VFW Ladies Auxiliary celebrates 60 years | CraigDailyPress.com

VFW Ladies Auxiliary celebrates 60 years

When Margaret Thompson moved to Craig in 1955, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary had been operating for nine years. At the urging of her husband, a VFW member, she joined a few years later.

Now Thompson is the longest-serving member of the Craig auxiliary. Next month, she’ll mark her 48th year with the group.

That time, she said, has been well-spent.

“The best part, of course, is the members,” she said. “The camaraderie, working with people like Virginia (Cromer) and Marian (Pape).”

On Wednesday, the VFW auxiliary members gathered at a luncheon to celebrate 60 years of operation under their charter, helping veterans and the community.

“We always like helping the youth and seniors,” said Cromer, a 23-year member. “Even this luncheon is a fundraiser to make more money to do more stuff.”

The organization’s calendar hardly has room for more “stuff.”

It already hosts the Senior Dinner on the first Saturday of every month. Auxiliary members also are a driving force behind the city’s Hometown Picnic every May, the Veterans Dinner in November, the Voice of Democracy and Patriotic Pens youth programs, senior bingo, high school scholarships, and Huck Finn Days.

That’s when they aren’t hosting bi-monthly bingo tournaments to raise money to cover veterans’ funerals.

“On Monday, we gave $200 to the Bad Dog Youth Wrestling program,” Cromer said. “They need some help for traveling expenses.”

With 77 members, auxiliary members plan to be around for some time.

“We have about 12 working members,” Thompson said. “Everyone is a volunteer here.”

She remembers when the membership dropped to two or three people. That was after the building burned down, which has happened twice since she joined nearly 48 years ago.

On Wednesday, turnout was good for the celebratory luncheon. Tables filled with people enjoying the dishes cooked by volunteers.

“I don’t think they could run a lot of things in town without the volunteers,” Cromer said. “We stay busy, busy, busy.”

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 208, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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