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Two New Scholarships Provided by our Local Auxiliary

May 25, 2018 09:18AM ● Published by Editor

Last November, our local American Legion Auxiliary Unit 413, discussed something new at their monthly meeting.  The auxiliary had grown their bank account through charitable gambling (pull-tabs at Grandma Ray’s) and voted to donate $2,000 to a graduating senior for their post-secondary education at a vocational school, technical or community college, or a four-year college or university.

A committee consisting of three members of the auxiliary established application requirements and set up the scholarship to be awarded to a Cook County graduating senior who had a parent or grandparent who is or was a veteran. Verification of that veteran’s status was determined by providing a DD-214 or copy of that individual’s discharge papers, a VA identification, and/or an awards citation (purple heart, silver star,...). Pat Strand, the Cook County Veterans Services Coordinator, had agreed to assist any student in need of verification of their parent’s or grandparent’s veteran status. Each student applicant also needed to write an essay of 500-1000 words explaining the importance of service to our country.

Seven essays were turned in by seniors, and the committee evaluated those seven essays. Committee members were not given the names of those who wrote the essays. The essays were carefully reviewed and consideration was given to each student’s GPA, financial need, written skills and content (referring to the importance of service to our country). Content received the greatest “weighting” used. Due to additional funds being available due to the success of charitable gambling, two $2,000 scholarships were able to be provided; the auxiliary happily agreed to this at the April meeting!

At our local auxiliary’s May meeting, the two winning scholarships were read to all the members attending the meeting.  Names of the winners were not shared, but the reading of the essays resulted in tears; the two winning essays were extremely powerful.

On May 21 the winners of the scholarships were announced by Janet Breithaupt, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 413 at the school’s annual awards program.  Bryn Soland received her $2,000 scholarship in honor of her father’s service to our country.  Alyssa Martinson also received a $2,000 scholarship in honor of her grandfather’s service to our nation.  These two students wrote outstanding, heartfelt essays.

Winning essays are hoped to be read at the Hovland Town Hall for the Rex Family Fundraiser on Saturday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m., prior to the Splintertones performance, or at the Memorial Day luncheon at Grandma Ray’s on Monday, Memorial Day, May 28, at 11:30, following the service at the Courthouse.

If you’d like to be part of the auxiliary or if you are interested in assisting with pull-tabs to make these kinds of donations possible, contact Brenda Schoepflin, membership chair, or pick up a membership application at Grandma Ray’s.  Even if you are not a member, if you would like to help out with pull-tabs, contact Ann Sullivan, gambling manager, for Auxiliary 413.  Donate your time to help veterans and their families in return for the service they have provided to our country!
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