Auxiliary President: Farewell and thanks for lasting memories

By Sharon Cross

My year as American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota president is coming to a close. I have had wonderful opportunities as I attended parades, meetings, memorials, membership rallies, mission training, mid-winters, district conventions and more.

I love meeting our members and learning how units are doing things differently with the common goal of service not self along with seeing our history within Legion posts around the state.

I attended American Legion Auxiliary Minnesota Girls State as a counselor this year. It is always an exhilarating, impactful and exhausting week all at the same time. It is a program that instills civics in its citizens while they are creating their city, county and state government. The citizens had a surprise visit when Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan stepped on stage to speak with them and answer questions. Every girl in my city said that was the best part of that day!

Getting to hear National Commander Dan Seehafer speak at Veterans Day on the Hill and traveling with the National President Lisa Williamson as we highlighted some of our many veterans facilities were also definitely highlights of this past year. Having the opportunity to hear the message “Be The One” has been very impactful.

Mugshot for Sharon Cross
Sharon Cross

Thank you, Minnesota, for supporting the American Legion Family “Be the One” initiative. Be the one to save one. Our VA Health Care System is a great resource for the S.A.V.E. suicide-prevention training. Schedule one in your area and invite the public.

Plan to attend the Department Convention at the Willmar Conference Center on July 11, 12 and 13. It starts at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday and we plan to end by noon on Saturday. Food and entertainment at Willmar American Legion Post 167 on Thursday evening. A joint American Legion Family gathering at the Convention Center on Friday evening with the 9th District Band followed by karaoke. Will Commander Paul Hassing be in his “Elvis” costume to sing karaoke?

To my American Legion Family, thank you does not seem enough for all you have accomplished this past year as you “Danced Into the Hearts of Veterans,” volunteered in your community and at our veteran homes and hospitals.

The Montevideo Veterans Home was dedicated on May 31. The Preston Veterans Home dedication is June 27 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and Bemidji Veterans Home dedication is at 1 p.m. July 1. My project, the baby grand digital player piano has been delivered and set up in time for the dedication ceremony at the new Bemidji Veterans Home. I am so excited! Thank you for all your donations. All excess funds will go toward the recreation and activities funds for Preston and Montevideo.

It is you who have made the difference. Who will you plan to mentor? What are your ideas to grow your organization so that we may continue in service not self. How will you continue to make that difference? Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Sharon Cross of Bemidji Unit 14 is the president of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Her theme is “Be The One to Dance Into the Hearts of Veterans.”