Observing the ALA’s centennial locally
Time’s a ticking! On Nov. 10, 2019, the American Legion Auxiliary will celebrate a major milestone – 100 years serving our veterans, military, and their families. Although it may seem premature to start celebrating the Auxiliary’s centennial a year in advance, it will be here before you know it. Here are some ways YOU can begin preparing now at the unit level!
Get The Word Out
Communication is key! Spreading the word can be as simple as placing an ad in your local newspaper, posting a picture or status update on your social media accounts, or simply hanging a poster in your unit acknowledging the Auxiliary’s upcoming anniversary. Also, simple word of mouth is a great way to pass along information.
Host An Open House
Whether it’s a cookout, a dance, tree planting ceremony, etc., an open house will provide the perfect opportunity to draw in community members and share information about the upcoming centennial. This event also is a great way to potentially draw in new unit members, increasing the impact you’ll have locally on the ALA’s mission of serving veterans, the military, and their families.
Showcase Member Stories
Take a second to get to know your fellow unit members and ask if they have a particularly interesting personal story or memory about the ALA they’d like to share. Ask them about their involvement with the Auxiliary – committees they’ve served on, offices held, day job, etc. Once you’ve gathered this information, set aside some room in your unit as a showcase. This is a quick and easy way to learn more about your fellow members and the ALA!
Gather Your Unit’s History
Does your unit have some collectibles lying around? Instead of letting them go unappreciated, take inventory of these items and donate them to a local historical society, where the items can be kept in safekeeping. From there, organize a ceremony highlighting these collectibles and lead a presentation on their history. This is a great opportunity to invite the media and share information about the ALA’s approaching centennial.
Make It Official
Reach out to your community leaders to recognize the American Legion Auxiliary’s 100th anniversary. This can be done through a proclamation or certificate, which can be read by a designated official. This also creates an ample opportunity for media coverage, further spreading the word about our milestone. The proclamation can then be preserved as a historical document within your unit.
Have Fun and Learn Some History at the Same Time!
Here’s an idea – challenge your fellow unit members to show off their early 20th century fashion sense and dress up as Edith Hobart, the ALA’s first national president. From there, have members participate in centennial-related activities (put your creativity to the test!).
The ALA’s centennial will be here before you know it! Do you have plans to celebrate leading up to the anniversary? Let us know at ALAmagazine@ALAforVeterans.org. Another great way to share your story is by tagging us on social media @ALAforVeterans with hashtag #ALA100.