The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 164 of Pembroke is expanding its membership to a younger generation.
Girls in the community under the age of 18 are invited to join the Junior Auxiliary Unit 164, which is currently taking membership applications to start the program later this year.
"This is going to be an awesome youth program," Senior Unit Vice Chair Cindy Milloy said. "I am thinking this will give the girls such a sense of accomplishment. It is going to be fun for everyone. Two of us (in the Senior Unit) are Veterans and we plan on teaching the girls to excel as a Color Guard team to participate in the Christmas Parade and Veterans Day activities. We are going professional!"
The junior must have a mother, father, sister, brother, grandfather/mother, or great grandfather/mother who served in WWI, WWII, the Merchant Marines (1941-45), Korea (1950-55), Vietnam, Grenada/Lebanon (1982-84), Panama (1989-90), or in the Persian Gulf. Once a junior member turns 18, there will a ceremony to transfer them to the Senior Unit.
Milloy said once enough girls join the unit, they will choose their meeting date and time and elect members for all the same positions the Senior Unit has, such as president, vice chairs, secretary, treasurer, etc. While Milloy plans to serve as the Junior Unit Advisor, the girls will run their own meetings and choose which community projects they’d like to get involved with.
"Each member of the Junior Unit will receive a hand book and the officers will receive the appropriate pins for their office. The girls will also receive a name tag to be worn during meeting times," Milloy explained, noting the program will provide the girls with an increased knowledge of leadership and responsibility.
The program will offer a host of activities and programs. Junior members can expect to learn the history of the American flag, be asked to participate in parades, patriotic observances and community service projects and get involved in creative opportunities to expand leadership skills, along with a variety of other activities. They will also be invited to join in all Senior Unit activities.
As members of the auxiliary, junior participants will also be eligible for scholarships and have opportunities to be involved in the Girls State and Girls Nation competitions, where they will be able to play roles in an instructional state senate and learn about the intergovernmental process.
Any junior member who joins by the end of this year will have their membership cost waived. After December, the cost of membership for the year will be a one-time fee of $3 per girl. There will be no weekly or monthly dues, Milloy said.
The Senior Unit is also always looking for new members and the organization is a great opportunity for members of the community to get involved with, Milloy said.
"Individually, our members have logged in more than 10,000 volunteer hours this past year, from June 2007 to present, she said. "That that does not include what the unit has done as a whole. I am so proud of our members; they are very community and service oriented.
To get a packet of information about the Junior Auxiliary Unit, call Milloy at 675-5422 or 653-5878, or call Senior Unit President Susie Magee at 653-5476 or 429-3741.