—8/30/16—CINCINNATI — American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Tony F. Soza/Ray Martinez Unit 41 in Glendale, Ariz., was one of only five ALA units – out of more than 8,000 – to receive the National President’s Award for Excellence by ALA National President Sharon Conatser. The award was presented at the ALA’s 96th National Convention in Cincinnati.
The National President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to ALA units that represent the “best of the best” in planning and implementation of the Auxiliary’s mission. Recipients are selected based on applications that address the unit’s achievements in ALA national goals and objectives in at least three ALA programs.
When a local homeless shelter closed its doors in Glendale, it left many residents – including many veterans – out on the streets. ALA Unit 41 immediately stepped in to help the vulnerable population. The movement started small; members were able to provide the homeless with only bottled water and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Once word spread, other members from The American Legion Family joined in to help the ALA’s efforts. To date, The American Legion Family has provided nearly 3,000 sack lunches, which have grown to include two types of sandwiches, chips, water, Gatorade, and dessert.
ALA Unit 41 has also embraced the ALA Centennial Strategic Plan, with a focus on Goal 1: Enhance Membership Strength, and has set up a membership table at their events so that the community can learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary. As a result, the effort has helped increase the unit’s membership numbers for the 2015-2016 administrative year.
“This unit understands that working as a team, being inclusive rather than exclusive, and building brand recognition in the community is the key to enhancing our membership,” said ALA Central Division National Vice President Lynda Lancaster during the awards presentation.
American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value averaging $2 billion each year. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.###
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