Ladies Auxiliary VFW Illinois
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Diana Rudeen, President
Welcome to the 2014-2015 year “Respecting & Protecting our Veterans”. I look forward to serving as your Department President for the ensuing year. I chose this theme because I believe we need to respect our Veteran’s for the sacrifices they have made for our freedom and we need to protect our Veteran’s and the benefits due them.
My special project this year is “Create-A-Thon” for Veterans. The facility I have chosen is Rosecrance Treatment Center where “Life is Waiting”. The money we raise will help Veterans suffering with addiction, PTSD, brain trauma injuries and homeless Veterans so they can find a new direction in life. Sadly, today there are many Veterans that are afraid to reach out for help because of fear of rejection and being labeled in the system. Let’s get creative ladies; you could hold a marathon, dance-a-thon, walk-a-thon, bike-a-thon, rock-a-thon and more to raise money to support our Veterans that gave us the freedoms we all enjoy today.
The National President and Commander have teamed up this year and their special project is “Operation Changing Lives” to support the VFW’s premier program; National Veteran’s Service (NVS). The goal is to raise $1 million for the program that provides services through our Service Officers for Veterans and their families at no cost. This program is truly changing lives and letting out Veterans move forward.
Sisters, National has listened to everyone through their survey and is now shifting their focus from Cancer Aid and Research donations to increasing education about the benefits of the cancer program and how it can help you, the family member of a Veteran. It is now $2.00 per member; 15% will be returned to each Department to fund local research. The key is each Department must attain $2.00 per member throughout the whole State in order to receive 15% back for research.
We all know membership is the backbone of the Ladies Auxiliary and it is so important to have large numbers in order do all the work we do on a daily basis for the Veterans and their families of this great Organization. This year there are several new awards for Auxiliaries who is now the main focus and then Department. There is also a new deadline of June 30, 2015 to give everyone a stress free holiday.
Sisters, my motto for this year is “There is No I in Teamwork”. Simply put we get more work done with a team than working alone. Together we can accomplish all of our goals and make all of our dreams come true. Sisters please read your program books from Department and National. Pass this on to every chairman in your Auxiliaries. This will ensure success in making our Department 100% in all programs that we all do the work in on a daily basis. Take credit where credit is due.
I love smiles and laughter; I am genuine, real and true. Sisters, I promise all of you I will be myself this year. I will work right alongside of each and every one of you and make all of you proud for putting your faith and confidence in my ability to be your leader this year.
Sisters, I thank-you from the bottom of my heart for entrusting me to serve as your Department President for the Great State of Illinois. Without you, I would not be where I am today. I pledge to you my love and commitment for the ensuing year and May God Bless our Veterans and each and every one of you.