Local resident elected to district office in Arizona American Legion Auxiliary

By: 
MARGE CHRISTIANSON, American Legion Auxiliary Volunteer

Sun City resident Nicki Cruz has been elected president of the 11th ALA District of Arizona. The former president of the national award-winning Unit 62 in Peoria will provide leadership to 11 units in Phoenix, Wickenburg, Glendale, Buckeye, Avondale, Peoria, Laveen and Goodyear.

 

 

 

Sun City resident Doris Theiss has been elected to a second term as president of Unit 62 in Peoria. Under the leadership of Theiss, the John J. Morris American Legion Family in Peoria was the recipient of the highest honor of the state convention, the Bieri Award. The Bieri Award is presented to the Arizona American Legion family that demonstrates the highest level of cooperative support of veterans, military, families and community.

 

 

 

The Earl E Mitchell American Legion Auxiliary Unit 29 in Glendale elected Debi Hammons for a second term as unit president. Unit 29 was awarded top honors at the convention for its charitable donation to the Auxiliary Emergency Fund (AEF). The emergency fund assists members suffering financial difficulties often due to illness or natural disasters, such as Arizona’s wildfires.

 

 

 

In honor of the men and women who have served the United States through military service, American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) units in Arizona announced Cindy Queen has been elected as president for 2018-19, the highest office in the Department of Arizona.
Queen was unanimously elected during the Arizona Department Convention held June 21 to 24 at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Conference Center in Phoenix. Her membership eligibility is through her father, a World War II Army veteran (deceased).  She is also eligible under her husband of 25 years, Ken, an Air Force Vietnam veteran. 
Originally a member in Bowie, Md., Queen now lives in Mesa and is a member of the Apache Unit 27 in Apache Junction. She has held numerous leadership positions at the unit, district and department levels and has more than 22 years of service in the auxiliary. After 30 years as a legal secretary/paralegal in the corporate division of law firms and private sector, both in Maryland and Arizona, Queen is now retired. She was installed during a patriotic ceremony June 24 in Phoenix.
“As the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, the American Legion Auxiliary is made up of strong women leaders committed to improving the lives of others. I have every confidence that Cindy will uphold the ALA’s values and continue to make a difference in the lives of veterans, military and their families in every Arizona neighborhood,” ALA National President Diane Duscheck said.
Queen looks forward to working throughout Arizona with veterans and the nearly 15,000 strong American Legion Auxiliary members, as well as the Sons of the American Legion.
“We will continue the excellent work already being done to support veterans, communities and children of Arizona while working hard to increase our membership — ensuring that we can support the growing needs of our service men and women,” Queen said.
As is customary, Queen selected a special project, which she will promote over the course of her year-long tenure. As her special focus, Queen will raise funds and awareness to support visually impaired veterans.
“I selected visually impaired veterans partly because my husband and I have a visually impaired granddaughter. Through her struggles, I have become educated about the challenges the visually impaired face. I became aware of new technologies and therapies that exist or are under development, so I want to bring these advancements to our veterans,” Queen said.

 

 

 

Retiring 2017-18 President Yolanda Bonilla completed her term at the convention. During her tenure, Arizona units reported donating more than $250,000 and nearly 50,000 hours of volunteer hours to charitable causes supporting veterans, military, families and community. They also raised $35,000 for the auxiliary’s Arizona Girls State program — a premier weeklong program that for 70 years has annually taught about 300 young women about government and civic responsibility.
In her farewell address, Bonilla said, “The American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program is a life-changing program for the delegates who are given the opportunity to attend — I know it changed mine. I have traveled the highways and byways of this great state and met so many veterans who have benefitted from the work of the women of American Legion Auxiliary.”
To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary and get involved, visit www.ALADeptAZ.org.

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Peoria Times

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