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86th convention highlights volunteerism. (Auxiliary Draws Thousands of Members).

More than 6,000 members of the Ladies Auxiliary registered for VFW's 100th National Convention. It included many unique joint activities.

In a special ceremony, National President Jane Bingham of Bridport, Vt., unveiled a gift to the VFW. As a tribute to VFW members, the Auxiliary commissioned an etched glass mural for the National Headquarters lobby. It depicts the world surrounded by a listing of campaigns in which VFW members served.

Comprehensive in scope, this impressive wall of honor covers the decades from 1899 through 1999, encompassing service from Cuba to Bosnia.


Members responsible for reaching the Auxiliary's goals were recognized throughout the convention.

The Ladies Auxiliary raised more than $3 million for its Cancer Aid and Research Fund for the 11th consecutive year. They also volunteered 3.7 million hours helping non-hospitalized veterans through the Rehabilitation program.

Three organizations made special presentations to the Ladies Auxiliary in recognition of its tremendous contributions to their success. The March of Dimes presented an award thanking members for their volunteer service. The American Cancer Society presented a lifetime achievement award for the Auxiliary's long-time financial support.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development presented a plaque in recognition of the Auxiliary's work with homeless veterans and their families. Members volunteered 486,934 hours and donated $1.2 million in 1998-99.

A $12,000 Auxiliary donation was made to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Fund. Members previously contributed $138,390.

The 1999 Unsung Heroine Award was presented to Cynthia Gentry, who creates art to help children hurt by disease, injury or abuse. Her murals in children's hospital wings are known for lifting spirits.

The Volunteerism Award went to Roger Chapin, who founded Help Hospitalized Veterans USA (HHV), an organization of volunteers who make arts and crafts kits for hospitalized veterans. Chapin visited a Vietnam-era naval hospital and got the idea from a wounded Marine. HHV is now 28 years old. It has received more than $130 million to help provide its popular craft kits. The Auxiliary added another $3,000 to the project.

Actor Martin Milner received the American Spirit Award in recognition of his efforts to protect the marine environment and his other volunteer activities.

Known for his roles in the two series, Route 66 and Adam 12, he currently co-hosts a radio show about fishing. He supports a group building artificial reefs to improve habitat on the ocean floor.

Also honored at the convention were the six young people who earned the top national scholarships from the VFW and Auxiliary during the past year.


American Spirit Award: Martin Milner

Unsung Heroine Award: Cynthia Gentry

Volunteerism Award: Roger Chapin

Outstanding Young Volunteer of the Year Awards: Rachel West, Drasco, Ark., sponsored by Auxiliary #10469, Greers Ferry, Ark., and Angie Johnson of Two Harbors, Minn., sponsored by Auxiliary #4454. Each received a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

Junior Girls $5,000 Scholarship: Leah Spath, North Bend, Neb., Unit #8223.

Young American Creative Patriotic Art $3,000 Award: Brianna Gail Baumann, Mangum, Okla., sponsored by Auxiliary #4876 in Altus, Okla.

$5,000 to the Ronald McDonald House to refurbish the library in the Kansas City, Kansas, House.

$5,000 to Children's Mercy Hospital, for a programmable thermal cycler for use in cancer research.

$5,000 to the University of Kansas Medical Center for breast cancer research.

$10,000 to the American Cancer Society for educational materials.

$12,000 to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial


National President Lorraine Frier, Fargo, N.D.

Senior Vice-President Patricia Jankowski, Garden City, Mich.

Junior Vice-President Diana Stout, Charleston, W.Va.

Secretary-Treasurer Celia Davis, Lee's Summit, Mo.

Chaplain Betty Morris, Aberdeen, Md.

Conductress Evelyn Steinle, Newton, Kan.

Guard JoAnne Ott, North Lawrence, Ohio
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Title Annotation:Ladies Auxiliary
Author:Kelley, Brenda
Publication:VFW Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 1999
Previous Article:Woven into the nation's fabric. (VFW's Century Part 10).
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