In 2016, Convention of States forged 300 Challenge Coins, limited-edition medallions engraved with Founding Father George Mason’s likeness. Minted to honor those who go above and beyond the call of duty, these coins were, for seven years, bestowed sparingly upon only the most deserving candidates. As of Saturday, November 4, 2023, the final coin was awarded to Laura Roush, Regional Captain in Georgia. As the original mold was destroyed, no such award will ever exist again.
“I prayed to God for two years just to show me what I needed to do and how to get involved,” Laura told me. “Weird thing is, God showed me while scrolling through my phone,” she laughed, recalling how an ad on Newsmax led her to Convention of States.
Joining the movement in 2021, Laura launched a town hall meeting to engage fellow COS supporters in her area. The meeting exploded in popularity, she said, forcing the team to upsize to a different meeting place three times.
“It’s exciting. It’s exciting that people care and that you can actually find those people and make them connect and get them involved.”
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Humbly, she divulged little about what she did to earn the 300th Challenge Coin: “My focus was not to get a Challenge Coin.”
“To be quite honest, the Challenge Coin was not even on my radar. It wasn’t something I was expecting…. My team has worked really hard,” she added, reflecting credit back to her Georgia compatriots.
Georgia State Director Jo’El Lapp, however, was far less sparing in her praise of Laura.
“She just inspires,” the longtime COS leader gushed. “I don’t even know how to describe her. She’s somebody you’d want to go and have a drink with. She’s just fun…. She’s got this fire in her that she really jumps all in…. She doesn’t know how to give any less than 100 percent.”
(COS activists in Georgia gather for a team meeting.)
The Georgia team is jaunty, sarcastic, and fiercely committed, Jo’El described—and Laura fits right in. “You can’t go to a meeting or Zoom without laughing,” she said. “I think we’re all friends above and beyond team members. I actually said this at our meeting—‘There isn’t a single one of you I wouldn’t take into my home and fight in the trenches with.’ We’re a family.”
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COS activists like Jo’El Lapp, who received the 207th Challenge Coin, and Laura Roush constitute only a portion of the many patriots like them. Now officially 300 members strong, the dauntless band of Challenge Coin recipients represents the grassroots army’s enduring commitment to George Mason’s vision. We can only imagine the pride Mason and his fellow Founders would feel to see the words of Article V transformed into a resounding call to action championed by the remarkable men and women who carry this cause forward. The Challenge Coin symbolizes a small token of our boundless appreciation—a humble gesture to pay off the monumental debt we owe them.