American Legion Auxiliary Thomas B. Anderson Unit 515’s next monthly meeting will be held at noon Monday, Dec. 13, in the Latrobe post home.

A catered luncheon will be served at 12:30 p.m. for the annual Christmas Party. The price for the luncheon is $10 and a $10 grab bag gift for each member who wants to participate.

The announcements were among those made during Unit 515’s Nov. 8 meeting, called to order by President Janet Penrose. Following the opening rituals, Chaplain Kathy Roble led members in “a Prayer of Thanksgiving for all blessings and our veterans who keep us safe.”

A roll call of officers was conducted by Mary Pescatore followed by the reading of the minutes from October. The treasurer’s report read by Carol Greenawalt was filed for audit.

Penrose welcomed new member Anita Willis.

Committee reports:

Correspondence: President Penrose stated there will be a Latrobe Fourth of July Parade next year, noting she received an invitation to attend.

Americanism: Greenawalt said the theme for the Essay Contest this year is “How can we support families who provide care to their veterans?”

Auxiliary Emergency Fund: Irene Hoyle reported $23 was collected, noting the fund is used for “any paid-up auxiliary member who suffers a loss due to a flood or fire, for example.” All funds are sent to the ALA Department of Pennsylvania for the Emergency Fund.

Cards and Visiting: Donna Rodgers said she sent cards to Roble and a congratulations card to Greenawalt’s son Gary E. Greenawalt, who recently retired from the U.S. Navy with 23 years of service.

Children and Youth: Mary Jo Fromme reported she collected handmade cards to be given to the veterans on Veterans Day from the children at the Adelphoi Village school. Also, a Post 515 member dropped off a bag of handmade cards at the post home. All were displayed on Veterans Day.

Constitution and Bylaws: Penrose reported they “learned a lot at Legion College, which was very informative,” and that “certain standing rules can be changed if needed.”

Education: Fromme stated the children who made the cards for the veterans was a learning experience for them to understand what it means to be a veteran.

Leadership: Roble noted “true leaders are not those who strive to be first, but who give their all for the success of the team. True leaders are the first to see the need, envision the plan and empower the team for action. By the strength of the leader’s commitment the power of the team is unleashed.”

Legislative: Donna Rodgers focused on voting in the Nov. 2 election and legislation that would make cannabis legal. Veterans are using this to help their pain from PTSD. If it is not prescribed by the veterans hospitals and doctors then they stand a chance of losing their benefits.

Irene Hoyle reported on a newsletter from state Sen. Kim Ward, including the Senate Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee hosting a roundtable discussion with female veterans about their military experiences. Some topics of discussion were “the challenges females face in a historically male-dominated field, sexual trauma impacted and frequently cut short their services despite the challenges they faced. The women emphatically felt that their service was valuable to their own personal development and cited the character development and work ethic as benefits they received.” Also the Pennsylvania Treasury vault holds “unclaimed property including ID tags, pins, campaign ribbons, medals, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts.” The PA Treasury makes an effort to return all items to their respective families. Senate Bill 275, known as “Energy Choice” legislation, would limit municipalities from banning a specific type of fuel source for appliances and heating homes and businesses. The bill now moves to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Membership report by Greenawalt stated Unit 515 has 97 members paid to date. She reminded everyone to pay their dues before Dec. 31, adding, “After then you are considered delinquent; you must have your dues paid for 2022. All members who paid their dues in May, June or July you are now due to pay for 2022.”

National Security: Mary L. Daughenbaugh explained the purpose of this committee is to “maintain and promote a national defense to respond to any disaster affecting this nation. In order to support our military on the homefront it is the obligation of each unit to be aware of who these families are an ensure their day-to-day needs are met during and after their family member’s deployment.” She said a Blue Star family has a flag or banner featuring a single blue star signaling the family has a member serving in the military. The flag is white with a red border and displays a blue star for each military member who served in any period of war the United States was engaged in.

President’s Project: Pescatore said the theme this year is “Making a Difference Through Music” and also supporting the Wounded Warrior Foundation.

Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation: A check for $300 was sent to HJ Heinz Progressive Care Center, Southwestern Veterans Center and Oakland hospitals. The hospitals are looking for monetary donations or white T-shirts, socks or comfort items for the male veterans and essentials for female veterans.

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