PAST DEPARTMENT PRESIDENTS: 2010-2019
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2009-2010
Mrs. Sharon Spiker
Topeka, Kansas

Sharon Spiker of Topeka Unit #1 was elected to serve at the 89th Department of Kansas President for the American Legion Auxiliary at its annual convention held in Topeka.  Getting the year started off with its first summer meeting in many years, the Department's inaugural "Team Rally" helped members get prepared for the coming year and acquainted chairmen with their responsibilities and program initiatives.  President Spiker actively traveled Kansas and connected with grassroots members to refocus the team on mission related activities in support of veterans and their families.  The junior team collected pop tabs and shredded paper in support of projects to benefit Ronald McDonald houses and local animal shelters.  A highlight of the year was serving as President while her mother, Mrs. Norma Swanson represented Kansas as National Central Division Vice President.  Sharon Spiker remains active in the American Legion Auxiliary and resides in Topeka.

National Theme: "Believe"

Department of Kansas Theme: "Reconnecting with our Past to Build a Better Future for our Veterans and Communities"

National Membership Theme: "Membership Begins with Me"

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "90 Years of Service to our Kansas Veterans"

2010-2011
Mrs. Trish Ward
Louisburg, Kansas

On May 16, 2010, Trish Ward was installed by Past National President JoAnn Cronin as the 90th President of the American Legion Auxiliary at its annual convention in Great Bend.  Using the theme, "The Power of 1 Member; The Power of 1 Unit; The Power of 1 United Kansas" in support of the national theme, "The Power of 1," members of the Sunflower State rallied around activities in support of God and Country.  The year's focus was on making an active difference for military families through the programs of the American Legion Auxiliary and in support of this philosophy many activities occurred.  The team packed "Hero Packs" for Operation Military Kids at its Mid Winter Event held in Arkansas City and under Community Service Chairman Karon Cook re-started the annual golf tournament, "The Department of Kansas Golf Classic," to benefit the three VA Hospitals and two Soldiers Homes in Kansas.  Under Chairman Cook, the tournament raised more than $11,000 and provided needed items to Kansas veterans who were in the VA network.  Honorary Junior President Haley McMurphey made the team proud with her "Socks for Soldiers" program as the juniors collected new socks and sent them to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.  A special highlight of the year was traveling to Bird City, Kansas, the unit of Kansas' last National President Dora Seymour, to share in festivities in honor of the American Legion Auxiliary's birthday  in October and later in the year attending three presidential pilgrimages: Eisenhower in Abilene, KS; Lincoln in Springfield, IL and Truman in Independence, MO.  Sadly the Department lost three Past Department Presidents, Ann Lutjen, Yetta Irwin and Rebekah Wasson during the administrative year. National President Carlene Ashworth of Texas was the special honored guest at Department Convention in Topeka where more than $5,000 in "Buddy Baskets" were donated in her honor to the VA facilities in Kansas to support previously homeless veterans as they transitioned to their new homes.    The highlight for the year was accepting the National President's Award for Excellence at National Convention in Minneapolis awarded to Kansas for their work during the year in support of the initiatives of the American Legion Auxiliary and its mission. This award, given to just one department annually, recognized the high commitment and level of dedication to veterans and their families by the more than 18,000 American Legion Auxiliary members in Kansas.  A $500.00 cash award was given to the Department and used to connect with active duty military at Ft. Riley and Ft. Leavenworth in the 2012-2013 administrative year. Trish Ward remains active in the American Legion Auxiliary and currently serves the national organization on the Legislative Committee as National Chairman. 

National Theme: "The Power of 1"

Department of Kansas Theme: "The Power of 1 Member; The Power of 1 Unit; The Power of 1 United Kansas"

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "The Power of One: One Veteran who Holds our Past History and One Youth who Is our Future Freedoms"

2011-2012
Mrs. Ida Meyeres
Bazine, Kansas

Ida Meyeres, a native of Bazine, Kansas and member of Frank Stull, Unit #152 of Ness City was elected the 91st Department of Kansas President at its convention held in Topeka, Kansas on May 15, 2011.  Her eligibility was gained through the military service of her husband John and proudly served the Auxiliary as President while her son was deployed in Africa.  A firm supporter of all veterans in Kansas, President Meyeres assisted the three VA hospitals and two soldiers homes in Kansas with proceeds earned from her president's project.  She traveled extensively as President, visiting units in all eight districts, Springfield, Illinois for the Lincoln Pilgrimage and attended the Washington Conference in  Washington, DC during her administration.  Her passion remained focused on veterans and youth and she worked diligently to make sure that those able to receive assistance were actively engaged and connected with Veterans Affairs benefits.  A long time volunteer at the Kansas Cadet Law Academy, President Meyeres worked to assure strong participation in this educational opportunity. In addition to working at the Ft. Dodge facility, President Meyeres attended all five holiday gift shops and instituted a "Fly Your Flag on Tuesday" initiative in support of the auxiliary's Americanism program.  She concluded her year in Great Bend, Kansas with a thanks to the auxiliary in Kansas, her husband and her faith.  A friend to every veteran she meets, Ida Meyeres remains active in the American Legion Auxiliary and is a committed and dedicated volunteer for her unit, district and department.

National Theme: "The Faces of Freedom: Honoring Their Service"

Department of Kansas Theme: "Honoring Their Service: Our Veterans are our Past Freedom; Our Youth is our Future Freedom"

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "Honoring Their Service"

2012-2013
Mrs. Cherie Thomas
Leavenworth, Kansas

Byron H. Mehl Unit #23 of Leavenworth, Kansas presented their candidate for the office of Department President at the 92nd Department of Kansas convention held in Topeka.  Cherie Thomas gained her eligibility from her husband David, a veteran of the US Army from the Vietnam era and four grandsons who are currently serving.  In support of the national theme, "Angels in Service," President Thomas chose "Our Angels are Our Veterans-Past, Present and Future" to inspire the women in the Sunflower State to a new level of service and commitment.  Two annual meetings were held in addition to the Department Convention and much success resulted from the leadership team working diligently to encourage attention to mission-focused projects.  The annual golf tournament was held in August due to a rain-out in May but achieved success in spite of the weather delay.  President Thomas traveled extensively to connect with grassroots members and encouraged special attention to those veterans cared for in the VA facilities.  She attended all five holiday gift shops and remained active with the team at the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA facility where she has served as Deputy Representative for many years.  Her project to encourage a $1.00 donation per member, served to support needed technology updates at the department headquarters office.  Cherie Thomas remains actively involved at the Eisenhower VA facility, as well as American Legion Auxiliary activities at the unit, district and department levels.

National Theme: "Soaring to New Heights"

Department of Kansas Theme: "Our Angels are our Veterans-Past, Present and Future"

National Membership Theme: "Angels in Service"

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "The Power of Angels"

2013-2014
Mrs. Karon Cook
Wamego, Kansas

Topeka Unit #400 presented their candidate for the office of Department President at the 93rd Department of Kansas convention held in Topeka, Kansas.  Karon Cook gained her eligibility from her husband Lonnie, a veteran from the Vietnam era and father Norman who served in World War II.  In support of the national theme, "Pass It On," President Karon chose "Pass It On - Working with our Legion Family" to inspire and encourage the women of Kansas to work together as a Legion Family and make great things happen for our veterans and their families in Kansas.  President Karon's project was to bring awareness about the issue of PTSD that affects our veterans and to highlight the tragedy of suicide among the military community.  Many stories were published in the Topeka Capital Journal in support of educating citizens on how PTSD affects not only our veterans, but also the children and families of those who suffer. Two annual meetings were held in addition to the Department Convention and much success resulted from the leadership team working diligently to encourage attention to mission-focused projects.  The annual golf tournament was held in Mayetta, Kansas at the Firekeeper Golf Course and raised approximately $7,000 to support veterans' issues in Kansas.  President Cook traveled extensively to connect with grassroots members and encouraged special attention to those veterans who suffer emotionally from the result of combat and the war experience.  She attended all five holiday gift shops and remained active with the team at the Colmery O'Neil VA facility.  As the result of her work with those affected by PTSD and the work of the members in Kansas, the Department of Kansas was honored with the 2014 National President's Award for Excellence at the National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Citing energy, attention to the Auxiliary programs and the work on behalf of veterans in Kansas, National President Nancy Brown Park recognized the department with this distinguished award.  The National President's Award for Excellence is awarded to only one department and is the highest recognition a department can receive.

National Theme: "Pass It On"

Department of Kansas Theme: "Pass It On - Working with our Legion Family"

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "The Race to Revive Membership"

2014-2015
Mrs. Tonia Ison
Topeka, Kansas

National Theme:  "Celebrating Faith, Family, Freedom"

Department of Kansas Theme:

National Membership Theme: "One in a Million"

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "Membership Can-Can"

2015-2016
Mrs.  Jeanne Haas
Gridley, Kansas

Mrs. Jeanne Haas has been a member of Phillips Stuckey Shaffer Unit #296 in Gridley since 1955.  Jeanne gained her eligibility through her father, Edward Crane, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  Her late husband, Gary, served in the Air Force during the Vietnam Conflict. Using the theme "Hand in Hand, Together We Stand, Keeping the Promises," the members of the Department of Kansas, American Legion Family pledge to work together to promote the programs of patriotism, Veteran's care, Americanism, and our future.  Department President Jeanne has chosen the Junior Patriot Booklets on Americanism, Veterans Affairs, and Poppy as a way to increase information, and show visibility while educating the youth of the state as her President's Project.  The RED Letter Campaign highlights existing funds that members can contribute to for the programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.  Creating a strong, visible American Legion Family is a goal for this leadership year, with American Legion Family shirts available for purchase to wear as members of this organization volunteer in their communities and across our state.  Working towards meeting the five goals of the Kansas Strategic Plan is the focus of the 2015-2016 year in the Department of Kansas.

National Theme: "Keeping the Promise"

Department of Kansas Theme: "Hand in Hand, Together We Stand, Keeping the Promises"

National Membership Theme:

Department of Kansas Membership Theme: "Fishing for Membership"

 

 

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