Craig Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary to celebrate 60th anniversary |

Craig Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary to celebrate 60th anniversary

The VFW Ladies Auxiliary is the driving force behind several events put on every year in Craig, so a 60-year anniversary is reason for a big celebration.

On Feb. 22, a two-hour luncheon will honor the work of the local women who, for 60 years, have given their time, money and efforts to support the Craig chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The women of the local chapter are well-known for the annual Veterans Dinner held in November at the Moffat County Fairgrounds pavilion.

“We like to hold the dinner as close to Veterans Day as possible,” auxiliary President Jeannie Wixson said. “Last year, I think we had about 300 people attend.”

In May, the auxiliary hosts a prime-rib dinner for members of local law enforcement, including the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol, as well as the police department and its dispatchers.

The auxiliary also helps organize the annual Hometown Picnic.

“We are always trying to get younger veterans to become members,” Wixson said. “We would really like to see more returning troops from Iraq and Afghanistan come to our events.”

One of the auxiliary’s best-known events is the senior dinner, held the first Saturday of almost every month.

The meal, which feeds from 80 to 150 seniors monthly except in June and July, often is accompanied by special treats, such as this month’s Valentine’s candies.

The auxiliary also is behind various youth programs, including the Voice of Democracy and Patriotic Pens, in which youths from eighth to 11th grades are given a topic and are encouraged to write essays or speeches about the United States.

Money raised from fundraisers and weekly bingo tournaments goes toward college scholarships for high school students and funerals for veterans.

“We also help veterans with their bills. Sometimes, a utility bill or a medical expense. We know they wouldn’t ask unless they really needed the help,” Wixson said.

Another event the auxiliary holds is the annual Huck Finn Days fishing tournament at Loudy Simpson Park.

“This year, we had 75 people show up for that,” Wixson said, “and that was in a pouring rain.”

Nationally, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary started in 1914.

Craig’s 60th anniversary celebration Feb. 22 is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone interested in attending can purchase tickets early or “just show up” Wixson said.

Call 276-3145 for information.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 208, or

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