|VFW Ladies Auxiliary in Palisade serves veterans, families near and far|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 24 May 2012 16:45|
Wauneta-Palisade first and second graders participated in a coloring contest as part of the Palisade VFW Auxiliary’s Americanism initiative. Here, the first and second grade classes and their teachers pose to display their pictures with Palisade VFW Auxiliary President Carol Thompson (back left). Thompson presented each participant with a prize for their efforts on the last day of school.
By Sheri Hink
The Wauneta Breeze
The Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Barlow-McClatchey-Thompson Post 7028 in Palisade serves veterans and the communities of Palisade and Wauneta.
Auxiliary members consist of wives, widows, mothers, foster and step mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, half sisters, foster and stepsisters of those who served in the U.S. armed forces in combat overseas and who were or are eligible for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The Palisade group follows the national organization’s initiatives to guide their service to veterans and the communities of Palisade and Wauneta.
The VWF Auxiliary spearheads many projects under their American initiative. Most recently, they sponsored a coloring contest for the first and second grade classes at Wauneta-Palisade schools.
The project consisted of a coloring page with a patriotic image and a fill-in-the-blank section asking students to complete the sentence, “In America I can...”
Auxiliary President Carol Thompson presented each participant with a patriotic pencil as a prize for participating in the contest. She also gave special prizes to the first, second and third place winners in each class.
Earlier this year, the group sponsored a word search project for the fourth, fifth and sixth grades where they did a word search and then were asked to write a 250-300 word essay using the patriotic words they found in the search.
The group also sponsors a Patriot’s Pen Essay contest for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The idea of the project is to help the students develop their writing skills and encourage patriotism. This year, students were asked to write a 300-400 word essay under the theme, “Are you proud of your country?”
High school students are encouraged to participate in the VFW Auxiliary Voice of Democracy contest. The audio/essay program is a project of the VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary co-sponsors the event.
This year’s theme was “Is there pride in serving in our military?” Prizes and scholarships are awarded on the local, district, state and national level.
Thompson noted that the top scholarship awarded at the national level is $30,000.
Cancer aid and research
The local post completes several fundraisers each year. The money they raise is used to fund their many initiatives including cancer aid and research.
Some of the money raised at the local level is passed along to the national organization. Nationally, VFW Ladies Auxiliary members have raised $2.4 million in support of cancer research.
Money raised has also been used to make grants to assist members with cancer. So far 2,845 members have been granted a total of $1.2 million nationally.
The Ladies VFW Auxiliary also awards a two-year $100,000 postdoctoral cancer research fellowship to a doctor each year.
Money raised is also returned to each state to fund local cancer research. Auxiliary members also help spread the word about the importance of early detection.
Service to communities
The members of Palisade’s VFW Auxiliary Post help the community in a variety of ways. The group sends popcorn and books to veterans hospitals and nursing homes. They also sponsor bingo monthly at the local nursing home. The group also sponsors a senior dinner in Palisade.
They also help local veterans in other ways. They make themselves available to help military families in a variety of ways. They also provide rides to/from the doctor for veterans.
Hospital and VAVs
The Palisade post sends donations to other posts closer to veterans hospitals and nursing homes to help fund projects to benefit the patients and residents of the facilities.
The group distributes Buddy Poppies each year. The money raised goes to help disabled veterans. Some of the money is also kept by the post.
Members often speak out to local, state and national elected officials on issues that are important to veterans and their families.
Their legislative initiatives are in place to secure and protect promises made to the military and to assure that those who served the country are not forgotten.
Local members write letters and participate in Legislative Day at the state capitol where they talk with legislators about issues important to local veterans.
Winners of the Patriot’s Pen and Voices of Democracy contests also join members at the capitol for Legislative Day where they are able to join the governor for lunch.
Palisade Ladies Auxiliary
The Palisade post will be starting a new fundraiser soon where they will raffle off two tickets to the Husker vs. Pennsylvania State football game.
On the local level, the group has also raffled off quilts, dontated to the Palisade Easter egg hunt, provided the meal for the annual lunch at Pioneer Days served by the VFW. The group also puts on a Veterans Day program at the school each year.
The Palisade post has 67 members including Thompson, president; LaVeta Howard, senior vice president; Pearl Andrew, junior vice president; Karlene Cooper, conductress; Beth Smith, chaplin; Jo Howard, treasurer; Deb Alberts, secretery; Colleen McVickers, guard; and Celia Rose, Pam Schumacher and DeAnn Davis, trustees.
Nationally, the Ladies Auxiliary VFW has over 520,000 members.
Series on local service organizations and clubs
This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting service organizations and community clubs in the Wauneta area. The purpose of the series is to inform the public of what local organizations are doing for the community and how they can help.
At the end of the series, Breeze readers will be asked to vote for their favorite organization or club. The organization or club receiving the most votes will be given a $50 donation to use towards the project of its choice.