Chairman Janet Bacon
Membership Liason: Sue Cunniff Coughlin
Our first year of trying Fall Forums has come to an end. All Forums were well attended and there was a lot of information shared and a lot of membership turned in. If you were not able to attend, the presenta-tion will be on the Department website.
It is hard to believe, but we are right in the middle of the holiday season. There will be family dinners, Christmas parties and of course gift exchanges. As a parent or grandparent have you considered the gift of American Legion Auxiliary membership or even a PUFL for your loved ones? A PUFL would guarantee them a lifetime of benefits the ALA has to offer and strengthen our Units and Department as they serve our Veterans for many years to come.
“Working Together We Will Build a Strong Team” is shining through. November has been a busy month for membership and I want to thank every one of you for your hard work. However, Department is about 395 paid membership behind from where we were a year ago. Please continue to work the program through the holidays. The Legion Family Caravan will be coming to a Post near you in January. Presi-dent Marsha and I would love to see you and bring a lot of membership to turn in. I would like to thank all the Unit Membership Chairmen that worked the program to eliminate those Goose Eggs from your Units. Unfortunately, the Department of Illinois did not receive $1000.00 from All Treats No Tricks Award offered from National. Don’t give up! We can still qualify for $500.00 in the Find Your Pot “O” Gold Award. The deadline to be eligible is March 17, 2018
Mid-year reports are quickly approaching. Please share with me any innovative ways that you have used to get new members or rejoin members.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the Legion Family Caravan. Remember that I will be awarding $100.00 to the Unit that has the most members present at the Fall Forums and Legion Family Caravan. Will it be your Unit? You will need to be at Patriotic Conference to find out.
Please be safe and enjoy the holidays and don’t forget our veterans.
"Working Together We Will Build a Strong Team” is the theme for this year’s Membership Team. You have heard this
in the past, yes, we are a team. We are all responsible for Membership, and it will take all of us to make Illinois a goal Department. Not only for President Marsha, but for National President Duscheck.
We had a very successful School of Instruction in early August and I thank
everyone who could be there. The Division and District Presidents along with the Vice Presidents in attendance were strongly urged to communicate on a regular basis with the District and Unit Presidents and Membership chairman. They were also strongly urged to be positive about
what needs to be done and pass that positivity and enthusiasm on to others. Being kind and accepting to all, staying visible in your posts and communities, growing in Membership and working
our programs are all things necessary to make our membership stronger. 2019 is not that far away, so when we reach that
million-member mark we can all say we did our part to help get the ALA there. Remember that everything the American
Legion Auxiliary does is tied to the Strategic Plan.
Mother Theresa, President Kennedy, Ghandi, Jesus, our Juniors, Elenore
Roosevelt, Eunice Schriever, moms, pastors, teachers and Auxiliary members all have one thing in common. They show behaviors of being Servant Leaders. Servant Leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and
ultimately creates a more just and caring world. In other words, it is a daily
practice of behaviors. You will receive a copy of these behaviors. I believe
that all of us possess these Leadership qualities.
This year “The 3 R’s of Membership” will be a strong focus. Renew/Retain is one area, Rejoin is another and finally Recruit. Communication is the key to these areas. For the area of Renew/Retain be respectful, kind and considerate. Ask for and be open to new and different ideas. Offer meaningful volunteer opportunities for members, and deliver the Auxiliary’s
mission. For the area of Rejoin reach out to check on those former members, just see how they are doing. Find out why their membership lapsed. Were there any conflicts that can be resolved. If conflicts cannot be resolved, is there another unit that would be a better fit. A very positive
tool in my opinion is ALAMIS. There is quite a bit of information that you can use that will be of great help. Recruiting is necessary to ensure that the American Legion Auxiliary will fulfill its mission. Don’t overlook the opportunities where you can recruit new members such as, ask a new
Legion member if his wife is a member, set up a table at a farmer’s market, wear your ALA attire, carry applications, go on Facebook and ask who might like to join, ask them to go to the website and fill out the Interest Form, reach out to the girl(s) that you sponsored at ALA-IGS, but most of all be positive and wear a smile. Our eligibility pool is HUGE, all you need to do is ask!
We need to be focusing on our Juniors. Get them involved in what is going on at your post. Let them sit in on your meetings and make them feel that they belong. After all, they are the future of this great organization. PR can play an important part in growing our membership. Wear your
Auxiliary pin and shirt when you are attending community functions. When
your unit is doing something special, contact your local newspaper, radio
station or TV station. You could also write a letter to the editor. If your
town has community calendar contact them. You could also use Twitter,
Instagram and You-tube. These are great ways to let people know who we
are, what we do and why we matter. Just remember once you put
information or pictures on any of these it is there forever. So, remember to
put a positive spin on whatever you post and remember to be kind.
Now for Department Awards:
• KATHY’S KITTENS THE CATS MEOW PLAQUE- to the Unit
with the highest percentage of membership by January 1st.
• VIRGINIA’S ROAD RACERS PLAQUE- to the Unit with the highest numerical gain in membership by July 1st. (10-150 members)
• JO’S STARLIGHTERS PLAQUE- to the Unit with the highest numerical gain in membership by July 1st. (151 and over members)
• DOUBLE D BOOT KICKER’S PLAQUE- to the District for the highest percent of membership by the opening of Department Convention.
• SHARON’S HALOS PLAQUE- to the Division for the highest percent of membership by opening of Department Convention.
• PAT’S KNIGHTS PLAQUE- to the Unit for the highest numerical gain in Junior membership by July 1st.
• Free Patriotic Lunch for any District President/Vice President and Division President/Vice President who are goal by opening of Patriotic Conference.
• Free Gold Star/PPP dinner for any District President/Vice President and Division President/Vice President who are goal by the opening of Department Convention.
• $100 to the Unit with the highest number of members in attendance at a Fall Forum or Winter Family Caravan. This presentation will be occurring at Patriotic Conference. A drawing will take place if several Units qualify.
• 2/$250 to the Units (2) that reach or surpass the stretch goal of 110% by opening of Department Convention. A drawing will take place if there are more than 2 qualifying Units.
Our target dates are:
July 15, 2017 10%
November 27, 2017 40% Madam President’s Birthday
January 19, 2018 70% Madam President’s Anniversary
March 1, 2018 85% Patriotic Conference Deadline
July 12, 2018 100% Department Convention
If any Division or District has Goose Egg Units when we visit them during
Fall Forums they will be receiving a lovely reminder that we are “Going for
Gold for Our Veterans”.
If you have a Unit that needs re-organization, or needs to be revitalized, or
just needs help getting through a rough patch, please call Department
Office, President Marsha or myself. We will work with them and give them
the support they need along with you. It takes all of us to show them we care.
If a Unit contacts you about cancelling, you must refer them to the
Department Office. Please, do not just close the Unit. There are procedures
that must be followed and we want to work with this Unit and let them
know they will be missed and see why they feel they need to close.
Now for the information you have been waiting for. What is our Goal for
this coming year? The Department of Illinois’s numeric objective (goal) will
be taken from the 7/31/17 ending number totals, then add 2 members. In
other words our Goal for the 2017-2018 year is to add 2 members to your
ending member total from the membership report dated 7/31/17. I stated
earlier in my report that our Stretch Goal is 110%.
Madam President Marsha, I am looking forward to traveling the state with you as we set forth on our Fall Forums and the Winter Family Caravans where we will be “Striving for Gold for Our Veterans”.
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