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Iowa American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion Headquarters
720 Lyon St
Des Moines, Iowa 50309
Phone: (515) 282-7987
FAX: (515) 282-7583
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- President Tammy Wright
- President's Theme & Symbol
- President's Projects
- Installation Speech
AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY DEPARTMENT OF IOWA 2015-2016
Tammy Wright, President
1521 Seneca Road NW
Swisher, IA 52338-9525
Honoring our Veterans – Past, Present and Future
We are focused not only on the past, present, and future of honoring our Veterans but also taking a long and hard look at the mission of our organization.
Since 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary has focused on the following mission:
“In the spirit of Service Not Self, the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary is to support The American Legion and honor the sacrifice of those who serve 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.”
In four short years, the American Legion Auxiliary will celebrate its 100th anniversary. What better way to celebrate this milestone than to achieve the goals outlined in the five-year centennial strategic plan.
There is a reason why the first goal is to attain a million members. As of 2013, there are over 225,000 veterans living in Iowa and our membership is only 10% of that. This is not nearly enough to do everything outlined in our mission.
This first goal will ensure that the American Legion Auxiliary will be a viable organization and that our members will have the tools and training they need to ensure that the mission work they are doing is successful in “serving veterans and their families.”
It will increase our membership, ensure that we are working together with a positive and welcoming attitude, and assist in developing leaders at all levels who will share their skills and mentoring to strengthen their units and departments while working in every community.
Our Iowa teams are working together to assist you to achieving your unit’s goals. We will provide the tools and training to help you succeed. All of us will be responsible to use these trainings and tools to achieve our vision. The success of this plan will take all of us working together!
The result will be that “By 2019, the American Legion Auxiliary’s million members will be making a difference for veterans and their families in every neighborhood!”
God Bless You and God Bless America!
Tammy Wright 2015-2016 Department President email@example.com Kim Dixon 2015-2016 Membership Chairperson, firstname.lastname@example.org Karen Ripperger, 2015-2016 Strategic Planning Chairperson email@example.com
“Honoring Our Veterans – Past, Present and Future!” is the theme selected for our 2015-2016 Auxiliary year. I am thrilled to be working with you all this year to make our organization strong and sustainable for future generations! Together we can and must achieve this goal or we will not be here into the future for our veterans of yesterday, today and tomorrow. We MUST embrace our membership challenge and grow our organization or who will be here to serve our veterans? It’s going to be a terrific year for TEAM IOWA! You are all Super Stars!
The symbol I selected is red, white and blue stars which I hope you have a lot of fun with.
Focus songs for the year are: “This is My Country”, “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, “When you Wish Upon a Star”, “Stars & Stripes Forever”, “If I Can Dream”, “Unsinkable Ships” and “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place”Selected scripture is “1 Corinthians 13:4-8”
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
Awards and incentives are many this year as you document your activities throughout the year, be sure to submit your narratives before April 30 to the appropriate Department Chairman. Department American Legion Auxiliary website ia.legion.org/ala and the National American Legion Auxiliary website www.alaforveterans.org are a wealth of information and resources.
Again, I look forward to a wonderful year with TEAM IOWA! Thank you for your service!
The projects selected are:
1) The American Legion Auxiliary Emergency Fund – A national grant assistance program established in 1969 that provides temporary emergency help to eligible members of the American Legion Auxiliary who have suffered a significant financial setback as the result of an act of nature or other personal crisis.
2) The Iowa American Legion Foundation - Since 1979, over $1.4 million has been contributed in support of veterans' assistance, educational programs, patriotic endeavors and children and youth programs. The American Legion of Iowa Foundation has accumulated a total permanent endowment fund over $2.0 million. Earnings from this endowment are dedicated to support programs of veterans' assistance, education and patriotic endeavors.
Department of Iowa American Legion Auxiliary Installation
President Tammy Wright’s Acceptance Speech
July 19, 2015
Thank you ladies and gentlemen! I can’t tell you how honored I am to stand before you today as Department of Iowa American Legion Auxiliary President. We begin our year in 2015 during “The Year of the Veteran”, how appropriate since our theme this year is “Honoring our Veterans – Past, Present, and Future!” The symbol this year will be red, white and blue stars. I hope you have fun with them. They can be rock stars, movie stars, shooting stars, general stars, as in 4 star generals, the sky is the limit! Oh wait, there are stars there too!
I would like to emphasize that is OUR year. I would like OUR leadership team to stand. If you are a Past Department President, Staff, Department Officer, serving on a committee, or a District President . . . Please look around the room ladies – these are our organization’s Department Leaders.
I know there are many leaders in this room whether you serve this organization, your household or another organization, you ladies and gentlemen know how to lead and we’re going to need your leadership skills to keep our organization alive and thriving so we will be here to continue to honor and care for our veterans of yesterday, today and tomorrow! We need to band together to make this happen.
I love this organization as I know you do too. It’s in my blood, it has been bred into me. I BEG of you to take our membership goals seriously and view them with an open, can do attitude! National set our membership goals this year and it’s going to be BIG ladies. We MUST embrace this in order to stop the membership slide or we will not have an organization. I have seen great changes in our organization over the past 30 years and they have not all been positive. We HAVE to be nice to each other and treat each other with respect. We have to keep in the forefront of our minds that it’s not about us, it’s about “Honoring our Veterans – Past, Present, and Future!” Let’s work to make our members feel welcome and appreciated! WE CAN DO THIS!
(Introduce Membership Team and turn in Membership)
One of the most difficult decision I have had to make preparing for the upcoming year was what projects to choose. I chose these projects not because I don’t think other projects are wonderful such as Girls State and Junior Camp, etc., but because these projects will last long into the future and it’s my way of continuing the Auxiliary and the American Legion Family’s legacy. I chose
the Auxiliary Emergency Fund as well as the American Legion Foundation. Both of these are endowments that will spin off interest to continue to help Auxiliary members during their times of need and programs such as Girls State and Junior Camp as well as many other worthwhile projects funding by the American Legion Foundation. Both require applications and have committees who decide how funds will be distributed. I encourage your units to fundraise for other projects as well as your local veterans facilities.
All are invited to a reception today at the Swisher American Legion Post in Swisher following the close of today’s business. I will join you at the close of the Department Executive Committee Meeting, immediately following installation. Swisher is just 15 miles south of here. You are also invited to join us at Department Leadership Workshop August 1, as we share information about our organization. We need to nurture, develop and encourage our future leaders. There is a sign-up sheet and a $15.00 fee that covers your blue book, meal and Plan of Action. That sign-up sheet is located outside the door where Swisher Unit members will have this year’s pins available to purchase for $3.00.
We need to have great COMMUNICATION and awesome TEAMWORK to make this the successful year! It’s up to us to stop the membership slide and save our organization!
I am thankful for my family that were able to join me today. Please join me on stage while Joyce Hopfensperger and Mary Bryan sing, “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this Place” Introduce family – anyone have anything to say?
I ask that our children, Bruce, Brittany and Richie light candles to remember those who would have liked to have joined us today, however, God had another plan for them.
In addition to my “real” family, I would like to have my Swisher American Legion Family stand and be recognized. I can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement. Please remain standing and be joined by the Johnson County American Legion Family. First District American Legion Family will you please stand. I have always said that I come from a very strong American Legion Family, not only biological, but my American Legion Family of Swisher, Johnson County and First District! Thank you! You may be seated. I am so thankful and realize that have been blessed in SO many ways. It was a very nice coincidence that this ceremony could be so close to home so that many friends outside of our American Legion Family could be here today. As you know I am fortunate to serve as Executive Director of Bur Oak Land Trust and I appreciate all of the support from my staff, volunteers and the Bur Oak Land Trust Board of Directors that are making it possible for me to juggle both of these positions this year. I would be remiss if I did not extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to Past National President Sandi Dutton for being here and for taking part in our ceremony. Sandi lives in Maryland, so it’s extra special that she took time out of her busy life to be with us today. When Sandi was National President I had the honor and privilege of serving as one of her Pages for National Convention in Hawaii as well as at the National Executive Committee meeting during the Washington Conference. What a great experience, opportunity and true gift those positions were. Thank you very much!
Now, it is my distinct honor and privilege to make my first official duty as Department of Iowa American Legion Auxiliary President a presentation to my Father-in-law, Ben Wright. Ben is a WWII veteran who went to school with my mother. I am pleased for this organization to be able to present him with his Quilt of Valor.
Richie, my son who some of you still remember singing “You’re the Grand Old Flag” approximately 16 years ago at the First District Conference Luncheon when he was 4 years old, will sing “Unsinkable Ships” followed by “Mr. Wright” also known in some parts as “Elvis” singing “If I Can Dream”
Thank you ALL for being here today and for allowing my dream to come true right now! I look forward to a great year serving WITH YOU!
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