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About our Chapter

The first meeting of our chapter was Charter Night, on January 12, 1975 when the chapter was presented its charter by CAPT Clifton Cates, USN-Ret., national TROA’s Director of Chapter Affairs.
 
The event took place at Lancaster Hilton Hotel.  BGEN Richard M. Scott, who was then mayor of Lancaster, administered the oath of office to Chapter officers.
 
There were 64 charter members at the time the chapter was formed.  The first president was LTC Rodney Parrish, who in 1974 had first proposed establishing a TROA chapter in Lancaster.  Dues were a handsome $3 per year.
 
The chapter held its first Military Ball in the Lancaster Hilton Inn on May 2, 1975.  And on May 3, 1975, the chapter participated in the Loyalty Day Parade
 
At a board meeting of November 23, 1975, LTC Parrish reported on his having attended a meeting in Harrisburg for organizing a Pennsylvania Council of TROA chapters.  Seven of the nine Pennsylvania chapters attended the meeting.  The board voted to join the Council.
 
By February 1976, chapter membership had grown to 134, and dues had grown to $5. 
 
Records after February 1976 are not available, but they resumed on December 4, 1981.  Sometime in the late 70s,  the chapter was deactivated.  It was reactivated by 13 members on December 4, 1981 and grew to 72 members when the long-time membership chairman died in December 1993.  With a new membership chairman, vigorous growth came with each new year, with the chapter becoming the largest chapter in the state in 2002, with 561 members. 
 
The new membership chairman also started a newsletter in June 1994.  An award-winning newsletter, it continues to appear every other month, beginning in January.  Many consider it to be the glue that binds the chapter together, telling of the accomplishments of the chapter and its members and advising of up-coming events.
 
In 1998, National TROA created an awards program for chapters who had excelled in specified ways.  Our chapter promptly submitted an entry and received an award that year.  We’ve submitted entries every year since then, through 2007, and have won an award in nine of those 10 years.  Of the 400-plus MOAA chapters in the U.S., only nine others have won as many awards as the Lancaster chapter during those years.  We see that as a strong endorsement of the quality of our programs.

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