American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) Unit 62 in Peoria is pleased to announce that their candidate, the Honorable Lora Delahunt, an in-coming senior at Glendale’s Apollo High School, has been elected as an ALA Girls’ State Senator. Senator Delahunt will represent the great state of Arizona at the ALA Girls’ Nation Program held in Washington D.C. later this month.

Delahunt was elected at an ALA week-long, hands-on program which emphasizes the workings of government and responsible citizenship. Approximately 250 Arizona Juniors participated in this years’ program which took place at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Conducted in states across the country, participants set up a government and use it to govern themselves. Each of the ALA Girls State programs culminates with the election of candidates— the highest honor going to two state senators who are given the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C.

Successfully campaigning under a version of the Talladega Nights slogan “Shake ‘N Bake,” Delahunt will travel to Washington to meet with other ALA Girls State senators, visit National Memorials, experience politics in action and with some luck meet with Arizona Senator McCain, Senator Flake and President Obama.

“Part of my election success was mixing humor in along with my overall message. In Talladega Nights, Will Farrell’s character, Ricky Bobby, was sort of a dork. Converting his fist bump and slogan into ‘Shakin’ up Ideas & Bakin’ out Results’ provided some laughs and made my message more relate-able“, said Senator Delahunt. Describing her campaign personality as “loud”, it’s evident that as the youngest of four siblings, Delahunt learned early how to be heard. Organized within city entities, Senator Delahunt especially enjoyed her “city sisters”, a group of hardworking, outgoing girls who enjoyed having fun but could be laid back too. “We had a great time at the dance parties—just dancing goofy and letting off steam with the girls from our sister city” explained Delahunt.

At Apollo High school, Delahunt competes in Cross Country and Track & Field, competing in shotput and discus. Her favorite subject is biology. She loves the outdoors; camping, hiking, fishing and volunteering at Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue are among her favorite non-academic activities. Not surprisingly, Delahunt also loves movies. Her favorite, Jurassic Park, seems in line with a girl who thinks big. “My mom and Dad both said I should campaign for Senator. They believed in me… and that helped me believe in myself,” beamed Delahunt.

Delahunt was one of 23 girls sponsored by American Legion Auxiliary Unit 62 to participate in this year’s ALA Girls State Program.

“We rely heavily on the counselors at local high schools to spread the word about the program. Ms. Trieber, counselor at Apollo High School, identified Delahunt as a potential candidate. She obviously did a great job. We are so proud of all our girls. It is particularly awesome to have a senator sponsored by our unit going to Washington, D.C.” commented Unit 62 President, Amy Hankins Brown.

Another notable Unit 62 participant was Victoria Grant from Liberty High School in Peoria. Grant was elected as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

“Victoria loved the ALA Girls State experience. When she flew to look at the University of Georgia and Duke University as potential colleges, she took her Girls’ State blanket with her on the plane. We always thought she’d go into the science field, but now she’s talking about law and government,” said her proud mom, Delmara Grant.

Asked what she takes away from this experience, Delahunt insightfully replied, “Believe in yourself, be you and then just put yourself out there.”

For information on past programs in Arizona, go to: http://www.azgirlsstate.com, check out “ALAGirlsNation” on Facebook and search @ALAGirlsNation on Twitter and Instagram. Contact American Legion Auxiliary Unit 62 through its website: www.AZpost62.com/ALA.

American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) is the largest women’s patriotic organization in the world. This past year alone, ALA members volunteered more than 8 million hours in mission service, with 6.6 million hours dedicated to serving veterans at home, in hospitals, and in shelters; and helped 324 million active-duty military families. They have raised and donated nearly $36 million for mission service, with more than $5 million raised from Poppy Program donations, nearly $3 million awarded in scholarships, and $1.8 million spent aiding military families.