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Local teen accepts GOP award in D.C.
Savannah-Area TARS Chairman Mark Taylor, center, shows off the local group's Rising Star Award with Sharla Taylor, Savannah-Area TARS advisor, left, and Barby Wells, National Teen Age Republicans Founder. ( - photo by Photo provided.
Richmond Hill resident Mark Taylor attended the National Teen Age Republican Leadership Conference July 19-24 in Washington, D.C., where he accepted an award on behalf of The Savannah-Area Teen Age Republicans.
The local TARS club received national recognition as the most outstanding new TARS club in the nation. Fourteen youth from Bryan, Chatham, Effingham and Liberty counties joined efforts to earn the Rising Star Award.
Taylor, who is the chairman of the group, attended the weeklong leadership conference where he met politically active conservative teens from across the USA.
 “The first day on Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Whip John Kyle (Ariz.), Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), and Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.) spoke to us,” said Taylor. “During our free time, we toured some of the buildings on Capitol Hill and heard a lecture at the Supreme Court. We walked through the Library of Congress and saw Thomas Jefferson’s vast book collection.”
 Taylor said, “Standing in the Rotunda of our nation’s Capitol, I was absolutely awestruck by the splendor of the paintings and the enormous height of the dome. For me, the highlight of the Capitol tour was when Congressman Jack Kingston arranged for us to sit in the gallery while the House was in session. He showed us how he used an electronic card to cast his vote. He pointed out some of the interior architectural design elements and explained the significance behind each one.
"I’m grateful that Congressman Kingston took time out of his busy schedule to meet with us. It is an experience I’ll always remember.”
TARS were treated to a morning at the Capitol Hill Club where the following speakers addressed them: Congressman Joe Wilson (S.C)., Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Congresswoman Shelley Capito (W.Va.), and Congressman Aaron Schock (Ill.).  
“The RNC hosted a luncheon for TARS and told us how we could get involved in the Reagan 100 initiative," Taylor said. "I had the rare opportunity to visit the Reagan Ranch earlier this year.  Reagan believed that faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers, is essential to the moral fiber of the nation."
He continued, “On our last day, we toured Mount Vernon, home of President and Mrs. George Washington. The estate is beautiful, and there is an interesting museum at Mount Vernon dedicated to Washington’s service to our nation as a military hero and our first president.
“Overall, it was an absolutely incredible week in D.C.," Taylor concluded. "For our club to win the Rising Star award made the experience even better."
Since the club’s founding in March, the Savannah-Area Teen Age Republicans have been extremely active. The club hopes to raise enough money to send more members to the national conference in 2011.  
Upcoming club activities will include community service, voter registration drives and campaign work. Regular meetings are usually held on the second Monday of each month at the Chatham County Republican Headquarters. If you are a teen between the ages of 13-19 who would like more information about joining, visit
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