By Kate Vogel
Mason Times staff writer
Mason residents browsed through tables lined with jewelry, used movies, books, crafts and home goods during the semiannual flea market hosted by the Ladies Auxiliary Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Michigan Post 7309 on Oct. 22. The proceeds from the flea market will be donated to the Ladies Auxiliary VFW to help with all the services they provide.
The Ladies Auxiliary VFW host two flea markets annually- one in the spring and one in the fall- and are both organized by Mason resident Sherry Fisher.
“The proceeds from the [vendor] tables — its $15 to rent a table- and all the proceeds go to the VFW Woman’s Auxiliary for all of the different things that we do,” Sherry Fisher said.
According to the VFW, there are around 2.1 million VFW members and they contribute more than 11 million hours of service within their communities.
The motto that the Ladies Auxiliary VFW live by is, “honor the dead by helping the living,” by serving veterans and family members of veterans in their communities.
“The Ladies Auxiliary supports the veterans,” VFW member Carolyn Jenkins said. “We do Americanism programs for the youth to push patriotism. We do cancer aid and research. We do hospital work for the veterans… down in Battle Creek. We write letters to legislators on veteran’s affairs. We are the only state to have Camp Trotter (in Newaygo, Mich.), which is a VFW camp for children and they do not have to be members of the VFW; it can be any child in the community.
Jenkins said that the VFW sponsors youth activities such as the Juniors Girls program that supports the troops and is open to girls ages 5 to 16. The VFW also sponsors scholarships, including the Voice of Democracy and the Patriot Pin, which provides around $2.5 million to students annually.
Jenkins, along with VFW member and Mason resident Ruth Later, rented a table at the flea market on Oct. 22 and sold baked goods.
“The bake sale today will probably yield us about $400, which will help out,” Later said. “We do the bake sale twice a year in conjunction with the flea market that Sherry sponsors. The money that she collects, she donates to the Auxiliary also.”
The proceeds from the bake sale will also go to the Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets that the VFW assembles for veteran families within the community, Jenkins said.
“Anybody that has had a veteran in their family that has served in any war, hey, we’ll take their applications,” Jenkins said. “You have to be 16, so if you have a father, grandfather, brother, or a mother in service, you’re eligible to join the Ladies Auxiliary as well.”
For more information on programs and scholarships offered by the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, visit their website here.