Baldwin Legion and Auxiliary members

A gathering of some of the Baldwin American Legion and Auxiliary members.

The American Legion and the Legion Auxiliary are celebrating 100 years of existence this year and its mission and goals can be seen throughout the country.

It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to the youth of their communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting national security and continued devotion to fellow servicemembers and veterans.

The Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization. The success depends entirely on active membership, participation and volunteerism.

According to its website, legion.org, membership stands at nearly 2 million in more than 13,000 posts worldwide. Posts are organized into 55 departments: one each for the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.

The Legion Auxiliary’s mission is to support the American Legion and to honor the sacrifice of those who serve by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military and their families, both at home and abroad.

After the formation of The American Legion, several woman’s organizations wanted to become the official affiliation of The American Legion. The women who had served so faithfully during the days of the war wanted to continue to serve, so they built the new organization from the ground up. Mainly so they could carry forward the phases of the Legion activities more suitably performed by women. In less than a year, over 1,300 local units of the Women’s Auxiliary to The American Legion had been organized in more than 45 states.

Baldwin Legion and Auxiliary

If a community event needs to be held in Baldwin, chances are, it’s going to be held at the American Legion.

Scott Husby, Post Commander, explained “if it’s a good cause for a child, we will host it. The children are part of this community,” noting the fundraiser for the girls’ basketball program this week or the fish fry for the baseball team.

The Legion and the Legion Auxiliary, also turning 100 years, this year, have hosted graduations, retirement parties, wedding receptions on top of their ever-popular Bingo nights and Chicken Fry’s.

“The proceeds for these events go to various nonprofit organizations and events that are channeled through patriotism, as well as upkeep of our building,” said Tobie Anderson, current president of the Legion Auxiliary.

She stated further: “We give our services in a way that gives back. We have donated to many Veteran organizations, donate books to the schools with a patriotic theme, the area food shelves, school backpack program, Memorial Day services for the veterans, send kids to Badger Girls State and donate to camps for children from military families. It’s all quite amazing.”

In regard to upkeep, Husby said the bathrooms have recently been renovated and the kitchen is partially done.

“We need to keep improving our building,” he concluded.

Woodville Legion

The Woodville Legion is just as active in the community as its Baldwin brethren.

Among the events planned throughout the year include gun raffles in April and October, with the turkey shoot coinciding with the October raffle; events during the Syttendae Mai celebration in May; a pancake breakfast in February; providing Thanksgiving meals to needy families in November and donating fruit or floral baskets to veterans in area nursing homes in December.

“We want to make sure they are being remembered,” said Jerry Johnson, finance officer for the Legion.

Funds from those events over the years have gone toward the Woodville Area Food Pantry, the Woodville Historical Society, Viking Middle School Lunch and Band programs, The Baldwin-Woodville Skeet Shooting Team and Turning Point.

Johnson wanted to thank the community for their support as without them the fundraiser wouldn’t have been successful as they were.

In addition, the Woodville Legion has held fundraisers for the St. Croix County Council American Legion.

Johnson said goals for the Legion include capital improvements for their building and always, helping Veterans as much as possible.

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