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American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Illinois

President's Page 

President Sue Cunniff Coughlin

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Sue Cunniff Coughlin is a 23-year PULF member of the Billy Caldwell Unit #806.  Her eligibility is through her late father, Robert Cunniff, who served in the Navy during WWII and the Korean Conflict, and through her husband Al Coughlin who is a Vietnam Army veteran.

In her Unit, Sue is very active. She served as President for many years and then as Treasurer for many years.  She has served in all offices and has held many chairmanships.  At the District level, she held many chairmanships and served as Chaplain, Historian and Vice President. She served as President in 2006 and 2007.  At the Division level, she served as Junior Activities, Bowling and many other chairmanships.  Sue served as First Vice President and Second Vice President, and was President in 2015.  On the Department level, she has served as V A & R Chairman, AEF Chairman, Gold Star Chairman, Historian, Second Vice President/Membership Liaison, and First Vice President/Legislative Chairman.  Sue has also volunteered at Special Olympics and American Legion Auxiliary Illini Girls State.  Facilitating Bingo parties at Jesse Brown VAMC is a source of enjoyment; those veterans love Bingo!

Sue is an Information Technology Application Manager at Walgreens and prior to that worked at Ernst & Young as a Principal in the Management Consultant Group.  Sue lives just outside of Chicago with her husband Al, a Past First Division Commander.  They share their home with their two cats, Tom and Jerry.  Al and Sue love spending time with their cats.  They also enjoy their time with their Legion Family and their family and friends.  Sue uses most of her vacation time to attend American Legion Family functions but finds time for her annual winter/spring vacations.  Those include an annual cruise to a warmer climate and a trip to the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships which is located in a different city every year.  She has participated in the tournament for 17 years.

Sue is looking forward to a year of service and fun as we celebrate our 100th year. 

March / April President's Message

The American Legion Family Caravan was an amazing experience. Traveling throughout the state, meeting our Legion Family members, reconnecting with old friends and making new friends was a wonderful experience! Thank you to everyone who made the Caravan possible. Whether you hosted a stop, came out to the program, or brought membership from a neighboring Unit, you made a difference and we are grateful for your efforts. We really wished that more members were in attendance. Please remember this is a Legion Family event and everyone is welcome.

We had the pleasure of spending time with our National Officers at Lincoln Pilgrimage. This is a busy couple of days, but it is always fun to get your picture taken with our National and Department Officers and get some time to speak one on one with them. Our National President Nicole Clapp and I enjoyed presenting our first Lincoln Pilgrimage Challenge Awards. Congratulations again to the Fourth Division and Ninth District.

Our National President Nicole’s official visit is during Patriotic Conference. It will kick off with our Birthday Celebration on Thursday evening March 19, 2020 at our Department office. Our Centennial Committee has been busy planning the event and I am sure they will make this a spectacular evening! Please come out if you can but be sure to make your reservations. The next day, Friday March 20th is our Patriotic Conference at the Marriott in Normal. There will be some different topics this year. Our board meeting will follow that evening where we will be celebrating the 40’s and 50’s. Everyone is welcome to attend. We do NOT have any closed meetings.

Our Junior Conference will be at the Holiday Inn in Champaign on April 18th and 19th. We will have a 50’s and 60’s birthday party. Dress in the era if you are able. Our Chairman Tina has a great program and some surprises planned for our Juniors.

Thank you for all your hard work getting our membership up to over 80%. Now I would like to ask everyone to work a little harder to get those last members renewed. I know this is when it gets tough but with some extra work, we can
push closer to 100%. Our one week of caring and sharing is coming up in April, start planning to make a personal connection with those members. If you can, make it a group project. Remember we are all in this together!
Remember to update your Constitution and Bylaws and Standing Rules! With
all the changes that have taken place they are more than likely obsolete.

Please continue to invite me to any events. I will do my best to attend. I am looking forward to seeing everyone soon.

Department President Sue Cunniff Coughlin


President's Special Project

Our special project thie year will focus on our Veterans.  Our donations will support the VA facilities and VA homes.  We know that they all need more support.  We will look for opportunities to fulfill some wish list items and present them at our 100th anniversary celebration at our Department Convention.  Throughout the year, we may have some additional Veterans projects that we will also support.  Look for those in the ALA Today.