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DAR Awards Two for Excellence in Community Service

At their 2010-2013 Triennium Luncheon on Saturday, May 18th, the Flag House Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) awarded Excellence in Community Service Awards to Joseph J. Menkevich and Michael C. Axelrod.

First a little bit of history about the Flag House Chapter of the DAR.

Mr T. Worcester Worrell, a long-time Frankford resident and member of the Sons of the American Revolution, suggested to his wife, the great grand niece of Betsy Ross, that a family chapter consisting of relatives of “Aunty Claypoole” (as they called Betsy Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole) be formed as a lasting tribute to the maker of America’s first flag.

The idea was well received by Mrs Worrell’s relatives and an organizing meeting was held at the Worrell’s home (Column Hall – State Rd/Church St and Tacony St) on February 23, 1901.  On June 9, 1903, the founding members met the home of Ada Cooper Dickeson where they were granted their Charter from the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.  Ms Dickeson, a member of Delaware County Chapter DAR, became a member of Flag House to be with the Ross family group and bring their numbers to a symbolic thirteen.

In 1924, Flag House Chapter opened its membership to all Revolutionary War descendants – ensuring the chapter’s survival into the next millennium.  Members continue to participate in local, state, and national DAR activities and remain a presence in Frankford and the surrounding area.

Following are the citations for the awards. Joe Menkevich is well known to many in the Frankford community.  He will be our Focus on Frankford subject in June:

Flag House Chapter, NSDAR, proudly honors Joseph J Menkevich with the 2012-13 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award.   Mr Menkevich, an active resident of the Northwood/Frankford area of Philadelphia, has invested his time, resources, and considerable talents in civic/community service in enhancing the livability of his community & preserving the area’s history for over a decade.

As president of the Northwood Civic Assn, he took a firm stance in working with community leaders & City to enforce the area’s protective zoning ordinances – encouraging residents to get involved.  He convened civic meetings around development and demolition to preserve the historic, social, cultural, and economic features of the neighborhood.

Joseph Menkevich can be viewed on You Tube (02 July 2012) sharing his vision for the Frankford community in conjunction with his participation in the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program’s initiative to create six murals featuring the area’s history.    He has devoted his tremendous skills, time, and resources to researching the significance of various properties in the area to discourage their demolition and encourage productive use/reuse.  These include researching/sharing  the historic significance of the home of Dr Benjamin Rush, researching Oaklands – the home of William Overington – researching and sharing the history of Lydia Darragh’s role informing Washington of the movement of British troops, and researching and encouraging the Historical Society of Frankford in the preparation of a nomination for a Philadelphia Historic Commission listing for the oldest house in Frankford.  He is a consistent and vocal presence at community meetings and a frequent contributor to the area’s on-line newspapers (, and ).

 Mr Menkevich continues to generously share his time and talents with the area’s social, civic, and historical groups.  His activities have served to inspire residents to get involved in making their community a better place.   Flag House Chapter is delighted to present this national award.

Mike Axelrod is known to Frankford as a former Vice Principal at Frankford High School.  He has also made a fascinating presentations at the Historical Society of Frankford on flag history.

Flag House Chapter, NSDAR, proudly honors Michael C Axelrod with the 2012-13 National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Community Service Award.  Mr Axelrod has combined his formidable skills as an educator and administrator and his interest in and love for history to research and present a series of programs, activities, and displays on military, American, and Flag of the United States history to children, senior citizens, educational institutions, and social, cultural, patriotic, fraternal, historical groups throughout the SE PA region.

He is Vice President of the national’s oldest flag day association (Philadelphia Flag Day Association, and is an active member of the nation’s first organized military unit (1747 – Veteran Guard, Third Regiment, National Guard of Pennsylvania 

Mr Axelrod took the lead in establishing and expanding the PFDA Flag and Banner Collection, broadening it to include 9-11 and “Support our Troops” flags – now numbering over 200.  He has raised the funds to purchase significant flags through his educational programs, which are richly illustrated by examples from the Collection.   He has been instrumental in the planning of parades/processionals, events/activities, and ceremonies to commemorate 9-11, Flag Day, Veterans’ Day, and Washington’s birthday, working cooperatively with the National  Constitution Center, US Army, Independence National Historic Park, the Betsy Ross House, Fort Mifflin, and local universities and legislators. 

 His latest project is to offer support to enhancing and expanding the Military Museum at the National Guard Armory in NE Philadelphia as a vehicle for the preservation of the nation’s military history through the items from our nation’s military history and the stories of those who used them.   Michael Axelrod continues to explore ways to bring history alive through educational outreach and patriotic pageantry as he generously shares his time and talents with the area’s social, civic, and historical groups.   His activities have served to inspire residents to get involved in making their community and this nation a better place.  Flag House Chapter DAR is delighted to present this national award today.


In addition to the honors bestowed, new chapter officers were also installed as follows:

  • Pamela Rivera, Regent  
  • Patricia Coyne, First Vice Regent  
  • Colleen Kolakowski, Second Vice Regent 
  • Betty Bedford, Chaplain 
  • Patricia Coyne, Recording Secretary   
  • Bunny Riehl, Corresponding Secretary 
  • Christie Link, Treasurer 
  • Nancy Popielarski, Registrar 
  • Patricia Coyne, Historian 
  • Kathleen Zielinski, Librarian 

Congratulations to Joe and Mike and the Flag House Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

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2010-2013 Triennium Luncheon