Presidential Thoughts

Information that Celebrates our Past, Serves Today and Inspires the Future

October 28, 2019

Happy Halloween, I can’t wait to see the Facebook post from your unit’s activities. 

Ladies I am still blocked from my personal email account for sending my large weekly group email.  The email works well with small groups or individual emails. Thankfully my school email account is allowing me to send the weekly group email. Please do not respond to that group email.  If you have a question, concern or just want to reach me use my personal account the  I do not want to overuse my work email.  Thank you for understanding.

I attended the Leadership workshop at Four Oaks this past Saturday.  Theresa Weybrew provided a wonderful learning opportunity for us. We even had craft time.  Pam Schall, District 5, President taught us how to make beautiful paper poppies. Thank you, Four Oaks, for hosting the Leadership Workshop.  If you have never been to Four Oak’s Bargain House, I would recommend that you make plans to go.  The ladies of Four Oaks do an outstanding job working to help our veterans, children and their community.  They are a true example of our mission “Service not Self”. 

 I know Theresa and the Leadership Team would enjoy bringing a workshop to your area. This week’s spotlight is on the Leadership PAP. See the attachment. 

I am attaching a list of the dates for the District meetings this spring.  I hope all of you will plan to attend your District meetings.  I am looking forward to hearing from all the units in each district about the exciting things you have done in the Centennial year.  To celebrate our Centennial year, let’s have 100% of the units in each district in attendance. 

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


October 21, 2019

We had a great Fall Conference in Raleigh this weekend.  Thank you to all the Chairmen, Division and District Presidents who participated in the Information Fair.  It was an awesome learning experience.  Thank you, Theresa, Tammy and Debbie, for making the Information Fair a wonderful event.   If you were unable to attend, I hope you will make plans to attend Mid-Winter Conference in February. 

 The President’s Project raised $5,099 this weekend.   Thank you to all who donated items to be sold and to all who bought items at the President’s Project Table.  Thank you to the units who donated money. Thank you, Emilee, Gladys, Mary Alice and Brenda, for working the table. 

 Remember this is the year to update your Constitution and By-Laws.  We are still receiving changes from National.  We just received another change Friday. The American Legion has changed the wording of their Preamble.  Resolution 1 was adopted by the Legion NEC on Oct. 16 which amends the Preamble "the Great Wars" to "all wars." We will need to follow and amend our Preamble.


This week I would like to spotlight the Junior Activities Program, Joan Wells is the Chairman.  This year’s Junior Camp will be held at Cedar Grove Retreat in Kannapolis NC April 24-26, 2020.  Please make plans for your juniors to attend. If your unit does not have juniors, please consider sponsoring a junior from another unit to go.   I look forward to meeting many of our juniors at camp.  The purpose of the Junior Activities Program is to inspire active participation in members age 17 and under so that they will become engaging, productive members who will want to continue their American Legion Auxiliary membership into adulthood.   Attached is Joan’s complete program action plan


For God and Country,

ALA Proud


October 14, 2019

I look forward to seeing everyone at Fall Conference this weekend. I am excited about the Information Fair that will take place on Friday in the Ballroom from 1-3 pm.  This is a great opportunity to meet and talk with the Chairman, District, and Division Presidents.  They have great information to share with you.  Thank you to everyone who is working to make this a successful event.

Last night, I attended a wonderful event at Calabash 503. We celebrated the Auxiliary’s 100th Birthday.  Thank you, Joan Masters and Suzanne Smith, for inviting me.  We had the opportunity to hear about the history of the Legion from District 9 Commander, Dale Smith. Our very own Betsey Lee Hodges spoke about the history of the Auxiliary. I hope your unit is planning a centennial celebration.  This is the year to celebrate and teach the community about the American Legion Auxiliary. 

This week, the Chairman’s spotlight is on the Education Program. JoAnn Stevens is the Chairman. The Auxiliary’s education program promotes educational opportunities through classroom activities, literacy programs, and scholarships for veteran’s and servicemember’s children.  There are many units in my area that work this program by volunteering at local elementary schools to help with reading.  Many of our units work this program by collecting school supplies.   Remember to share the scholarship information especially with your juniors.  I have attached JoAnn’s PAP.  Check out the Moment in History section.  Think about what your unit can do to support American Education week this year, (the week before Thanksgiving).

I have also attached information on 4 more POWs accounted for this week and some information on an increase in Tricare (for those of you with Tricare insurance). This information is from the Legion’s DC office.

For God and Country,

ALA Proud


October 7, 2019

This week I would like to highlight the Community Service Program, Chairman Julie Hogan. The purpose of the Community Service Program is to promote the American Legion Auxiliary’s visibility in our local areas by assisting individual and organizations in our community, state and nation.  Julie’s plan includes many ideas on how individual members and units can volunteer in our community.  Always remember to wear your branding.  We want people to know who we are. 

I have had several requests for the ALA Acronyms please see attachment

Last week my email was blocked from sending all of you an email as a group for 48 hours. According to google the cause was that too many people were responding to my email from Sunday about great and great-great granddaughters no longer being eligible for membership by using “reply to all”.  Google saw all these responses as spam and blocked me because I was the original sender.   Please, in the future do NOT use reply to all.  That is what caused the problem.  I was blocked after the first 2 people replied to all.   If this is an issue that you want to discuss, please contact me personally.    


POW/MIA Update

This week, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency made 6 new announcements.

News Releases

October 1, 2019

USS Oklahoma Marine Accounted For From World War II (Arthurholtz, M.)

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Burchfield, R.)

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Shelemba, J.)

Marine Accounted For From World War II (Wiesehan, L.)

Marine Accounted For From World War II (Hatch, R.)

Marine Accounted For From World War II (Burke, J.)

Soldier Accounted For From Korean War (Garrison, J.)

For God and Country, 

ALA Proud


September 23, 2019

A few important announcements: 

1.The date for Fall Conference is Friday and Saturday October 18 and 19 at the North Raleigh Hilton.  Deadline for making your room reservation to receive the discount is Friday September 27, 2019

2.Amanda will not be in the office on Monday and Tuesday this week, she will work on Thursday and Friday this week.  That means there will not be an updated membership report this week.  My apologies to all.  If you have any questions, please give me a call.

3.National President Nicole Clapp’s President’s Pin will be handed out at Fall Conference.  She will be with us at Mid-Winter.  She asks that you wear her pin all year as a reminder to celebrate.

Division 3 meeting Saturday at Cherryville hosted by Cherryville 100: the meeting is at the Church across from the Post with Registration 12:30 pm and the meeting at 1:00 pm

This has been another great week.  I had the pleasure of visiting the Asheville VAMC.  They are doing wonderful work in the PRRC Unit.  This is an outreach program to Veterans who are suffering from PTSD.  They provide many ways to help veterans cope with anxieties and depression through arts, crafts and gardening.

It was good to see everyone at the Division 2 meeting on Saturday.  Thank you, Division 2 President Joanie Hicks and Host Unit Burlington 63, for a wonderful meeting.

This week’s spotlight is on Children and Youth, Chairman Joan Masters. Her plan outlines how units can work to support military children and youth through the “Kids of Deployed are Heroes too.” She encourages you to pay attention to the news, newspapers and Facebook to find children and youth for the “Youth Hero Award and Good Deeds Award.”

Joan has even suggested that units develop a plan to assist children and youth whose family struggles with and/or copes with a family member with PTSD. (see attached plan) She has included the rules for the Children and Youth Grants.

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


September 30, 2019

I would like to say thank you to all our Gold Star mothers through out the state. Sunday was Gold Star Mother’s Day. Please remember to honor your Gold Star mothers with a card this week.

 We had Great Division 3 meeting Saturday. Thank you, Division President Mary Bartlett and Host Unit Cherryville Unit 100, for a great meeting.  Thank you to all who have turned in membership.  I am confident that we will be a Goal Department this year.  Thank you.

With the new wording of eligibility to include spouses and the removal of the words great-granddaughters and great-great granddaughter every unit will need to update their constitution.   I have attached a copy of correct wording.  Thank you, Janice MacLeod and the Constitution and By-Laws Chairman, Beth Whitaker and the C&B committee for working on this.

On a personal note, I would like to ask that you keep my 95-year-old aunt in your prayers.  She fell last week and broke 4 ribs and cracked 4 more.  She was taken to Baptist hospital. She is recovering amazingly well for someone her age.  However, she will no longer be able to live by herself.  Please help me pray for her continued recovery and smooth transitioning into an assisted living place. 

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


September 16, 2019


Division 2 Meeting this Saturday September 21 at Burlington 63, registration at 8:30 am meeting at 9 am.  I look forward to seeing all of you from Division 2 there.

Last week was a busy, fun and exciting week as I traveled the state.  I had the honor of attending Dunn 59 for their 100th anniversary celebration in the American Legion.  It was a wonderful event. The ladies of Dunn 59 ALA really know how to make you feel special.   If your unit is having a 100th anniversary celebration, I would love to attend or if you would like me just to visit your unit meeting.  Please let me know.

Toni Reale, Mary Ward and I visited 3 of our VAMCs.  Durham, Salisbury and Fayetteville to meet with the Hospital Reps and Chiefs of Volunteer Service to talk with them about how they would use the President’s Project money to help veterans who suffer from PTSD.  Each hospital had their own unique way of helping veterans with PTSD.   Some of the highlights were:  Durham’s music therapy program, allows veterans to use music as a way of calming their anxieties.  Salisbury has new beautiful ward just for PTSD patients and would like to put sound machines in each room to help veterans sleep well. Fayetteville is looking at not only providing service through recreational therapy but reaching out into the community and making veterans aware of programs in the community.  I look forward to my visit this week to Asheville VAMC.    Thank you to those of you who have donated already to the President’s project.  Please remember if you would like to purchase the 100th anniversary book that supports the President’s Project, they will be for sell at the Division meetings and Fall Conference.   Also, if you would like to donate items for sale at the president’s project table for Fall Conference, please contact Emilee Sidelinker, Chairman at 704-680-7803 or

I hope all of you will join me in giving a Huge Thank you to Rosemary Turner for her help the last several months in keeping our office running and training our new secretaries.  Thank you, Rosemary. NC ALA loves you.  Keep Rosemary in your prayers for safe travels home this week.

Please welcome Amanda McMillan, membership secretary and Heather Page, secretary treasurer.  Amanda’s hours are Monday and Tuesday 8 am-3 pm.  Heather’s hours are Tuesday 12:30 pm to 4 pm and Wednesday-Friday 8 am-4 pm.  Please let them know how much we appreciate them.  If you have any questions that I may answer about their job description, please contact me.  They have a lot to learn about our operations. Please be patient with them.  It really takes one full year to learn this job.  Rosemary has done an excellent job in providing training.  I am confident in their abilities. 

This week's Spotlight is on the Americanism PAP, Chairman Jane Hoppenworth.  This year’s Americanism Essay Contest Topic: “How can we address the health and well-being of our veterans, military, and their families?” That topic fits so well with my President’s Project to bring awareness and support for PTSD. Jane has an attached check sheet for her PAP. What a great idea. (see full plan attached)

Attached is a portion of the DC Divisions Weekly Report for week ending September 6  the topic is Suicide prevention.  Many who suffer from PTSD are at risk of suicide. (see attachment)

For God and Country,

ALA Proud


September 9, 2019

Please remember to pray for all who live in the coastal areas that were hurt by Hurricane Dorian.

 Division 1 meeting is this Saturday at Hampstead 167, registration is at 12 noon and meeting is at 12:30.   I look forward to seeing all of you from Division 1 at the meeting.

This week’s spotlight is on The Auxiliary Emergency Fund, Dolly Fisher, Chairperson.  We would like you please consider donating to the AEF.  Save your change to donate. A 20oz water bottle holds $100 dollars in dimes. In honor of the American Legion Auxiliary 100th Anniversary, each unit that contributes $100 or more will receive a certificate of recognition, from Dolly.  If each Unit were to contribute just $100, North Carolina could easily raise more than $16,000.  I have attached Dolly’s Plan of Action.

Congratulations to Jill and the membership team.  This past week North Carolina lead the nation in membership at 20.52%. This is a great way to start the year.  Thank you to all who have renewed. Thank you to the membership team, Jill, Katie, Joanie and Mary for all your hard work.

Congratulations to our 1st male ALA member. Cecil Johnson, Hudson 392. Cecil is eligible through his wife Francis Johnson, a Gulf War and Global War on Terror Veteran. 

As we celebrate our Centennial year please remember to send me pictures of your celebrations. I will be continuing the slide show we started last year. (email these as a jpeg file). Think about small items that you would like to include in a time capsule.  Please take a picture of your unit members (4x6) and label the members on the back to be included in the time capsule. You may mail these to me or give them to me at the Division meetings or Fall Conference.

To help you with your celebration, I have attached the Centennial Media Toolkit found on the National Website

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


September 1, 2019

Happy Labor Day

Please continue to pray for everyone who is in the path of Hurricane Dorian.


The 99th National Convention for the ALA was awesome. If you have never been to a national convention, I hope you will make plans to attend the 100th Convention in Louisville, KY next year.  We all had fun and learned a lot. Here a few highlights from the week. At the NC get-together, we were privileged to hear from Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Jim “Doc” McCloughan. It was fun talking with him and his wife; they were both kind and interesting. The Auxiliary was honored to hear from Second Lady, Karen Pence. Her speech was inspiring and her service to our military families is admirable. Vice President, Mike Pence surprised us with a visit and discussed ways to support military spouses. Our National President, Nicole Clapp’s Installation was spectacular.
Beautiful poppies lined the stage. It was an exciting event, and I am eager for her presidential year. She is an inspiration to us all, because she has the experience, personality, and dedication needed to honor her position. The best part was having our own Bill Oxford installed as American Legion National Commander, this is a great honor for North Carolina. I hope you will help me wish Bill and Francis a successful year and safe travels as they travel the country representing the American Legion. My heart was touched when the National Membership Chairman, Ann King Smith, closed her membership report with the Rosie Team singing our theme song. I hope you were able to live stream the Convention and see the great pictures that Lynn Coughenour posted on Facebook.

September will be a busy month as we have our Division meetings. The Division I meeting is Saturday, September 14th at Hampstead Unit 167. The Division 2 meeting is, Saturday, September 21st
at Burlington Unit 63. The Division 3 meeting is on Wednesday, September 28th with Cherryville Unit 100. (Location change for Cherryville: the meeting is at the Church across from the Post)

The wording "Wives to Become Spouses" did pass.  This means that a female legionnaire's husband may join the Auxiliary.   This opens up a new area for membership.  With this change and the Legion Act there are many potential new members to gain.  I hope you will embrace this with a positive outlook.  Past National Commander, Denise Rohan's husband became the first male auxiliary member when National President, Nicole Clapp gave him an application after her installation.  Many units throughout the nation are already signing up men who qualify.  Wonder who will be North Carolina's first male auxiliary member.    

One addition to my newsletter.. North Carolina was also honored when, Past Department Commander Patricia Harris, received an award as Woman of the Year. For her work in helping female veterans. Thank you Patricia for your service.  For God and Country,

ALA Proud


August 19, 2019

Please note a change in venue for the Division 3 meeting. The meeting will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 601 N. Pink Street, Cherryville, N. C.  28021. The church is  located on the opposite corner of the Legion Post 100 in Cherryville.  


We had a great week for baseball at the American Legion World Series in Shelby.   I had so much fun meeting new people and seeing old friends.  Shelby 82 and the Town of Shelby are wonderful host.   The festivities began with the 7th Inning Stretch which featured a Martina McBride Concert.  On Friday I participated in the National Commander’s Awareness Walk, to honored our military and police officers for their service.  I had the privilege to attend a luncheon hosted by King Post and Auxiliary 155.  We were honored to hear the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, Hal Fritz speak.  He is a true hero.  He spoke to the baseball players and reminded them that the greatest hero is the man who honors his country, serves his fellow man and upholds his word.  I had fun throwing out a  1st pitch.  If you would like to see the video and pictures of the ALWS you can find them on the American Legion World Series Face Book or on my page.


 I would like to thank the Belk at the Cleveland Mall in Shelby for the great Fundraiser they provided for the Shelby Auxiliary.  They provided food, music, and entertainment for the special shopping event last night.  Spiderman was even there.  My grandson had the best time dancing to the Baby Shark song with Spiderman.  We had a great time raising money for veterans projects including my PTSD project.  Thank you to all who came and shopped.  Thank you Shelby Unit 82 and Belk.  


I am excited for more ballgames and events this week at the ALWS.  On Friday many of us will fly to Indianapolis  for National Convention.  Safe travels to all who are going. 

For God and Country,

ALA Proud


August 12, 2019

I am please to announce that we have 2 employees starting this week in the Department Office.  Amanda McMillan will handle our membership. She will be a working on Monday and Tuesday.  Heather Page will handle the other secretary duties and our bookkeeping. She will work half a day on Tuesday, and Wednesday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Please welcome them to the American Legion Auxiliary Family. They are both eligible to join us.  Rosemary will be with us a few more weeks to train Amanda and Heather.

August is a busy month The American Legion World Series starts on Thursday.  I hope to see you in Shelby.  If you are unable to attend, you can watch the games on ESPNU.  I had the pleasure to attend the 7th Inning Stretch Festival Saturday in Shelby.  This is a wonderful community event.  If you have never been, I encourage you to attend next year.  It is a great way to kick off the World Series.

 If you are attending the World Series on Sunday or you live in the Shelby area, I would like to invite you to a special shopping day at the Cleveland Belk, on August 18, 5:00-9:00 p.m.  There will be free refreshments, music, Door prizes, kids’ activities and FUN.  Belk is generously donating 10% of its profits during this four-hour special event to the local Shelby American Legion Auxiliary for Unit 82’s Veterans Programs, and My Presidents Project. Thank you, Shelby 82 and Belk, for helping raise money for the PTSD Programs at North Carolina’s four VAMCs. See the attached flyer.  Please share with all your friends. 

This is the time of year that many units are collecting school supplies and planning back to school parties for students.  Please remember to keep track of the money and time spent.  Keeping track of hours and money spent as you go will help with reporting at Mid-Year. 


For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


July 29, 2019

Many of you are still planning your units’ activities for the year.  If you have not done so I encourage you to set up a planning session with your members. Make it a fun and informative event.  Survey your members to find their strengths.    A member with computer skill may become your newsletter and information guru.  Linda Quinlan of Shelby 82 sends out one of the best newsletters that I have ever seen.  It is informative on the unit's activities and upcoming events.  My favorite is the "In the Spotlight” Where they feature a unit member.  Upcoming birthdays are also listed. The news is packed full of pictures.  Thank you, Linda and Shelby Unit 82, for sharing your newsletter with us.  See attached a copy.  


Julie Hogan Unit 321, Huntersville shared an idea to make you unit meetings more efficient.  She prints an agenda that includes information from each chairman about upcoming events or information.  This saves time members do not have to take notes the information is already there for them.  This allows time at meetings for guest speakers or craft projects.


Juli Zajc, Public Relations Chairman has done a wonderful job updating our website. I hope you will check it out today.  She is available to help units set up Face Book, Twitter and Instagram accounts.  Remember to use the #NCALA100 when posting on Face Book.  Remember to use Social Media Etiquette when posting. As a teacher I always taught student to follow the Golden Rules of Social Media. Basically, be kind and think before you post.  I have modified the list I used at school, plus added some information from our National Website on how to use social media.


Janice MacLeod, Finance Chairman and the Finance Committee are sponsoring a fundraiser for the General Fund.  They will be selling tickets for a chance to win 2019-2020 Legion Commemorative Coin. See attached flyer for details.


District President, Pam Schall, Unit 132 Smithfield asked me to share the "Vote In Honor of a Veteran Form."  You can receive this pin by filling out the form and submitting it.  I received one of these years ago.  I am pleased that they are still offering them. See attached form.


I love hearing from you, Please share your units Best Practices and I will share them in my weekly news.

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


June 17, 2019

 It was very nice to see many of you at Legion College.  I always enjoy seeing old friends and making new friendships at Auxiliary events.  Thank you to all who have donated to the President"s Project.  We have only a few of the "Passport to a 100 Years of Service" books left.  I will place an order for more if their is an interest.  Please email me by Thursday if you or your unit would like me to order books. They are $10.00 each. ( let me know how many, the unit number and a contact person's name and number)  see attached photos of the Passport.  The book contains information on the ALA, NC's ALA History, a spotlight on each ALA program and a calendar of events. 


This week's teachable moment is Part 2 of our ALA Protocols and Etiquette power point. Topic include Saluting the American Flag, wearing the emblem and pins, and wearing ALA Hats

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


July 22, 2019

I hope you are having a wonderful day.  Did everyone see the wonderful Facebook Live Video from our PR Chairman Juli this past weekend?  She was live from Unit 116's, Family Fun Day.  If you have not, please check it out.  She is asking that we all use the #tag NCALA100 when we make a post.  


Your unit presidents should receive the July mailing this week if they have not already.  Unit President's please share the information with your units.  This mailing includes 2 very important forms.  The Treasurer's Bond Bill (Gold Sheet) This is a $7.00 payment.  The Blue sheet  for making donations.  Please notice that your VA&R Fair Share is on this sheet.  VA&R Fair Share is $2.00 per member as of June 30, 2019.   Example if on June 30th your membership was  50, your unit's VA&R Fair Share would be $100.   There are also some other choices listed on the Blue sheet that you may choose to donate too. Choose the project/ projects that your units would like to support. We realize that your unit may not be able to support them all. 


The mailing also contains your Poppy Order Form, Supply Order Form, Unit Financial Statement Form, a contact list of Department Officers and Chairman, and some very important information from the Finance Chairman, Janice MacLeod.  A message from the President's Project Chairman Emilee Sidelinker, she gives some ideas on what units can do to support the President's Project Table at Fall Conference.  Her theme is "Home Goods for the Home Front".  There is also and message from the VP/Membership Chairman, Jill Puett and VA&R Chairman Toni Reale, there is a sheet that shows what your VA&R Fair Share amount is.


  Please complete the Unit Officers list and return to the Department office, if your unit has not already completed this form. 


When I was a unit president I always found it best to take care of all obligations at our first meeting of August.  That way it is done for the year and the unit can focus on working our mission. 


**I love hearing from all of you please continue to reply to my emails.  Remember to only reply to me, not to all.  


This week's Teachable Moment Part 3 of our ALA Protocols and Etiquette power point.  Topic frequently asked questions.

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


June 8, 2019

Good Morning Ladies,

Thank you for electing me to serve as your Department President for 2019-2020. I am honored to serve. I will do my best to serve you and our organization.  I will keep you informed on issues.  Those of you who know me, know I am a communicator, you will still receive weekly emails from me.   (usually on Mondays, VP/ Membership Chair Jill will be sending on Wednesdays) I will share information, programs, history and tips about the ALA. Please know that I am only a phone call/email away if you should need me.  If I do not know the answer, I will find it.  

I want you to know that I am aware of the challenges we face this year.  My first priorities are to find a new Department Secretary, as soon as possible, so she can be trained by Rosemary, and 2nd  our office relocation.  These are matters that cannot wait, they need immediate attention. 

Thank you to everyone who worked membership this year.  I know you will support Jill in the new year.   The accomplishments we made in membership, is only the beginning of what we can do as a team.  I have attached a copy of the membership report and the National comparison report.  NC ALA you are amazing. 

I want us to continue Celebrate our history and be proud of who we are, who we serve and what we do.  Our focus this year is grow stronger by working our mission.  “In the spirit of serviced, not self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who served by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military, and their families, both at home and abroad.  For God and Country, we advocate for veterans, educate our citizens, mentor our youth, and promote patriotism, good citizenship, peace and security.”   I look forward to hearing how you and your unit are working our mission. 

I would love to visit your unit this year, please contact me to see if we can set up a visit.

My theme this year is “Celebrating our Past, Serving Today, Inspiring the Future”  I chose the Orange Rose as my flower because it represents enthusiasms and passion for our organization.  The colors black and white represent moving from the past into the future.   Let us work together to move our ALA into the future while remembering and honoring our past. 

For God and Country,

ALA Proud,


© 2019 by Missing Pieces for ALA Department of North Carolina

Annual tax returns are available for public inspection at the Department Headquarters of the North Carolina American Legion Auxiliary, 4 N. Blount Street, Raleigh, NC