8/12/2014 10:49:00 AM American Legion Auxiliary looking for new members
Members of the American Legion Auxiliary in Williams take a break before their monthly meeting. From left: Vice President Lydia Tanori, President Carolyn Kleck and Secretary/Treasurer Marystella Riojas. Ryan Williams/WGCN
WILLIAMS, Ariz. - The American Legion Auxiliary of Williams was established in 1928 to support local veterans. But with a lack of active participants recently, the group is reaching out to the community in search of new members.
The auxiliary has about 34 members, about seven of which attend meetings regularly. Sometimes the group has to reschedule its meetings because of a lack of a quorum. In addition, it can be difficult for the auxiliary to carry out certain projects or volunteer at community events with such a small amount of active members.
"There's a lot of things that we could do, we just can't do it all by ourselves," said Secretary/Treasurer Marystella Riojas.
In order to join the auxiliary, women must have a family member who served in the military and was honorably discharged. The purpose of the auxiliary is to help veterans with anything they might need, from food to funeral costs.
"If there's a veteran or his family or her family that needs help, that is what we're here for," said President Carolyn Kleck.
The auxiliary also prepares boxes to send to active service members and pays for a high school student to attend the Girls State leadership conference every year.
One of the auxiliary's main programs is the poppy program. Veterans in hospitals make poppies out of tissue paper, and the auxiliary can purchase 100 for $12. From there, auxiliary members sell the poppies around town for a donation. The money they raise goes back to the veterans in the hospital for anything they might need, such as a lap blankets.
"People can give what they want to," said Vice President Lydia Tanori. "You don't ask, you just say we'll take donations if you want to donate."
The auxiliary meets the first Thursday of every month at the Legion. Kleck emphasized that if members need a ride to the meetings, they can arrange a carpool.
"We need more people, we need some new blood, we need some new fresh ideas, and we would appreciate anything they can give us," Kleck said.
More information is available from Kleck at (602) 677-2561.