In celebration of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)\u2019s 125th anniversary, members of the Drum Hill chapter will participate in a nationwide day of service on Sunday, Oct. 11.\u201cThe Daughters of the American Revolution are asking all the women in the DAR to donate a million hours of service on that day,\u201d said Mary Bendix, regent of the Drum Hill chapter and a DAR member for 14 years.\u201cIt can be through a specific project that the chapter itself does or individuals within a chapter can donate volunteer hours on that day.\u201dThe Drum Hill chapter was organized in 1957 and currently has 79 members, ranging in age from 18 to about 85, from Wilton, Ridgefield, Redding, and Weston.Bendix said most of the chapter\u2019s Wilton members will volunteer at the Minks to Sinks Fall Sale on Oct. 11, while other members will either work on individual service projects or help with the chapter\u2019s Comstock Cemetery restoration project.The Drum Hill chapter has taken on the task of restoring the headstones at Comstock Cemetery on Ridgefield Road \u2014 a project Bendix said will take \u201cseveral years.\u201dComstock Cemetery opened in 1782, making it the third oldest burial yard in Wilton, where seven Revolutionary War soldiers and more than 60 of the town\u2019s forefathers are buried.\u201cMost of the headstones have been broken \u2014 they are in horrible disrepair and a lot of them are buried,\u201d she said.\u201cIt takes a tremendous amount of work to restore gravestones. You have to handle them very carefully because when you clean them, you can destroy them.\u201dBendix said the goal is to \u201crestore the burial ground to its original state, or as close to its original state\u201d as possible.Drum Hill Vice Regent Sara Champion is spearheading the restoration project and has been working with the Connecticut Gravestone Network to make sure the headstones are handled properly.Champion has also worked with local Eagle Scouts to clean up and clear out a lot of the brush in the area, said Bendix.\u201cThere are a number of cemeteries around town that are quite significant, but this cemetery in particular has fallen into disrepair,\u201d said Bendix. \u201cIt\u2019s quite a project that we\u2019re undertaking.\u201d Other projects Drum Hill DAR is involved in a number of activities each year, said Bendix, including raising money for scholarships, giving out awards and supporting veterans. \u201cOne thing our chapter happens to be very involved in is raising money for scholarships for local kids, and also for schools for disadvantaged children,\u201d said Bendix. Each year, the chapter honors students from Wilton High School, Ridgefield High School, Weston High School, and Joel Barlow with DAR Good Citizen Awards. According to the Drum Hill DAR website, the award is given to students who demonstrate \u201can outstanding degree of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism at home, in school and in the community.\u201d The chapter also gives out $1,000 Scholar Awards to graduating seniors who demonstrate \u201coutstanding community service, academic achievement, and a commitment to the ideals of patriotism, historic preservation and education,\u201d according to its website. \u201cWe actually just got recognized by the state for being the outstanding chapter in the state and we have been nominated for a national award for our efforts in awarding scholarships,\u201d said Bendix. \u201cWe have worked very, very hard to give out scholarships to local high school students, and that\u2019s been a 50-year tradition in the Drum Hill DAR.\u201d Bendix said the chapter does a lot for the veterans at the Rocky Hill and New Haven veterans hospitals. \u201cWe get together with the Children of the American Revolution to build things and do projects that we take up to the veterans at the hospitals,\u201d she said. \u201cIt\u2019s very gratifying when you can take something up to them and they really appreciate the things that you do and make for them.\u201d DAR eligibility Bendix said the DAR is open to all women who are at least 18 years of age and have an American patriot ancestor. Girls under 18 may join the Children of the American Revolution. \u201cMost people think you have to descend from a man \u2014\u00a0not true,\u201d said Bendix. \u201cA female relative may have helped in the Revolution and may qualify as a patriot for the lineal descent.\u201d She said another misconception has to do with the role an ancestor played in the Revolution. \u201cA lot of people get confused and think that they have to be a descendant of someone who fought in the Revolutionary War, but they don\u2019t have to have actually fought,\u201d said Bendix. \u201cIt can be somebody who provided material service in the Revolution. For instance, if you housed somebody during the war, you provided material aid and you were part of the American Revolution.\u201d Bendix said Connecticut was \u201ca very significant area\u201d during the Revolution and \u201cthere are a number of people who are eligible to join DAR but don\u2019t realize that they are.\u201d Bendix said she loves being a member of the DAR because it connects her to the nation\u2019s history. \u201cMy sixth great-grandfather happened to have been at the Battle of Cowpens, and I just find it fascinating to think about what he did and what he fought for,\u201d she said. (The Battle of Cowpens was fought Jan. 17, 1781, in Cherokee County, S.C., and was a victory for the Continental Army.) \u201cYou appreciate everything that people [who fought in wars] have done for you, and it really makes you think hard and long about all the sacrifices that these people have made for us.\u201d Click here\u00a0to learn more about Drum Hill DAR.