American Legion Post 181 now has a Women’s AuxiliaryJOURNAL STAFF
Lake Stevens has a new service organization in town. American Legion Post 181 is sponsoring a Women’s Auxiliary unit that is officially chartered by The American Legion at the national level. The charter presentation on April 24 during a regularly-scheduled meeting was witnessed by over 40 Legionnaires and charter Auxiliary members. The new Auxiliary President, JoAnne Ralls, along with the sponsoring American Legion Commander Tony Morea, accepted the charter from Department (state) President Eva Wallace and District President Rose Ring.
The push for a women’s auxiliary started over a year ago when Morea approached Department President Wallace and District President Ring at a Legion conference. With the assistance from the district and state, Lake Stevens Auxiliary held its first meeting on December 6, 2007, with 22 charter members (19 seniors and 3 juniors). Signatures were gathered, and the paperwork was submitted. The charter arrived back from the national headquarters with approval in early April, and was then brought to the Lake Stevens meeting from the state headquarters.
The Auxiliary’s goals are to support the men and women of The American Legion, to provide support to veterans and their families within the community, and to be involved in national programs that provide assistance to our military and their families who are currently serving, especially those overseas. There are many events in which the Auxiliary participates, including memorial ceremonies, Memorial Day Poppies, Veterans Day Poppies, The Constitutional Speech Contest, and the Girls State Program.
In addition, the Auxiliary works with organizations such as Children’s Miracle Network, Fisher House, and the Red Cross. The services of the American Legion Auxiliary, directly and indirectly, touch the lives of all Americans. With the philosophy of “Service, not Self,” the Auxiliary develops a strong spirit of volunteerism in its members who have joined together in the fellowship of giving to others.
Membership in The American Legion Auxiliary is open to any woman who is related to a veteran who is eligible to be in The American Legion. This can be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, or self. The veteran must be honorably discharged from at least one day of active duty in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard during a wartime era.
The following officers have already been elected for 2008:
JoAnne Ralls, President; Karen Morea, Vice-President; Margaret Smith, Correspondence Secretary; Gloria Sanford, Membership Secretary; Kathy McEntire, Treasurer; Joyce Rasmussen, Chaplain’
MaryJo Martin, Sergeant-At-Arms; Karen Wolfe, Historian.
With these officers in place, the Auxiliary has already been busy. Based on the information that was shared at the District #2 conference in mid April, the Lake Stevens Auxiliary is already having a huge impact. In just these first few months they are participating in the following programs:
•Fundraising for the Department President’s Choice for Girls State Program
•Fundraising for the Liver/Kidney Lodge in Vancouver
•Overseas Coupon Program (sending manufacturers’ coupons to overseas military bases) valued at approximately $5100
•Boxtops and Labels for Education collection for a Lake Stevens school
•Community service hours
•Flag Etiquette Class, resulting in 500 pocket flags folded for frontline soldiers, Marines, and Navy corpsmen, and other military personnel currently deployed
With the foundation for the Auxiliary in place, membership is currently open to all eligible women and girls. If you would like to participate in helping our military men and women, our veterans, and our community, now is the time to become involved. Dues are $25 annually for senior membership (18 years old and older) and $5 for junior membership (under 18 years old).The meetings for the Auxiliary, which are open to the public, are held on the 1st and 4th Thursdays of each month at 7:00 P.M. in the Senior Center, 1808 124th Avenue NE, Lake Stevens (located between the Library and Lake Steven’s City Hall). If you have any questions contact JoAnne Ralls, Auxiliary President, at 425-754-6369, or Tony Morea, Post Commander, at 360-631-3242.