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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. 

November President's Message

October has ended and our Fall Forums have completed. Our membership team enjoyed meeting everyone at each visit. Thank you to the Units and their Legion Family helpers in Wyoming and Farmer City for hosting the events and the wonderful hospitality we experienced. Thanks again to the membership team of Patti, Janet, Mary and Susan for all of their efforts.

At the beginning of October, 11 of us from Illinois attended National President Nicole Clapp’s Homecoming in Iowa. For this city girl, it was a very different experience. We had a tour of the John Deere factory, a visit to a company that makes prosthetics and orthotics, a farm to table dinner in a huge barn and a ride in a wagon pulled by some beautiful Clydesdale horses. We also enjoyed lunch at Nicole’s home Post.

November will be a busy month. During the first weekend, a few of us will be heading to Mission Training and Creative Arts Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is time to celebrate our 100th Birthday and Veteran’s Day. Our Christmas Gift Shops will be starting up and it is time to distribute our Gifts from the Yanks items. Egyptian Jamboree is the third weekend of November. It is a wonderful event hosted by the Fifth Division to benefit the Haven. National Education Week is November 18 through November 22. Try to find some way to honor your educators and think about something you can do for Give 10 to Education. 

The Fall packet has been sent out. If you received it, be sure to share the information with your chairmen and your Unit members. The packet is also available on our website. It has lots of information and we need to share that information
so everyone knows what is available with our programs. We need to continue to improve our communication with all members.

Thank you for all your efforts with membership. With everyone working together, maybe we can keep our organization alive and growing. Also thank you for all you do to help our Veterans and communities. Please remember to report on your activities to your chairmen and me. Many Department chairmen will have to do a mid-year report. They cannot complete that report without your input.

To all Veterans, I wish you a Happy Veterans Day and my sincerest thanks for your service. Please be sure to enjoy the day in your honor. If you know a veteran without a place to go for Thanksgiving or live near a military base, consider inviting a veteran for your Thanksgiving dinner. It is a time to express our thanks. What a better way than to thank a veteran.

With all the events this month, I look forward to meeting many of you throughout the state. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving! Be sure to give thanks for all the blessings you have and spend some quality time with your family and friends.
President Sue


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.