A West Virginia American Legion Auxiliary unit challenged its own members and the public to put their artistic skills to the test as part of a new fundraising effort. Earlier this year, Unit 137 in Capon Bridge hosted a “paint day” to raise money for the Auxiliary Emergency Fund.
More than two dozen people of all different ages put their creative hats on and painted their own unique, individual piece. An art educator herself, Past Department Auxiliary Emergency Fund Chair Holly Knauff kickstarted the idea. “Art is a universal language,” said Knauff. “There’s no boundary to it, and everybody can benefit from it.”
Donations from participants, Legionnaires, Sons of The American Legion, and private donors brought in $1,200 for AEF. Unit 137 President Diana Teter said the successful turnout led the unit to host another event a few months later in the fall. “Our unit is very excited and proud to extend the kind of love that is necessary for our veterans and families,” said Teter. “It was decided by unanimous vote that all craft events of this nature would go to AEF. We never know when we will be on that side of a crisis.”
Raising money for the AEF isn’t the only positive to come from these events. “We have actually gained members,” said Teter.
She said it makes her proud knowing her unit is so giving.
“Our mission statement is taken seriously by our unit in that Service Not Self is our first goal,” Teter said “It shows when times are tough, and we need to band together as a family there are many participants.”
Knauff said she would love to see events like this take place at more posts and units. “There’s genuine happiness on people’s faces. It’s their art, their expression, their joy, and they know it’s helping people,” Knauff said. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Has your American Legion Auxiliary unit conducted a unique fundraiser? Share your successful fundraiser stories with us at ALAMagazine@ALAforVeterans.org or on social media at @ ALAforVeterans.