Schoenborn and Shutts Receive Hendrick Hudson DAR Community Service Awards

The Hendrick Hudson Chapter, NSDAR, awarded two coveted Community Service Awards, to Ella Schoenborn of Coxsackie and Charlotte Shutts of Hillsdale, at its annual meeting on May 16th. The award recognizes individuals who have contributed to the community, without compensation, in an outstanding manner through voluntary heroic, civic, benevolent service, or by organizing or participating in community activities. The award, offered under a committee of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, demonstrates how the NSDAR accomplishes its work via its dozens of service, genealogy, and special committees.

Ella Schoenborn, Mary Lou Zimmermann, and Charlotte Shutts

In 2018, eight-year-old Ella Schoenborn was inspired to help feed the hungry in Greene County and the Capital District when she saw people living on the streets. She knew they were hungry and was driven to action, because, as she says, “you can’t dream if you are hungry.” So she founded a food collection initiative that began with collecting bottles and cans and grew into an enormous effort named Projectella which collects food from restaurants and stores. With the help of her “driver” and father Gus Schoenborn, she contributes food to pantries and Salvation Armies in Coxsackie, Athens, Cairo, Westerlo, Berne, Hilltowns, Catskill and Hudson, as well as to groups like the non-profit Street Soldiers, which feeds the homeless in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Ella, an eighth-grade student at the Academy of Holy Names, can often be found personally serving sandwiches and home-cooked meals that she made herself to people living on the streets. To date, she’s prepared more than 7,000 meals, given out more than 3,000 dozen eggs, and supplied more than 100,000 items to pantries.

Hendrick Hudson member Charlotte Shutts has a long history of community service and in 2019 was recognized by the Roeliff Jansen Community Library for her tireless contributions to the library. With a 50-year tenure at Key Bank in Copake, including as manager, and many other activities, she is a fixture in the Hillsdale and Copake areas. At the Hendrick Hudson chapter she chairs the national Literacy Promotion committee. In her remarks at the award ceremony in Hudson, she spoke fondly of the Christmas Friends of the Roe Jan Christian Community group that she founded in 1990. Charlotte’s minister at the Hillsdale United Methodist Church, the late Rev. Judith A. Mills, had informed her of one family’s offer to adopt a family for Christmas. That made Charlotte think of a bank employee suffering from a serious illness who had two young children and of the parents of a two-year-old who on Christmas Eve had nothing to give their daughter. Like Ella, Charlotte was driven to action. Next, an ecumenical group of churches mounted an effort to learn who needed Christmas gifts, which would be paid for by the many “shoppers” that assembled or through funds collected by the Friends. On average, the Christmas Friends currently help 165 children in 65 families. Charlotte is also president of the Friends of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library and treasurer of the Young at Hearters.

Community Service Committee Chair and past chapter regent Mary Lou Zimmermann said, “The Hendrick Hudson Chapter offers its congratulations to these two wonderful women for all their accomplishments. They really are models for all of us. They work wonders in our communities and for that we are very grateful.” Schoenborn and Shutts each received a certificate and a NSDAR Community Service pin. 

The Hendrick Hudson Chapter of the DAR was chartered in 1896, over 125 years ago. A nonpartisan organization welcoming eligible women without regard to race, creed, or religion, it includes 130 members who trace their lineage back to a patriot in the American Revolution–whether serving as soldier, shopkeeper, or seamstress. In accordance with the National Society DAR, members work to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the women and men who achieved American independence, to promote the development of an enlightened public opinion, and to foster patriotic citizenship. 

The chapter owns and maintains its meeting house, the Historic Robert Jenkins House, at 113 Warren Street in Hudson. The chapter and the chapter house can be accessed at, and (518) 828-9764.

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