For the Herald
FAIRBORN — The American Legion Auxiliary’s mission, vision, purpose and values are to support The American Legion and honor the sacrifices of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad. It recently wrapped up its year with the election of new officers.
The American Legion Auxiliary ended its 96th Convention in Toledo, Ohio on June 28 with the installation of the newly elected officers for the 2015-16 year. Susan Masten, 2014-15 President, ended her year graciously and with tears of sadness for her year ending and the beginning of a new year. During Masten’s Presidency, the 421 Units in Ohio donated monetarily $395,986 with in kind donations of $185,865 to our veterans’ programs.
There were over 172,331 veterans assisted; 230,700 poppies distributed and over 431,101 volunteer hours expended. Her President’s Special Project was the Battle Buddy Program, and over $30,000 was raised by Ohio’s units. With this amount, about three puppies can be purchased and trained to assist veterans. The program directors announced that President Masten will name one of the puppies.
The Unit 526 won several 1st, 2nd and 3rd place certificates for the various Auxiliary programs they supported. Those attending the convention from Unit 526 included Pam Bates, National Central Division Legislative Chairman, Past Ohio Department President and Department of Ohio Leadership Chairman; Refugia Bowen, Unit President; Judy LaFleur and Mecca Brzcek, Unit Executive Committee.
Masten will act as Ohio’s delegation chairman at the National Convention in Baltimore in August. Once that Convention is concluded, she will be Ohio’s representative on the National Executive Committees. It will be her responsibility to attend meetings on behalf of Ohio between National Conventions. The NEC is responsible for the governing of the organization with fiduciary, policy and strategic responsibility. Masten has also been appointed by the incoming National President as the Central Division National Chairman of Juniors.
With this appointment, she will be work with nine states, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia and Wisconsin, to support and sponsor programs and services that provide care and protection for our nation’s children, especially those of our military and veterans. At the Department of Ohio level, she has been appointed as 3rd member to the Policy Committee and member Strategic Plan Implementation Team.
Bates, who is also a member of Unit 526, received appointment as National Cavalcade of Memories Committee and Department of Ohio Leadership Chairman. Her responsibility as committee member of the Cavalcade will be to assist in capturing the milestones, moments and lifetime of our organization, from trophies, plaques and pictures to restore, artifacts and priceless keepsakes. Each item adds more detail to our Auxiliary history books and another chance to relive our most cherished memories.
The national American Legion Auxiliary Cavalcade of Memories was established by a national convention resolution in 1972 that allocated funds to create a museum at National Headquarters. The purpose of the Cavalcade of Memories is to display, share and perpetuate our history, traditions and milestones. Her duties as Leadership Chairman is to raise and promote awareness of leadership development and opportunities through How To Sheets, workshops and online resources. Bates has also been appointed as Leadership Goal Champion for the Leadership Strategic Plan.