INDIANAPOLIS—American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Downey Weaver Unit 34, in Shannock, Rhode Island, was one of only five units, out of more than 8,000, to receive the National President’s Award for Excellence by American Legion Auxiliary National President Janet Jefford. Awards were presented September 2, at the American Legion Auxiliary’s 95th National Convention in Baltimore, Md.
The National President’s Award for Excellence is presented annually to American Legion Auxiliary units that represent the “best of the best” in planning and implementation of the American Legion 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.
This year’s national theme, “Celebrating Faith, Family and Freedom,” served to ignite and inspire the Auxiliary members of Unit 34 to a renewed focus and attention to the mission on behalf of those they serve. “Thank you, ladies, for having FAITH in this great organization,” said Southern Division National Vice President Sue Heil, “treating everyone like FAMILY, and continuing to serve those who fought to protect our FREEDOM.”
The members of ALA Unit 34 credit their success largely to the civil way in which they treat each other. ALA Unit 34 President Brenda Peloquin explains: “First, every unit meeting is conducted as a round table discussion. The unit is a family. Everyone is welcome, everyone is accepted, everyone’s opinion matters. Second, everyone is welcome to further our mission, we can find a place for everyone.”
“It’s this kind of attitude that allowed them to recruit 15 new members this year, give more than 3,000 volunteer hours, and donate more than $13,000 in cash and goods to those in need,” said Heil.
About the American Legion Auxiliary: American Legion Auxiliary members nationwide have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our country’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of more than $3 billion. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, Auxiliary 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 Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.