President: Maureen Caswell
Your Auxiliary is busy preparing for our annual Poppy Drive scheduled for Friday and Saturday May 26 and 27. We will be looking for our usual volunteers to help us disseminate Poppy’s at multiple locations for a two- hour shift. We are in the process of finalizing our locations. We plan to be around the Post signing people up on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and during our Bar Bingo’s on Wednesday and Sunday. If you are interested in volunteering for Poppy distribution, please contact Joan Halstead at email@example.com or you can text a message to 585-261-5626.
The poem “In Flanders Field” was written by Lt. Colonel John McCrae on May 3rd, 1915. He was inspired to write this after presiding over the funeral of his good friend LT. Alexis Helmer. The poem references the red poppies that grew over the soldiers grave and became known as “remembrance poppies”. Remembrance Day was a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919. During the Second World War many countries changed the name to Remembrance Day. The United States adopted Memorial Day.
In Flanders Fields
BY JOHN MCCRAE
In Flanders field the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
We are the Dead, Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.
Thank you to all of our American Legion Family members that paid their dues early (prior to 11l11). The Auxiliary hosted a spaghetti dinner this past weekend as a “thank you” for early payment. Paying dues early is important as it helps all of the family branches get their budgets established and begin putting money into all of their programs and communities. Once again, we couldn’t do what we do without you! Thank you.
Our holiday programs will be winding down over the next several weeks. This year, The Auxiliary sponsored 100 angels as part of the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Program. All of the Angels have been adopted and many of the gifts have already been collected. As a reminder, if you adopted an Angel, please return your gifts to the Post in the bag you were provided by no later than December 7.
We will be assembling food boxes and bags for our Christmas Holiday Food program on Monday, December 12 at 10am. We will again be packing 50 boxes and bags to be picked up by two local schools on Tuesday December 13. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact our community service chairman, Barbara Fournier @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy Holiday!
The Auxiliary is in the midst of our annual Holiday Season Events. November, especially the11th, is a super busy day as we have multiple events occurring.
We will be distributing Poppy’s on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11 at multiple local locations. 100% of the funds collected are put towards our Veteran Programs. If you are interested in volunteering for a two-hour shift, please contact Sandi Starner at 607-743-2524 or email her at email@example.com.
We will be hosting lunch for Veteran’s on Veterans Day. We will be serving hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, baked beans and dessert. There is no charge for Veterans and their spouses or significant other. Any other guests will be $5. Lunch will be served in the Lounge immediately following the memorial service at the Post. The service begins at 11:00am.
The Auxiliary will be assembling and delivering 217 “Goody” gift bags to Veterans that live in local assisted living facilities. The bags are full of personal hygiene items and a few treats. Bag assembly is on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 10am in The Post Hall. Delivery is on the morning of November 11. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, The Auxiliary is hosting the Early Bird Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday, November 27, 2022 for any member of the American Legion Family that has paid their 2023 dues prior to November 11, 2022. You are an early bird if your card has a bird stamped on it. Members are free and a guest is $5. There will be two sittings, 4pm and 5:30pm. We will begin taking reservations at The Post on Tuesday, November 1 – Friday, November 18. You must come in and register for dinner at the front office during business hours or the Lounge. There are no walk-ins. We are asking for a $1 donation to hold your reservation. The donations will be used as door prizes.
I can’t believe I am already saying this, but, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
For God and Country
Thank you to all of our members that volunteered to help prepare and serve our Annual Oktoberfest Dinner. We had another successful event with a DELICIOUS dinner, dancing, door prizes and just plain fun! Most of all, thank you to all of our loyal patrons that continuously support The Auxiliary. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
It’s hard to believe, but we will be kicking off our American Legion Family Holiday Food Box Program. Each year, the Auxiliary works with two local schools to determine the number of families that could use some help. This year, we will be packing 50 foods boxes for Thanksgiving and 50 boxes for Christmas. Each box and large shopping bag that we pack, contains all the fixings for a holiday meal, including a turkey or ham and enough of the required staples to keep the family fed while the children are out of school.
At our October General Meeting, Wednesday, October 5, we will begin collecting donated items such as: canned vegetables, gravy, boxed potatoes, boxed stuffing, cranberry sauce, cereal, spaghetti, peanut butter and jelly, mac n cheese, ramen noodles, and boxed milk. We will be accepting donations from now through early December.
If you are interested in volunteering during either of these events, please contact our Community Service Chair, Barbara Fournier at: email@example.com. If you would like to make a food donation, you may leave your donation at the front office during normal business hours or at any of our next three Auxiliary General Meetings. Our meetings are the first Wednesday of each month. Hope to see you there!
As a reminder, our General Membership Meetings will resume on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at 6pm with a social mix beginning at 5:30pm.
It is renewal time! In the next several weeks, you will receive your official renewal notice by mail. You may renew your membership by mail or bring your 2022 card to the Post on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between the hours of 12-4pm. We will renew your membership on the spot.
As a reminder, our annual Oktoberfest is planned for Sunday, September 25. Tickets will be $25. per person this year. You can purchase your tickets at the Post office or Lounge as soon as the Post re-opens.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the Legion family members that came out to help and donated non-perishable items for our third annual food drive. We had a total of 48 volunteers that came out to help over the weekend. They logged 202 volunteer hours and collected ~$29,300 in non-perishable food items. We also collected $370.00 in cash. Needless to say, the food banks were very happy with what they received. Thank you for your support!
The Auxiliary is now renewing membership at the Post Lobby on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12-4pm. Bring your 2022 card with you and we will renew your membership on the spot.
As a reminder, our annual Oktoberfest is planned for Sunday, September 25. Tickets will be $25. per person this year and will go on sale on August 23 at the Post front office or Lounge. Be sure to Save the Date!
Welcome to the 2022/2023 fiscal year! Our leadership team is in full gear.
Our first event for the year is a Legion Family Event. We will be leading the 3rd Annual Legion Family Food Drive. The event will take place on Sunday July 25th and Monday July 26th for delivery. The food drive will be operated in the same manner as the past two years. We will be accepting drive-thru donations at Post 347 on Sunday July 25th from 10am-2pm. Those donations will be sorted and packed and will be delivered to our local food banks on Monday morning, July26th.
We are in need of volunteers that can remove the donated items from the car, bring the items into the Post Hall, and sort and pack for delivery on Monday. We are also in need of drivers to help deliver. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Carol Pirone-Udell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (914) 373-9947.
We greatly appreciate any time you can give us. We look forward to another outstanding year of service to family and community.
One of the toughest decisions that the Auxiliary made this past year was an increase to our dues. We firmly believed that we would not be able to adequately serve our communities after the national/state organization got their cut and we added in our own operating expenses. With several fund raisers, our successful bar bingos, the additional funds raised by the dues increase, and a lot of hard work; our results speak for themselves. In the spirit of full disclosure, here’s how we spent your money this past year.
· Monthly food bank donations, Holiday Family Food Boxes*, Habitat for Humanity
Children & Youth: $25,432
· 2 $5,000. Scholarships, 2 students - National Flight Academy, Lady Lake Softball Team, After school tutoring program and clothing, Halloween/Easter events, Rimes Early Learning Center, 10 Girls State Delegates, JROTC program, Student Town Hall Commission Seminar.
· Female Vet Transition home – including fundraiser dinner, Orlando VA – female clothing, Southeast Guide Dogs, Women Vets Luncheon, Veteran Good Bags -11/11, Memorial & Veterans Day Lunch, Toys for Tot Vol. dinner
Legion Family: $9,600
· Donation to Legion to offset Auxiliary cost, Early Bird Spaghetti dinner, SAL projects-cemetery cleanup, Wreaths Across America, Golf Tournament
· State/National programs & facilities, Direct Invoice Obligation, Dept. Pres. Project: Vet Relief-Housing Assistance, Memorial Fund-deceased members
· *represent the Auxiliary portion only
Other Notable Highlights:
295 volunteers logged 13,661 hours!!
115 gifts to the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program and 75 Toys for Tots gifts - $3,410.00
Raised $16,600 in Poppy distribution proceeds to fund Veteran programs
$348,835 face value in coupons donated to Troopon for distribution to military bases. This is $200,000. higher than the previous year!
AUXILIARY…YOU KICKED IT!! I am extremely proud of our organization and honored to serve as your President again.