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American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15 welcomes first male into ranks

PARKERSBURG — Adjutant Stu Bennett of American Legion Post 15 was initiated as a new auxiliary member and the first man in American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15.

Bennett also is a member of the Post 15 Sons of the American Legion and Post 15 canteen manager. Following national constitution changes in August, spouses of woman veterans may become members of the auxiliary.

Bennett was the first male to become a Unit 15 Auxiliary and West Virginia Department Auxiliary member.

Participating in the initiation ceremony were Linda West, unit chaplain; Marianne Bennett, unit second vice president and Post 15 commander; Theresa Rumer, unit first vice president; Dianne McClung, initiation officer/PNH/PDP/past unit president; Patsy Young-Greiner, Unit 15 president.

In other business, donations were approved for the Veterans Museum Halloween Party for Kids on Oct. 26, the National Armory’s Trunk or Treat on Oct. 19 and department President Sharon Kauffman’s special project, the Gold Star Families Memorial. The Woody Williams’ Gold Star Families Foundation plans to erect a memorial at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Hospital.

Deceased members will be remembered by a donation to the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation along with a sympathy card sent to their families noting the donation.

Granny square lap robes are being made by members under the direction of Marianne Bennett and Leah Metz. Members can crochet the squares and bring them to the post and then the lap robes will be assembled. The lap robes will be donated to veterans in local nursing homes.

Updated constitution and bylaws booklets were made available to the members by Greiner. Members were quizzed on history questions by McClung, 100th anniversary chairman. Items were added to the history display board in the meeting room. A newsletter edited by McClung was distributed.

The national organization officers were featured in the newsletter along with pictures from national President Nicole Clapp’s homecoming celebration on Oct. 3-5. McClung attended the event held in Iowa. McClung plans to attend the department president’s homecoming in Martinsburg on Nov. 2. A May 4, 1929, article in The Parkersburg News was included in the newsletter describing the ninth anniversary of Unit 15.

Post 15 will hold an elimination drawing on Nov. 8. Tickets are $100, which include a guest, appetizers and drinks. The drawing will be held from 6-8 p.m. followed by music in the canteen.

The auxiliary made plans to participate in the Veterans Day Parade to celebrate the auxiliary’s 100th birthday. Due to the parade and other activities on Nov. 11, the regular auxiliary meeting will not be held. The next meeting will be Dec. 6. Members are asked to bring a covered dish for the Christmas dinner starting at 6 p.m. A gift exchange will be held with members bringing a gift (value at least $5). Following dinner, a short business meeting will be held.

Following the meeting, attendees enjoyed a birthday cake provided by Greiner to celebrate the auxiliary’s 100th anniversary.

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