Auxiliary Unit 526 donates masks, hosting fundraiser


FAIRBORN — When the word was out that the Dayton VA was on a total lockdown except for staff, patients and those veterans who use the facility for hospital care, The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 526 in Fairborn, which normally volunteers with other units in the Miami Valley, was among those who could not enter for fear of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stay-at-home order.

However, that did not stop Susan Masten, the American Legion Auxiliary’s Department of Ohio chief representative at the Dayton VA and Unit 526 member. She put a call into her point of contact at the VA and asked what Unit 526 could do to help. The VA asked for cloth masks that they could pass out to the outpatients. In a fast turn-around vote via email, the unit voted to purchase 100 masks as many as $300 would last.

Unit 526 reports that auxiliaries from all over the Miami Valley are volunteering funds to purchase more masks.

Funds are from members and community. In May members requested donations to the Poppy Fund and held fund-raisers at Texas Roadhouse and had a Bakeless Bake Sale. This year, two of its big fundraisers may be on hold. However, Pam Bates, who first thought of the Bakeless Bake Sale a couple years ago, will be putting out information on social media. The poppy is a symbol of remembrance, hope, honor and sacrifice, according to Unit 526 and Friday, May 22, is the American Legion Family National Poppy Day.

If individuals are able to spare a few dollars for the poppy fund to aid veterans, checks can be made out to ALA, Unit 526, PO Box 168, Fairborn, OH 45324 and earmark “Poppy Fund.” If individuals want to know more about the poppy fund, contact Bates at unit526fairborn@gmail.com or visit www.alaforveterans.org or www.alaohio.org.