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Ladies Auxiliary reforms after 30 years


June 23, 2010
The flood in English in 1979 changed many aspects of the town and, eventually, claimed much of the town itself, bringing about the relocation to higher ground.

But there was another segment of old English that stumbled after the flood and never regained its footing until recently: the Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 6160.

The Everett Mason Post, named after the first person from Crawford County to be killed in World War II, washed away during the flood, and it was a while before it was able to regroup, build another clubhouse and have meetings. The Ladies Auxiliary split up and, although the post started having meetings again, the Ladies Auxiliary did not. That all changed a couple of months ago when the auxiliary got a new lease on life.

Ruth Evelyn Rickenbaugh and Alma Lee Hanger were members of the Ladies Auxiliary as far back as 1949.

"It was busy back then," said Rickenbaugh, whose husband, Homer (Rick) Rickenbaugh, was in the Army from 1942 to 1945. "There were a lot of big families then, and we had a baseball team and a band. We had some great times. Of course, everybody was young back then."

"We had dinners and dances," added Hanger, whose husband, Gordon, was a Navy veteran. "And the post was an active place."

But, for 30 years, the auxiliary was idle. And many of the charter members have passed away. But Clayton East, the post's current commander, decided it was time to get the auxiliary going again. Several women who were related to veterans or those presently in the military jumped at the opportunity, and the new auxiliary was formed. The group held its first meeting in April at the post, and officers were elected. Debbie Pittman was elected president; Peggy Bullington, vice president; Kathy Grider, secretary; and Kathy Newton, treasurer.

The auxiliary already has more than 30 members, and new members are joining regularly.

To qualify as a member, a person's spouse, parent, brother, sister or grandparent must have served in the military. Foster daughters (who were foster daughters before the age 16) also are eligible.

For more information or to join, call Debbie Pittman at 338-2126 or attend one of the meetings, which take place the third Thursday of each month at the VFW Post in English.

The post also hosts bingo on Wednesday evenings at 7 and euchre on Friday evenings at 7.

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