Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Scholarships: Voice of Democracy & Patriot's Pen Judging Information

Christine Begin
Scholarships Ambassador

The end of October is fast approaching and that means the November 1 entry deadline for the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests is near! Please remember judging on the Post level should be completed by November 15 and winners sent immediately to the District level.

Here are a few tips regarding judging that can be applied at all levels:
  • Select anywhere from three to nine judges
  • Judges should be from outside your Post/Auxiliary/District.
  • Choose community leaders from:
    • TV/Radio
    • Newspapers
    • Small Businesses
    • Universities and/or Community Colleges
    • Civic Groups (Kiwanis, Lions Club, Rotary, etc.)
  • Judges must not be in any way connected with any of the student participants.
  • For Voice of Democracy, judges need to listen to the recording only.
  • Make sure judges use the score sheet with the following criteria:  
    • Originality (30 points)
    • Content (35 points)
    • Delivery (35 points)
  • For Patriot’s Pen, each judge should be given a copy of the essay and a score sheet listing:
    • Theme Knowledge (30 points)
    • Theme Development (35 points)
    • Clarity of Ideas (35 points)
  • For both contests, the essays and recordings should be identified to the judges by number to ensure the anonymity of the student.  
  • Judges should not discuss the essays or recordings during the judging process, and should not have any contact with the students. The judges’ decisions are always final.
If you have questions on any aspect of the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen competitions, please feel free to contact Kris Harmer at VFW National Headquarters by phone: 816-968-1117 or by email: Since these are VFW contests, she is the “go to” person and is very happy to help the Ladies Auxiliary members.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Membership: Do You Know Where You Are Going?

Tami Elliott
Membership Ambassador

How is your membership campaign going? Are you reaching short-term goals while keeping long-term goals within sight?

As you all know, we don't make our membership numbers all in one month, it takes an entire year to get where we want to go. The big question is: "Do you know where you are going?”

Think about taking a trip in a car. You know the destination and you can either plan your trip with a map, knowing where and when you get to different stages on the trip, or you can just meander along hoping you get there on time and not run out of gas along the way.

I like the boxing match comparison. We are in a prize fight that goes 10 rounds. You don't have to win all 10 rounds to win the fight, but if you don't plan your fight strategically, you will find yourself in a bind in the later rounds trying to make up lost ground. Yes, you can always go for the knockout at the end of the fight and win it all, but most of us will probably be better suited to getting off to a good start in the early rounds, racking up points in the middle stages of the fight and building a lead, then taking care of business in the last few rounds.

Have you won your first few rounds? If not, it's time to buckle down and make sure that the middle rounds of this prize fight go your way. Do you have a winning plan? Do you need to re-think your strategy, and get together with your coaches? Remember the holidays are just around the corner and your Auxiliary members will be involved with family and friends. Membership will not be at the top of their to-do list.

Everyone wants YOU to win. A champion doesn't become a champion without help. We are all in this together.

See you at the Top!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Legislative: Get Out the Vote!

Kathy Schreiber
Legislative Ambassador

The excitement builds, as well as the candidates’ information provided by TV ads, as the November 4 election date nears. As citizens with the right to vote, it is our responsibility to know the facts in regards to our candidates’ stand and actions on issues that are being publicly shared. Be sure your research is complete before you vote. A Pro-Veteran Government with veterans and military quality of life, and national security issues must be a priority of Congress and the Administration. Your vote for the candidate who believes in our issues will help ensure that goal. 

As a Ladies Auxiliary member, you cannot endorse candidates on behalf of your Ladies Auxiliary, but there is nothing preventing you from working on behalf of your favorite candidate. Share your enthusiasm, but remember to complete your “homework” and know they are the correct candidate to do the job. Campaigns are always looking for last-minute volunteers and your helping hand can be a great way to get your candidate in.

Stay informed! Your job isn’t done when the elections are over. You must use your influence and continue to urge your representatives to support VFW and veterans issues.

If these tips sound familiar they are from the “Veterans Vote!” brochure that is available on the Ladies Auxiliary VFW website. It is a great tool for this and every election year; utilize the free resources that are available to ALL members under the Legislative Program tab:
As Ladies Auxiliary VFW members, we understand the meaning of our citizenship and patriotism. Thank YOU for being the LAVFW “ads” to VOTE! Your voice is priceless...