Two of the gentlemen lucky enough not to be “Checked at the Door” share a moment.
A steady stream of vehicles pulled up to the Wetaskiwin Memorial Centre early in the evening of January 2. About 200 ladies adorned in elegant dress, fancy jewellery and huge smiles entered the decorated facility. But, coats, husbands and boyfriends were checked at the door. It was the 2nd annual Wetaskiwin Legion Ladies Auxiliary Dinner & Comedy Gala. They were soon to be treated to an excellent meal, entertainment by 3 comedians and ending the evening with dancing.
The purpose of the Gala is described by Janice Drader Jamison, President of the Ladies Auxiliary as being twofold. “An important outcome of the event is the Auxiliary continues to support charities in the community. We like to think of it as an extreme night out for the girls and an important fundraiser for us. We are hosting the event to raise funds. This is a huge fundraiser for us, actually. We had the first one last year and raised over $5000. And hope to do better this year. Since we are a not-for-profit, all our funds go back into the community.”
The funds have not been designated to a particular charity. “The money will be used to support all of our general charities. Of course veterans come first, but we also support the Wetaskiwin Legion, Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army…all our regular donations. Last year we donated $19,000 to the community.”
The Auxiliary had a strategic partner help with the event; the Knights of Columbus. Through a reciprocal agreement, the Auxiliary provides assistance to the Knights of Columbus during their annual Maritime Night. In return, the members of the Knights of Columbus attired in crisp white shirts, bow ties and tuxedos, sold beverage tickets, served beverages, supervised the silent auction and diamond ring displays and escorted the ladies to their tables.
President Jamison is proud of the recent achievements of the Auxiliary. “We have added 18 new members, one already this year and have over 130 members.” She attributes their success to ensuring the members are having fun. “The Legion has a webpage http://legion86.org/ that we contribute to. We have an email list now that they never had years ago.” In November, 2012 Wetaskiwin Legion Ladies Auxiliary hosted another successful event, the 2nd Annual Women’s Small Business Expo. She described the event as, “All the exhibitors are women who have a small home based business. The event brings together an extensive variety of services and products for today's women.”
President Jamison concludes, “The Auxiliary has changed since it was founded 66 years ago when they were working handing hand- in-hand with the Red Cross knitting socks and sending packages to soldiers. But, the idea is still the same; not profit.”
If you would like to apply for membership to the Wetaskiwin Legion Auxiliary, submit an application for membership, “in writing, in duplicate, upon the forms supplied for that purpose; and shall be signed by the applicant who must give in detail the particulars therein set forth. Every applicant must be proposed by two voting Members in good standing”.