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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 husban 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 ime 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 tourneyment for 17 years.

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


October President's Message

Autumn Greetings!

National Convention was wonderful. We heard about all the great things our Auxiliary members have been doing throughout our Departments. Our Department had only one Unit, Strasburg that won any awards. Congratulations to Strasburg Unit! Our Units do a lot of great work and we should all think about applying for some of those awards. You do not have to be a Unit with many members. A Unit can be small but mighty!

September was an exciting and busy month as we held four Fall Forums. It has been great to get out and meet our members at the Unit level. Thank you to the Units and their Legion Family helpers in Rockton, Edgewood, Lockport and
Franklin Park for hosting the events and your hospitality. We felt like part of the family at each of the Units. At each Forum, we did a service project for our Veterans. They were very simple and fun to do. We made pumpkins, colored holiday
pictures, made bookmarks and wrote letters to Veterans without families that travel on the Honor Flight. If you attended any of the Forums and have any comments or suggestions, please let me know. I hope everyone that attended
learned something new. We are trying to make these informative and fun for all of our members. Thank you to First Vice President Patti Williamson, Second Vice President Janet Bacon, Membership Chairmen Mary Collado and Susan
Heinz-Wojcik for attending and working to make the Forums successful. I appreciate all of your help.

Department Commander Roy’s homecoming was in Effingham. It was a wonderful evening spent celebrating and visiting with our Legion Family. He had a wonderful Barbershop Quartet as entertainment. Roy, Phil and I are looking forward
to working together to support our Legion Family.

During the month of October, we will be completing our Fall Forums. We have Make a Difference Day on October 26th. We will be preparing for our 100th Birthday, Veteran’s Day festivities, Christmas Gift Shops and Gifts to Yanks,
There are several Unit visits planned. Please let me know if you would like me to attend any events. I will do my best to get there. I hope to get to see many of you during my travels this year.

Our first dues notice went out in September. Remember there are National awards available by November 10th for getting 100% and recruiting 10. Let’s get those renewals and new members submitted! With the new eligibility rules, everyone should be able to get some new members signed up. When you sign up new members, remember to invite their eligible family members to join The American Legion or the SAL.

Remember to celebrate and have fun this year. Enjoy your blessings and family as nature displays her gold. I hope to see many of you during my travels this year.



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.