Monthly News Letter
February 2019

Message from President
Laurie Kuntz

Mid Year Conference Recap:
There was a lot of hard work done by many so that this conference was amazing. 

PDC Terri Clinton and PDP Ann Ritacco with the volunteer time at the Weld County Food bank Community Service Project.  GREAT group made it to help pack boxes, carrots, and much more.  Thank you for the coordination and all the participated.  How cool!!!
Lots of meetings.  Finance and HR team have decided to take a step back and re-evaluate the Secretary/Treasurers duties and realign them based on what our current membership levels can support.  Much more information coming soon.  (After March when teams have completed evaluations.)
DEC 101 and beyond – WOW what a great training by National Leadership Chair Trish Ward (Dept of Kansas).  So much great information on what it means to be a member of a leadership team.  Click
here for a pdf of her presentation.
At the regular DEC meeting business was conducted and President-Elect made some appointment announcements and presented her pin and its meaning.  You will love it.
The 1920’s Fundraiser event, Family Fun Night.  So much incredible fun.  A lot of people got in the spirit and dressed up.  Special Thank you to Ann Ritacco who stepped up a little over three weeks ago and headed the team.  Thank you to the entire team and EVERYONE that brought door prizes, attended, made donations, got thrown in jail, paid bails, etc.  When it was over, we had raised $1,200 for my project.
You can see a lot of photos on our
Facebook Page and on the Photo Page from the Photo Booth.  Please LIKE our Facebook page.
OH, and see the  R.E.D. Friday Proclamation.  Use it as a tool to promote R.E.D. Friday.  Get your shirts at 
ShopREDFriday.  We receive a donation back for EACH item sold.  SHOP please and help raise money for my project VA&R.
Saturday we were busy with many learning opportunities and presentations.  Americanism breakfast, joint opening, started with our separate session receiving greetings from our Northwest Division Vice President Barb Vetter (Dept of South Dakota).  She was very fun and brought a great message about our female veterans and membership.  An amazing presentation by Janelle Rodriguez on Filling your Bucket with positive information.  Girls State updates and Girls Nation Senators.  Trish Ward came back in the afternoon and did a workshop on Conflict Resolution - click
here for a pdf of that presentation.  We then had round tables on Fundraising, VA&R, Girls State recruiting, sponsorship, and retention, Public Relations, technology table, and card making table sponsored by Columbine Credit Union Team leaders had great tri-fold boards of information.  Jr's had a lot of fun making hats and doing a Female veterans history project.
So much fun with our membership luncheon and HAT display/parade.  Some very creative hats decorated to remind us our missions, passion, and support.  Such a fun way to display what we are passionate about.  Special thank you to our juniors for creating hat art for our guests NW Division VP Barb Vetter and National Leadership Chair Trish Ward.  Brush unit decorated my hat and the juniors also wanted to contribute.  Thank you all.
There are so many people to thank that made this a great conference.  All of our presenters, the behind the scenes team, officers, special guests, fundraising team, membership team, all you that came.  Thank you. 
District 4 came out in force with 11 units attending from the district.  WOW!!!!
I am overwhelmed with Gratitude to EVERYONE.  Thank YOU!!
Visit our
FB page for more pictures....

Colorado Girls State Steering Committee
Susie Bozella, Chair

American Legion Auxiliary Colorado Girls State
February Newsletter
Department of Colorado, CGS Operations Committee
Susie Bozella, Diane Erickson, Karen Boehler, Rachel Van Houten, Marissa Sotomayor, Kellie Hayes, Rhonda Larkowski
It is time for units to begin recruiting junior girls for our 2019 ALA CGS program. The program will be held at UNC in Greeley from June 9-14, 2019.  This program not only teaches young women about city, county, and state government, but develops leadership, patriotism, and confidence.
Unit Chairman Information:
Please see the Department website: for all the details.  Look under Girls State.
The cost per delegate for units has been increased to $265.  This increase is due to the extra day for a field trip which was added the last two years, significantly increasing our cost for the program and also due to the increases in college costs each year.  After this year, it may be possible to lower the unit fees.  If your unit can not provide the extra funds, other units are asked to help cover the costs, especially if your unit only has a few delegates.

The deadline for girls to apply is April 15th, 2019.  Registration of all delegates and fees are due May 1, 2019.
Why should we support this program?  Read these testimonials from four delegates last year:
What do you want to say about the ALA Colorado Girls State Program? 
  • “I will keep the flag I received and fly it forever.”  
  • “CGS was a place where I was able to learn about government in a way that really made sense to me and I would 100% recommend Colorado Girls State to all juniors.”
  • “It taught me that even if you are not comfortable with something, and whether you win or lose, what matters is the experience and how it has helped you grow as an individual.”
  • “Being brave doesn’t mean it was effortless.  Being brave doesn’t mean it felt natural.  Being brave means that I did it anyway! Thank you ALA CGS for giving me the opportunity to discover my bravery in speaking out and voicing my opinion.”
Contact Susie Bozella: or 303-808-0447
CGS Director Rachel Van Houten: or 970-231-0319

Ann Ritacco, PDP, Chairman 2018-19
Family Fun Night Fundraiser
WOW!! I would like to say a big THANK YOU for everyone that came out to the Family Fun Night during the Mid-Year Conference.  We appreciate everyone that came out in the 1920’s costumes and in every shade of red that you could find.  We ended up raising over $1,200 during the night for Laurie’s project VA&R with an emphasis on Female veterans.
I would like to Thank the team for helping me plan the event and executing during the night.  The planning team included: Betty, Tina, Amber, Deb, Terri and Laurie.  The execution team included: Evelyn, Tracy, Deb, Deb, Sharon, Tony, Darrell, and the Juniors.  I hope I did not miss listing anyone.

The big hit for the night was the jail.  Everyone enjoyed putting people in jail and then seeing who was going to bail them out.

I hope that you enjoyed the night and look forward to the event next year.  Tell your friends. This is the Auxiliary’s opportunity to raise money for the current President’s project with the Family. 
Thank you again.
Ann Ritacco
Fundraising Chairman
Pictures were taken by Sheryl Funakoshi.and Deb McBride


Children and Youth
Terri L. Clinton, PDC, Chairman 2018-19
Community Service – It’s What We Do

On Friday, January 25, in Greeley Colorado, as a kick-off to our Mid-year Conference, 31 members of our TAL Family participated in a community service project modeled after the community service project day held at National Convention. PDP Ann Ritacco and I participated in that event in Minneapolis. We had so much fun, that we decided to bring it back to the Department of Colorado.  We helped the Weld Food Bank prepare emergency food boxes, packaged fresh carrots into usable-sized bags and prepared food boxes for the homebound.

We all went on a tour of the food bank, hosted by Kristy Aldridge, Volunteer Manager, who was able to show us around the facility and provide some pretty astounding statistics. For instance, 1 in 5 people in Weld County are going without food, 1 in 4 children in Weld County are struggling with the effects of hunger and for every dollar donated, Weld Food Bank can provide 4 meals. 12.8 million pounds of food were distributed last year, 2.6 million pounds of food were distributed through the mobile food pantry and 8.2 million pounds of fresh produce/dairy/meat were distributed. 

I often wonder how many of our AD soldiers and veterans have gone to a local food bank for assistance.  I bet that number is high, and even higher with the government shut down. The need is there, with over 41 million Americans struggling to provide enough food for their families, with children and seniors being the most impacted. Children who are hungry fall behind in school, and seniors who worked their whole lives are being faced with increased health issues, are living on fixed incomes and cannot afford the healthy food they need.

As a “first ever” event for our Department at Mid-year Conference, there are some “thanks” that need to go out. I want to thank Commander Robb D. Smith and President Laurie Kuntz for rearranging their agendas that were already in progress when we came up with this idea. I want to thank the Department (both Legion/Auxiliary) for putting out multiple blasts and allowing us the use of the van. A shout-out to the Greeley Tribune for covering the story. And, most importantly, I want to thank the volunteers who came out to help. My American Legion Family never fails to amaze me in their support of the Pillars.

We all gathered together at the end and asked Kristy to join us. We thanked her and the Weld Food Bank for allowing us to share in community service. We thanked them for the assistance and help they provide to the community. I presented her with my Commander’s coin, and related my campaign to the assistance they provide to our transitioning soldiers and veterans who have fallen on hard times. We presented them with a check for $300 – that’s 1,200 meals. A special thanks to Post 206 for a $150 donation. We then arranged for all of the canned food items to be delivered.

We had a lot of positive feedback, and a request to continue this event at our Department Convention in Colorado Springs. Both PDP Ann and I are grateful for the support, and we will work together again to find another opportunity to assist the community with the support of our TAL Family.

PDC Terri L. Clinton

Pictures taken and provided by Terri Clinton

Service to Veterans - VA&R
Theresa Brandt, Chairman 2018-19

This past month in November the oldest survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack died at the age of 106. This made me think of our obligation to remember all those veterans that are in VA hospitals and Community Living Centers across the Nation. December is a busy month when many of us will be visiting these places to bring Christmas Joy to their lives.
Since World War I the women of the American Legion Auxiliary have taken an active role in the care and rehabilitation of veterans. During World War II it was determined that a need existed for a coordinated volunteer effort to direct the activity of committed individuals, such as the American Legion Auxiliary. This need resulted in a formal volunteer program providing aid and assistance to members of the armed services injured in war. By the end of the war, the immediate focal point of interest seemed to die. The leaders of these groups realized that the training these volunteers received during wartime, should not be lost. These leaders decided to focus their time, skill, and effort in peacetime, helping care for a new group of men and women now considered veterans.
On April 8, 1946, representatives of several veteran service organizations, including the American Legion Auxiliary, met in Washington D.C. with the Assistant Administrator for Special Services. This meeting resulted in the new VA developing regulations and procedures making a provision for the use of volunteers through the VA Special Services program for hospitalized veterans. Thus, the VA Voluntary Service (VAVS) Advisory Committee was formed  On February 12, 1947 the scope of the VA plan was widened to include coordination of volunteer aid in all appropriate phases of the VA medical center program. In 1964 the American Legion Auxiliary inaugurated at new program called Field Service Volunteers and in 1974 the American Legion Auxiliary introduced Home Service Program to further supplement the care given to our veterans. In 2013 the American Legion Auxiliary combined Field Service and Home Service calling the new program Service to Veterans. As it stands today, VAVS volunteers must  serve in a VA healthcare facility (VA medical centers, VA hospitals, clinics, etc.) whereas, Service to Veterans volunteers serve from their homes or in their communities with other service organizations. Both programs continue to reflect our care, commitment, and compassion for our veterans.

National Security
Susie Bozella, Chairman 2018-2019

American Legion Auxiliary
National Security, February Newsletter
Department Chairman, Susie Bozella 
Sue Patterson, Lynn Cody, members 
National Security:  What is this program and why do we have it?
Purpose Statement: The National Security program maintains and promotes a strong national defense by strengthening and supporting military service members and their families.    
The National Auxiliary has highlighted these five activities for us to support:
  1. Honoring the Troops
  2. Welcome-Home events
  3. POW/MIA Remembrance Services
  4. Community Emergency Response Team
  5. Ensure that America’s POW/MIAs be honored and recognized
What can my unit do to help the emotional and social needs of active, reserve, and transitioning military service members and their families?
  • Work with a returning National Guard or Reserve unit or an individual transitioning service member or family.  Find them independently or by working with the service member transition program or US Department of Defense, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Unit members may provide support on a spouse-to-spouse or family-to-family basis.
Click here for the ALA Military Readiness Guide (log in required) 
  • Organize a Welcome Home to Our Hometown event to welcome new military families.
Click here for the Welcome to Our Hometown Action Guide (log in required) 
  • Greet service members as they deploy and/or return from a deployment.
Other ongoing ideas that we all can do at any time: Member and unit
  • Wear red each Friday to “Remember Everyone Deployed.”
  • Donate blood or assist in a blood drive in your community.
  • Work to identify recipients and present Blue or Gold Star banners to individuals or businesses.
  • Sign up for the American Legion Legislative Action Alerts.
  • Support the National Security programs of the American Legion.
Last, if you do any of these activities, report them under National Security.  And also if your unit does outstanding work for this program, consider applying for a National Award.  (More award information is on the national Website,
Committee Highlights
Membership Committee
Oh how I love February, it’s the month of Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day is all about love, but there’s no rule that says it has to be all about romantic love.  February 14 is also a great time to show appreciation for friends – the old ones, the close ones, the true ones, and most importantly, the best ones.

So, how do you say Happy Valentine’s Day to someone who isn’t a romantic partner, but is nevertheless a VIP in your life?  Given the holiday, the obvious advice is to speak from the heart.  Give someone the gift of membership to the American Legion Auxiliary.  Or maybe you have some sisters in your Unit that haven’t been able to pay their dues this year to set backs, pay it forward to your sisters and love one-another.

Have a wonderful month ladies and spread the joy of the Auxiliary we are a wonderful organization, be proud that you belong and share your why!
Dawn Valdez
Dept. of Colorado Unit 2 Vice President
Dept. of Colorado Membership Team

PR Committee - Social Media
Are you a chairman and not sure what you need for your web page.  The Chairman's Web form will help.  Click here to download the form or you can find it on the Committees and Chairmen page.  Also available on the Committees and Chairmen is a How To Guide for chairmen - all the basics to use your web page and submit articles for the newsletter.

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Tech Corner
Have a question about your computer, a piece of software, your Facebook page or how to build your own web page for your unit or district.  Trying to figure out how to fill in that online form or you just need some help building a document.  Now you have a place to ask that question - check out our Technology page.

Looking for an opportunity to serve our veterans and get paid?  Our Secretary/Treasurer's position will be open in 2019 so we are starting now to find the right person - maybe that is you!  Interested?  Click here for the job description.  Click here for the application. 

Please send applications and resumes to Department Headquarters.
To send via US Mail:
American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Colorado
7465 East 1st Avenue Suite D
Denver, CO  80230

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