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State House, Room 546-2, Boston, Massachusetts 02133

American Legion Auxiliary - Department of Massachusetts

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Dubbie Buckler <>

Date: December 20, 2017 at 1:32 PM

Subject: 2018 ALA Natl changes: Parade of Checks, no DC Conf, new ALA NHQ, et al

As  we embark on the holiday season, it’s time to look ahead and remind you of some upcoming changes during what we hope will be a very Happy New Year for everyone. 

The American Legion DC Conference Feb 2018 – no ALA DC Conference

As you are aware, the ALA National organization will no longer be presenting an ALA Washington DC Conference.  After much thoughtful review, funding for the event in the budget adopted by the ALA NEC was ended for a number of reasons, including the significant decline in attendance over the past 15 years plus the constantly increasing costs each year, most of which were underwritten by the National organization’s budget.  Instead, a few ALA national leaders and committee chairs have been invited by The American Legion to attend certain American Legion DC Conference commission meetings that include National Security, Legislation, and Veterans Affairs.

All ALA members are welcome to attend the Legion’s Commanders Call and visit your Congressional representatives’ offices “on the Hill” February 27-28, 2018 with your Department’s Legion Family.  ALA members who will be making arrangements on your own to attend the Legion’s DC Conference are asked to let ALA NHQ know by sending an email to:  and put “Attending Legion DC Conf on my own” in the email subject line.  As we make this transition and no longer have a one-day ALA DC Conference, we’d like to have an idea of how many ALA members will still be going to DC for the Legion’s Washington DC conference.   

Parade of Checks

With the ALA National no longer presenting a DC Conference, one of the ALA traditions that is being changed is the Parade of Checks.  It will no longer be a literal parade of donations onstage at Washington DC.  Instead, its essence will remain but will be done differently beginning in 2018as a type of department challenge to support the ALA National President’s development project.  ALA National President Diane Duscheck has chosen the ALA Foundation Mission Endowment Fund as her president’s project with a goal of raising $60,000. 

Acknowledgments and shout-outs will be done several times next year.  At the mid-year NEC meeting which will now be held in Indianapolis, President Diane will be acknowledging departments who have given a significant amount to the ALA Foundation Mission Endowment Fund.  Departments will be recognized for donations received between the start of the ALA National administrative year, 9/1/17, through January 31, 2018.  Donations from the department, including units, districts/counties, and members who fall within that department, will be included. 

At National Convention, President Diane will also acknowledge the top department from the 6 membership categories that donated the most money to the ALAF Mission Endowment Fund.  Donations received from the department between 9/1/17 through 7/28/18 will be aggregated for a total, including donations from each department’s units, districts/counties, and members  who fall within that department.  Also, the top individual donors to the ALAF Mission Endowment Fund will be recognized.
President Diane encourages you to continue your personal legacy of service to the ALA’s mission by donating online at or mailing a check made payable to the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation with “ALAF Mission Endowment” written at the bottom on your check memo line, and mailed to: American legion Auxiliary National Headquarters, 8945 N Meridian St.,  Indianapolis, IN 46260. 

The mission of The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation is to positively impact the lives of our veterans, military, and their families by funding programs of the American Legion Auxiliary today and for future generations.  Everyone at the American Legion Auxiliary appreciates your support for the ALA and ALA Foundation! 

New ALA NHQ Building - Moving Sometime in 2018

Also, as you know the ALA NEC approved the purchase of a building and property which will become the new ALA National Headquarters in 2018.  When we the move take place?  That is not determined yet as it depends on a number of things.  The previous owners, Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA), are still occupying the building as their international headquarters, and the purchase agreement allows them to remain in their current building until their new building to which they will be moving is completed.  Because our current location lease does not expire until late in the 4th quarter of 2018,  there is nothing driving a specific date for either ZTA or ALA.  Because of the busy summer and fall schedule of ALA National events, there are really only a couple windows of time when we actually could undertake the move – either very early summer or after National Convention.  We will keep you apprised as a timeline develops.  ZTA has been wonderful to work with, and recently informed us they will be replacing the refrigerator in the kitchen area of the building before they move out – an unexpected gift they’ll be leaving to benefit ALA NHQ! 

Farewell to Nat’l Judge Advocate Onderdonk, welcome Nat’l Judge Advocate Bartlett

Additionally, we bid a fond farewell to The American Legion National Judge Advocate and ALA’s National Counsel General Philip Onderdonk will be retiring effective December 31, 2017after decades of service in that position. We welcome new National Judge Advocate/Counsel General Kevin Bartlett who officially assumes the position as National Judge Advocate on January 1, 2018. Kevin Bartlett, an attorney and 28-yr member of The American Legion in Michigan was a member of the Legion’s National Finance Commission prior to this appointment.  Retiring National Judge Advocate Onderdonk will continue to serve Legion National Headquarters as Special Counsel and assist ALA NHQ on some special projects through the 2018 National Convention, so final farewells will take place next August.     

ALA NHQ Holiday Info and Good Wishes

We look forward to a very productive 2018 and wish you and yours a happy holiday season as we celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, a New Year and a renewed resolution to serve our ALA mission.  ALA NHQ‘s ongoing Headquarters city service project is helping veterans in the Homerless Veterans Assistance Foundation’s shelters and transitional housing. ALA NHQ elves will again be delivering holiday donations of food , clothing and care items. The office will be closed on December 25, 26, and January 1, 2, with most staff taking additional leave time in between to enjoy the holidays. 

Amidst the holiday bustle, may you experience the true Meaning of the Season and find some moments of peace and quiet to prayerfully lift up our veterans, our military families, and our troops stationed around the world.      

Best wishes, merrily and appreciatively,   Dubbie


Mary “Dubbie” Buckler I Executive Director/National Secretary I American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters I O)317-569-4506 I Fax 317-569-4502 I I I 100 Years Helping Veterans and Promoting Patriotism






​     Where is the time going?  It is already almost 4 months since I took office, picked up my flight plan and started on this amazing journey!  Things have been pretty much non-stop, but we haven't hit any turbulence, so this is good.  After installation and visiting at Legion Convention for a few moments in Plymouth, I was off to address the citizens of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State and The American Legion Boys State program at Stonehill College and tell them the history/story of Poppies.  So I must say.......all those high schooler eyes on me was pretty nerve racking.  I was honored to be able to attend and at times participate in some District Installations.  Our Female Aviators are really trying to SOAR to new heights in programs and ideas!  July was the month of American Legion Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program (formerly Student Trooper).  This program, in cooperation with the MA State Police provides first hand experiences and insights into the operations of law enforcement.  Our State Police are so dedicated to this program that they ran the two one week sessions back to back, something not attempted before.  To see the transformation of these young adults (15-17 yrs old) was amazing.  I need to thank one of the co-chairs to this program, Louis Brault for inviting me to attend this with him as a representative of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Point of interest was that out of the 30 young women (out of 200 invited participants), 29 completed the program.  These young women Dared to SOAR!!  I was invited back to my hometown of Beverly for a re-dediction of Ellis Square at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Interesting information about this square, in the center of town is that this is where the recruiter's office was located.  After many visited with the recruiters, they were then told to go wait on the bench for the bus that would take them into Boston to be processed for service during Vietnam.  August came and many from Massachusetts and other parts of the country and the world decended into the Biggest Little Town of Reno, Nevada.  Much information was provided to help us continue in our mission of serving veterans and community.  I was invited to participate in the Labor Day parade in Marlboro, MA.  I never knew anyone celebrated this holiday with such a great parade.  Was perfect weather for it.  Unfortunately other area of the country have been experiencing terrible weather mostly as a result of hurricanes.  MA AEF stepped up and donated $1000.00 to the relief efforts.  I have faith that our membership will continue to provide funds to this program so that we may continue with out Women helping Women!  I do know that others (individuals, Units and Districts) have also donated to this fund.  As is always said......don't forget this information for your end of year reports.  Chairman of AEF also has approval to provide airplane jewelry (for men and women) for a nominal donation of $5.00.  The American Legion POW Remembrance Ceremony was once again held on board the USS Massachusetts.  I was invited to give the remarks from the ALA of MA.  What a perfect Day for this somber occassion.  District 3 (my District where I am National Security/POW Chair) held its' POW Recognition Ceremony at The Big E in West Springfield, MA.  Storrowton has graciously allowed us to use "The Meeting House" (white church) to conduct this service which happens to be on opening day of the fair.  A day known as Military/Veterans Appreciation Day.  The Day concluded with a Military Parade with many organizations represented.  I was proud to have the ALA Department flag as part of the color guard organized by American Legion District Three Commander, Drew Pajak.  I have made my way across the state with some District visitations and more on the schedule.  That's all I have to report for now........Thank you all for this great opportunity To Soar With the Eagles!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Maureen (Amelia Earhart) Cragen President 2017-2018






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