego Chapter’s own Virginia Syverson has been named the National Honoree of the William O. Perry Volunteer Award. Virginia will be honored at the 50th Annual Chapters and Partners Conference held on the Valley Forge campus, September 13-16, 2018. This award is presented to a chapter member for their exemplary service and personal commitment to the Chapter and the overall mission of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. We congratulate and salute Virginia for this outstanding honor!

Virginia has worked with FFVF San Diego for about 15 years. In 1950’s President Eisenhower and several major business leaders purchased a campus in Valley Forge, PA. The purpose was to establish an educational program to educate the public about American ideals. This is a patriotic group, but it welcomes a variety of ideas and really helps students to develop thinking skills, learn about U.S. history, and become involved in their communities. www.freedomsfoundation.org  (San Diego chapter).

Virginia Said, "My role has been to recruit students, lead a selection process, plan a six day trip, and help students to attend a leadership conference at Valley Forge and then on to Washington, D.C. After I retired from teaching high school, I missed working with kids.  This gives me a chance to meet kids from all over San Diego county who apply to attend the conference and visit D.C."

Virginia went on to say, "I especially like to have students from Mar Vista and Southwest High Schools attend. The students are remarkable and I learn from them.  Some have never traveled before; for some this is the first time on an airplane! They often return saying “this trip changed my life!” For several years the chaperone has been Monica Gutierrez, a Southwest High teacher and alum who attended the conference when she was a junior in high school (I was the chaperone).

At Valley Forge, they get to hear from college professors, economists, and “re-enactors” (i.e. George Washington; a debate between Hamilton and Jefferson). They participate in small group activities and simulations, and are given many opportunities to express themselves while working with students from other regions off the U.S. They also tour historical Philadelphia and roam around the camp site of Washington’s troops who spent a bitter winter in Valley Forge.
I was named the Volunteer of the year for the San Diego chapter of FFVF; that included a luncheon, and visit to the winner’s circle at Del Mar to greet the horse who won the FFVF race.  Fun!  I later received a letter saying In was the National Volunteer of the year. Wow; I actually didn’t know that an application had been sent by our chapter for me. (There is an extensive award program at the local level for people who contribute to their community. I love honoring these folks, and often write nominations.)"

Per Virginia, "I will be flying to Philadelphia Thursday, September 13—unless hurricane Florence moves north and interferes with those plans."


Virginia has also been past President of the Imperial Beach Optimists and Friends of the Library. Virginia and her family have been and are involved in many projects that have helped improve the Imperial Beach Community!

Congratulations to one of our many outstanding community here in Imperial Beach!

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Paul Spear, Publisher, and Editor of Dig Imperial Beach 







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