Auxiliary Unit 581 History
The first meeting of Unit 581 was called to order by Bertha Hollingsworth with 35 present and 21 signing up for the temporary charter. The permanent charter meeting was held June 25, 1925. Unit 581 now has 172 senior members and 21 juniors. The first Officers were:
President: Phena Dehn
Vice President: Ida Schneider
Secretary: Florence Kunz
Treasurer: Dorothy Dehn
Historian: Louise Schneider
Chaplain: Ida H. Schneider
The old Legion Home called “The Legion Memorial Hut Building” was allowed to be built on city property at the corner of East Legion Street and Metter Avenue at a cost of $5,692.01 by Beckman and Koch. The Auxiliary donated $800.00 to this project. The first turkey raffle was held on Veteran’s Day 1940. Live turkeys were won with Albert Hoffstetter having the task of getting the turkeys our of the pen and tying their legs and wings with string. His new overalls were always purchased for this affair and were torn to shreds much to the dismay of his wife. Lester Schumacher assisted.
A live turkey was also thrown from the third floor of the now Magna Bank Building. Whoever caught it had a free turkey dinner. The Unit Ladies served as many as 1,200 dinners from that time until the new Post Home was completed in 1974, at #1 Memorial Drive. Bingo games, dances, weddings and other affairs gave the Post and Auxiliary income for the up-keep of the new complex, including the barn, shelter, outdoor lunch stands, park fields and doughboy section.
Many of the present Auxiliary members and descendants of those that founded the Unit and served it during their lifetimes.
We still have the dishes stored that were donated from the Statler Hotel in 1941. If the EPA ever prohibits styrofoam in the future, our dishes are ready for use. Our Unit raffled a cedar chest to pay for the bronze plaque on the doughboy dedicated in 1924. The Auxiliary pays for the spring flowers around the Doughboy, which moved to the present site in 1976. In May of 1956, Commander Norm Wessel called a meeting to purchase 21 acres from the Otis Oerter property for $22,000. In 1974, Harvey Buettner, contractor, finished building the new Legion home at #1 Memorial Drive. On May 3, 1974, the first Bingo was held. Bingo is still being held now with the Ladies Auxiliary serving food. Anna Lefholz was our first Chair-woman and Sharron Patterson is our present Chair-woman. The Auxiliary pays all kitchen expenses.
Whenever there is a need for services, the Auxiliary is there to help by giving money or volunteering their time.
Q: I am related to someone who served on active duty during one of the membership eligibility dates. Can I join the Auxiliary of The American Legion?
A: If your relative who served on active duty during one of the membership eligibility dates and is a member of The American Legion, you may join the American Legion Auxiliary of The American Legion.
However, if the qualifying veteran is deceased you may join the appropriate organization, even if the qualifying veteran was not a member of The American Legion when living.
Contact your local American Legion Auxiliary Unit, complete the application and proudly join the AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY.