President's Corner

December 2019

From your president, Bonnie Potter:

On Tuesday, November 5th we staffed a Voting Precinct for the special election that was held for Assembly District 1. I served as Inspector, and we had an awesome team with Don Anderson as Judge, and Becky Dunavent, Tom Dunavent, Mona Anderson, Aaron Lonquist, Don Goard, Nancy Goard, Greg Wilbur and August Anema as Clerks. Staffing a voting precinct is a great fund-raiser for the Council!

On November 11th we celebrated the Centennial of the American Legion. The American Legion was chartered in 1919 and shortly after, a group of Auburn World War I veterans decided to start up a local post. Named the Richard W. Townsend Post #84 for US Army Pvt. Richard Townsend of Auburn who was killed in action in France on 9/27/1918, they met at an Auburn business in what is now called Old Town. A Placer Herald newspaper clipping dated 11/1/1919 states “The Richard W. Townsend Post No. 84 American Legion is making great preparations for the celebration of Armistice Day, November 11th, in Auburn. A parade and athletic exercises will take place in the afternoon followed by a grand ball at night.” Since being chartered in 1919, the American Legion Post No. 84 has been welcoming and supporting veterans from all branches of our Armed Forces. Our Bartender, Court Bradbury, Adjutant of Post 84 served as the Parade Grand Marshal! Our parade entry included several members walking or riding in the convertible provided by David Brown, or in the big red deuce and a half truck provided by Aaron Lonquist’s son in law! We also had our Sacramento Sea Cadets and the Luther Burbank NJROTC Titan Battalion marching with us!! We have many veterans in our council and, on behalf of all of our members, thank you for your service!

At our November meeting, we held our second annual Silent Auction and Gold Bag Raffle. Thank you, Carol Ann Hackley, for rounding up so many wonderful items for us to bid on or win, and thanks also to your team of helpers: Janelle Kershaw, Mona Anderson, June Meredith, Cynthia Johannes and Becky Dunavent! Everyone had a great time and thanks to all who participated, we raised over $2600 to support our programs! 

December 7th marked the 78th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Navy League member Lou Conter received a hero’s welcome when he arrived in Honolulu … water cannons, a red carpet and Navy sideboys were there to greet him! Lou is one of only 3 remaining Arizona survivors.

For the first time ever, our Council had an entry in the Auburn Festival of Lights Parade on December 7th. The big red deuce and a half appeared again, this time as a big sleigh pulled by reindeer! You can see some photos in this edition of the Bell.  

Thank you to the many members who purchased wreaths for the graves of our veterans buried in Auburn. I don’t have a final tally yet, but to date our members have purchased over 200 wreaths! The Wreaths Across America Remembrance Ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 14th at 0900 at the New Auburn Cemetery. Council member Paula Celick is the organizer and deserves our thanks for her dedication to this program. I look forward to participating again this year as the Master of Ceremonies, and I hope to see many of you there. 

Another event happening on December 14th is the annual Army-Navy football game. Our Council and the American Legion Post 84 are hosting a viewing party at the Auburn Veterans Hall with food and drinks available. Doors open at 11 am and kickoff is at Noon. Please see the flyer for more details of this fun event. (Go Navy Beat Army!!). 

Our annual Christmas Party will be held on December 16th and once again we encourage you to bring an unwrapped toy/gift to donate to the Salvation Army for distribution to the children in our area.  During the meeting the Auburnaires will sing Christmas carols and we will install our 2019 Officers and Directors. I will continue as Council President and congratulations to our 2020 Vice President Don Anderson, Secretary Mona Anderson, Treasurer August Anema, and Directors Becky Dunavent, Mike Holmes, Aaron Lonquist, Don Goard, Nancy Goard, Greg Wilbur, Carol Ann Hackley and Janelle Kershaw. I look forward to working with all of you in the upcoming year.   

And finally, I am sad to report that we recently lost two of our long time members, Donald Gazzaniga and Shirley Kessler. You will find their obituaries in this edition of the Bell.

And, as always, let us take a few minutes each day to remember our courageous men and women in uniform, especially those deployed away from home during the holidays, who are willing to risk their lives to protect our way of life and our freedoms. Also, please remember their family members for the sacrifices they make so that their loved ones may serve.  As we wrap up 2019, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Bonnie Potter, President



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