American Legion Auxiliary Liberty Unit 289 President Sarah Wyckoff called to order the August 13, 2019 meeting. Those in attendance sang God Bless America.

Roll call was taken with all officers present.

Strasburg’s American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State 2019 delegate Rachel Kessler and Stewardson’s American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State 2019 delegate Mackenzie Brown were in attendance and spoke on their week at ALA IGS. Rachel was in Burns City, Conatser County, was a Federalist, and served as her city’s Alderman. Mackenzie was in Louise City, Junge County, was a Nationalist, and also served as her city’s Alderman. Both girls spoke on their favorite speakers, favorite events, and fellow delegates in their Cities. They were both wonderful representatives for the area.

Jane Giertz won the first Dessert-of-the-Month raffle. Bonnie Lawrence will provide August’s dessert. If her schedule does not coincide with Jane’s schedule, Holly Giertz will serve as the lady in waiting for August. Holly will also provide September’s dessert, Cinda will provide October’s dessert, Linda Oakley will provide November’s dessert, and Sarah will provide December’s dessert.

Cinda Held, Linda Oakley, Jill Layton, and Sarah Wyckoff attended the Department Convention in Springfield in July. Strasburg received the following Department first place plaques: Jill Layton for Community Service, Holly Giertz for Music, Jill Layton for National Security, Sarah Wyckoff for Education, Linda Oakley for Juniors, Jamie Brown for Children & Youth, Jill Layton for Unit History, for District History, and for Division History. This was the first time in the Department’s history it was a clean sweep for the Unit, District and Division Histories. Linda Oakley received runner up for the Unit’s PR book, and Cinda Held received runner up as 19th District PPP Chairman. This coming year is the American Legion Auxiliary’s 100th Anniversary. Jill Layton had leather ornaments which the Department is selling for the 100th Anniversary.

President Wyckoff asked for ideas for the Unit to take part in during the upcoming year. Some of the ideas were…..

MaRanda McClain shared the idea of “candy buy back” after Halloween and sending the candy to our deployed military. This will take place from 1:00 – 3:00 on Saturday, November 2nd. The Unit will complete the details and being advertising at September meeting. The Unit also was interested in taking place at the Trunk or Treat at school with not only giving out items but also having people donate items at booth for the Veterans. The Unit members also spoke about Trick or Treating for the Veterans on Trick or Treat night. There was also discussion to have people donate items for the Illiana VA during the Veterans’ Day Program at school. The items needed at this time are toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, 3-in-1 shampoo/body wash.

Jamie Brown discussed having a Unit Facebook page where all the Unit’s events would be listed. Jamie agreed to create the Unit’s FB page and serve as administrator.

MaRanda McClain shared that many high school organizations/clubs are required to perform community service.

Jill Layton shared that one Unit had a biscuits and gravy breakfast for the local firemen and EMTs. Stewardson and Strasburg share many of the same volunteers so it would be with both towns. Fire Safety Week is October 6-12, 2019; National First Responders Day is October 28, 2019; and Firefighter Day is May 4, 2020.

Mattoon Unit has donated the fruit for the Mattoon CBOC. If they need assistance with the fruit or need another Unit to take over the donation of the fresh fruit, they wondered if Strasburg would assist. The Unit voted that Strasburg would assist or take over the donation of the fresh fruit if requested by Mattoon.

Membership Chairman Bonnie Lawrence advised that Strasburg has 52 paid Seniors and 19 paid Juniors as of this time. Goal for this year is 117 members.

Local Veteran Bob Brown will be on the September 24th Land of Lincoln Honor Flight. Each Veteran’s guardian must pay for their own flight which is $515. The Unit voted to pay for Bob Brown’s guardian, Lori West. Bob served in Vietnam in 1966 – 67, having to return home upon the untimely death of his father.

Upcoming dates:

September 14 Department Fall Forum in Edgewood

September 14 Department Roy Weber’s Homecoming

September 28 19th District Fall Convention in Rantoul

October 25 Strasburg’s Annual Halloween Soup Supper

October 26 Department Fall Forum in Farmer City

November 2 Unit “Candy Buy Back”

Membership Caravan

November 3 November Toy & Tool Sale

November 9 SCAN Breakfast

December 1 Toy & Tool Sale

December 13 Unit Christmas Store

December 14 Unit Christmas Store & Santa’s Visit

Past 19th District President Cinda Held installed the following 2019-2020 Unit Officers:

President Sarah Wyckoff, Vice President Becca Caldwell, Treasurer Linda Oakely, Chaplain Holly Giertz, Secretary & Historian Jill Layton, and Sgt-at-Arms Pam Hutton-Campbell.

The Unit’s charter was draped in a memorial ceremony for Gail Rincker. Gail, age 89, passed away on June 27, 2019. She was an active member of the Strasburg Unit of the American Legion Auxiliary and had served as Unit President several times. Gail could always be found in the kitchen during the Unit’s events. She will be greatly missed.

The Post and Unit enjoyed “Taco Tuesday” for the first meeting of the 2019-2020 Legion/Auxiliary year.

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