AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Department of Florida




 Friday, February 16, 2018 Opening Session

President Sherry Marecek called the meeting to order.  Chaplain Becky Coupe gave the invocation.  Sgt. At Arms Claudia Thompson led in the Presentation of Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Preamble was read by 1st Vice Meltonia Presley, Aims & Purposes read by 2nd Vice Debbie Beck, Code of Ethics read by 3rd Vice PNP Patty Piening and definition of Americanism by Americanism Officer Holly Burbach.

President Sherry Marecek welcomed everyone to the Mid- Winter February 2018 S.E.C.

Roll Call was given by Susan Leverone, Recording Secretary
President Marecek asked for the following change to the Agenda.  Page 3.  Move President’s remarks to before greeting the National President Marvell Ruppel.  Motion by PDP Deloris “Dee” Baggett to approve the agenda as changed.  2nd by PDP Trudy Wood.  Motion carried.


PNP Evelyn McElvin explained the various raffles to be held this weekend and how they offset our charges for the June Convention.

PNP Baggett explained the Rosen Centre’s Presidents Day special of Prime Rib Buffet for $10.95 for both Friday and Saturday nights.

President Marecek announced the “Meet and Greet” for National President Marvell Ruppel will be in the President’s Suite, Room 856, immediately following the close of session.  Everyone is invited.

Having no further announcements, benediction was given by Chaplain Becky Couple followed by Respect to the Colors led by Sgt. At Arms Claudia Thompson.  Meeting was recessed until Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday, February 17, 2018.
President Sherry Marecek reconvened the S.E.C. meeting at 8:30 a.m. followed by Invocation by Chaplain Becky Coupe and Pledge led by Sgt. At. Arms Claudia Thompson.

President Sherry Marecek welcomed our National President Marvell Ruppel. 

Roll Call was given by Susan Leverone, Recording Secretary.

President Marecek introduced National President Marvell Ruppel.  President Ruppel thanked us all and said how very happy she was to be invited to sunny Florida and she was looking forward to learning a lot about all the great work we do here in Florida. She also asked that we come up to her and introduce ourselves so that she can get to know us all.  President Ruppel acknowledged all the National Officers from our great state of Florida; PNP Evelyn McElvin, 2nd Vice “Dee” Baggett, Jr.’s Coordinator Fran McGurk, PNP Charlene Kee Convention Chairman.  President Ruppel’s theme is “Never Forget”.  We need to “Never Forget” our veterans, our military, our Gold Star Families who have given so much in the loss of their loved ones and the training of our youth of the principals of freedom and democracy.

Her project this year is to replace the lighting system at Freedoms Foundation which is antiquated.  She wished everyone could visit Freedoms Foundation and experience all the great things that we and they do with the furnishing and buildings.  She reminded us all that we are a veterans’ service organization and when she sees the evaluations from our service reports she is so proud of what Florida does and let’s make this a year that we will never forget.

Sgt. At Arms escorted Jason Raia of Freedoms Foundation to the podium.  He spoke about the mission and programs of Freedoms.  They have been established since 1949 and were lucky enough to have General Eisenhower as the first board chairman.  There are three words that describe them and they are educate, honor and challenge.  One of their keystone programs is the Spirit of America that the AMVETS and Auxiliary sponsor every year in November.

Correspondence:  The Recording Secretary read thank you notes from the Wynn & Melton Families, Eartha Melton and Family and from Tad Trezise.

Motions from the October 2017 S.E.C. were read by the Recording Secretary.  Motion by PDP Donnajeanne Hakler to accept the Minutes as read and published.  2nd by PDP/Treasurer Karen Powers.  Motion carried.

Finance Report:  PDP/Treasurer Karen Powers reported that there were no recommendations from the Finance Committee.

The Treasurer’s Report is on Pages 22-25.  Please read it and note that vouchers, with receipts attached, are due by noon today.  Any turned in after that will be mailed the next week.  Also remember National Convention is August 8-11, 2018 and we voted on paying for delegates pre-registration with stipulations; one being you shall volunteer at least 2 hours at the convention and check in with PNP Charlene Kee upon arrival.  Pre-registration forms will be available at June Convention and these will have to be filled out and turned in by the close of session with your check payable to “Dept. of Florida” to NEC Sheila Haywood.  Your registration will NOT be paid if you do not have your check with you at our June Convention.

Audit Report:  1st Vice Meltonia Presley reported that the Audit took place on Thursday and she is very happy to report that all books are in order.  She thanked PDP Donnajeanne Hackler and 2nd Vice Debbie Beck for assisting in the audit.

National Convention Chairman Report:  PDP Charlene Kee spoke on volunteering at the National Convention and passed a sheet around for everyone to sign up for their preference of what and where they would like to do their 2 hours of volunteer time.

Presentation of 1st Timers:  PDP/Treasurer Karen Powers welcomed the 1st Timers and asked them to line up at the back of the room.  There were 8 attendees that included: Aux. #8- Karen Schooley; Aux. #9- Marlene Guidry and Elizabeth Marquis; Aux.# 17- Debra Jones; Aux.# 30- Pamela Towno; Aux.# 44- Trish Mazur; Aux. #444 and Aux. #7467-Rebecca Cangiano. 

The Jr. Amvets President was escorted to the podium by the Sgt.  At Arms. President Kelaiah Dixon-Martin.  The Jr. Amvets Officers are:  Sr. Vice – Tia Campbell; Jr. Vice – Jovan Rosado; Chaplain – Maddison Martin; Secretary – Aaron Hinton; Treasurer – Natalie Rosado; Sgt. At Arms – Aniyah Chappell; PRO – Kayla Taylor and Parliamentarian – Danielle Pate.  They will be selling 50/50 tickets in support of her project “The Spring” that helps women and children of domestic violence.  She wished us all a productive meeting.

Jr. AMVETS Coordinator Fran McGurk.  Her report is on Pg. 45.  Please read it at your leisure.  She said to date we have a total of 52 Jr.’s in Florida.  Four Jr.’s are going to National; 2 from #26 and 2 from #30 so there will be representation from our State.  She thanked all of us for the support, the prayers and cards in this difficult time for her family.

Officers Reports:

President Sherry Marecek.  Her report is on pages 9-11.  She told everyone how glad she was to be here; she said “believe me, you don’t know how happy I am to be here”.  She thanked everyone for the well wishes, the cards, the phone calls, the prayers she received when she was ill and in the hospital.  Her theme this year is “Reach For The Stars”.  Set your sights high and reach for the stars.  She thanked the auxiliaries that have held functions for her project Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Safety Harbor.  She reported that almost $3,000 has been raised so and she also heard last night that Service Foundation is going to donate another $1,000.

1st Vice President –Membership - Meltonia Presley Her report is on pages 12-15.  Please read it at your leisure.  She reminded us all that if we’ve moved, changed phone numbers, changed e- mail address, please make sure that the correct information is on all the reports you send to Department Officers with the correct number of copies. Take the time to look at the Forecast and decide which awards will best suit your auxiliary.  Keep in mind the deadlines and criteria. Her theme this year is Membership Means Success (M&M’s) Let us all bring an old member in by the end of the year but to bring a new member in we must always be ready.  She asked that all of us take out our Membership Application and asked the Pages to check those applications and those that don’t have one, to pay a $1 penalty.  She said we should always be ready to sign up a new member.  She also asked that we sing a jingle to the song “Frozen”.  The words are “let it go, let it go, we don’t want to fade away.  Let it go, let it go, get a new member in today”.   The body sang the jingle as best as we could.

2nd Vice President – Child Welfare - Debbie Beck. Her report is on pages 16-18.  Please read it at your leisure.  Her theme this year is our children are the “Stars of our Future”.  She thanked everyone for the great job in reporting; she really enjoys reading about all that we are doing.  The Forecast is due out this weekend and look it over for the deadlines for your reports.

3rd Vice President – Community Service – PNP Patty Piening.  Her report is on pages 19-21.  Please read it at your leisure.    She said that to date we have volunteered 9,026 service hours with a total evaluation of $368,574.  An increase of 66% since October!  Congratulations! March is Paws for the Cause month, please plan your functions.   She also discussed counting of volunteers for a project on your Service Reports.  You can only count the people who are working on that project not all the people who attend or participate in that project or function. All Service Reports must be original reports with dates, what it is for and who worked on that function with the Chairman’s name and correct phone number and address.

President Marecek asked PDP/Treasurer Karen Powers to the podium.  PDP/Treasurer asked PDP/NEC Sheila Haywood to escort in our last 1st Timer, National President Marvell Ruppel.  PDP/Treasurer Karen Powers greeted her and welcomed her as a 1st Timer in Florida.

Officer Reports, Continued:

PDP/NEC - Sheila Haywood.  She thanked everyone for the cards she received when her brother-in-law passed.  Her report is on Page 39.  Please read it at your leisure.  The Mid- year report; 35 auxiliaries have reported one or more Service Reports to Dept. Service Officers.  27 Auxiliaries submitted zero.  4 auxiliaries reported in 5 service offices.  8 auxiliaries have reported in all 5 categories; Aux. #8, Aux. #44, Aux. #67, Aux. #81, Aux. #88, Aux. #301, Aux. #1992 and Aux. #2000.  Good Job.  Service Reports are due in to the Service Officers’ hand by May 5, 2018.  No exceptions. She said that the hours spent making out our reports are reportable so don’t forget to add those in when reporting.  National Convention is here in Orlando August 5 – 11, 2018 at the Caribe Royale.  Florida Night is Wednesday and tickets cost $25.00.   Information can be found on the AMVETS National website.

ALT NEC/PDP - Donnajeanne Hakler.  Her report is on Page 40.  Please read it at your leisure.  She thanked everyone for their thoughts, prayers and cards during her surgery.  She reminded everyone that reporting is the lifeline of our organization.  We are a non-profit and if we don’t report, we can lose that status.  Remember that our National Convention is here in Orlando in August and remember to apply for the National Awards.  You’re doing the work, so apply and make your auxiliary proud.

Chaplain - Becky Coupe.  Her report is on Page 35.  Please read it at your leisure. Her theme this year is “We Owe Everything To God”. She thanked all the auxiliaries that have gotten their Deceased Member notifications to her in a timely manner.  Remember to use the form dated 7/1/17 and to make 6 copies; 3 go to her, 1 to the Executive Secretary and 1 for your records.

Hospital Officer - Linetta Shilling.  Her report is on Pages 29 - 31.  Please read it at your leisure.  There is still time to report your hospital projects and hours and to get them to her no later than May 5th.  Let everyone know the great work all of you are doing in the State of Florida.

Scholarship Officer – Holly Burbach.  Her report is on Pages 26-28.  Please read it at your leisure.  It’s that time of year again for the Forecast.  Please take it back to your Auxiliary and share it.  Apply for awards because if you don’t apply, you can’t win it.  Remember that anything you do for your Post or Post members is not reportable.  Reports must be in her hand by May 5th.  She would like to speak with someone from Auxiliaries 15 and 893 after the meeting.

Scholarship Officer – Jan Northcutt.  Her report is on Pages 32-34.  Service Reports are due May 5th.  When filling out applications, all criteria must be filled out completely even if it’s n/a, it must be put in the blank.  Social Security numbers put in and unopened transcripts included.  All applications must be to her by May 26, 2018 for the June Convention.  Department and National applications were put in your October packets.

Parliamentarian – PNP Charlene Kee.  The Bylaw Committee met yesterday and went over the model set of Bylaws that go in the packet for new auxiliaries.  There are copies available if you want to use as a guideline for your Bylaws.  She introduced the Bylaws Committee and thanked them for working so hard on them;   immediate past Parliamentarian, PDP Gloria Jasinski, 1st Vice Meltonia Presley, 2nd Vice Debbie Beck, PDP’s “Dee” Baggett, Donnajeanne Hakler and Sheila Haywood.  Her report is on Page 41; please go to it and draw a line through Auxiliary #50; she has their Bylaws.  The remaining Auxiliaries that are listed on that page have to have their Bylaws in before Convention.  Revalidations are due to the Executive Secretary by May 19th.  Your Bylaws are part of the revalidation.  You must read your Bylaws at one meeting and then at the next meeting, read them again and vote on them.  You will need a Bylaws Cover Sheet to go with them.

The Department Officer’s’ Training for all elected and appointed officers will be July 6-8, 2018 at the Holiday Inn in Ocala.

Scholarship Officer – Jan Northcutt returned to the Podium.  She apologized for not putting a donation of $25.00 from Auxiliary #8 in the report in the book.

Executive Secretary – Jerri Devoll.  At the October SEC the Score card was questioned and she went back and rechecked them.    The members that did not renew before the October Score card was filled out were not counted in renewals.  She reminded us all to use the new forms when sending in memberships; the ones with her name and address on it.  Her report is on Page 42.  Please read it; the information in it is very important.  The Patrons Page is being passed around, please put your name and $1.00 on it and bring the one in the packet to your Auxiliary for more people to sign up and donate.  You don’t have to be a member to be on the Patrons Page.

Recording Secretary – Susan Leverone.  Her report is on Page 43.  She reminded all that this is a large room and very hard to hear you answering Roll Call unless you speak up.  If you are registered as an Alternate S.E.C. and your S.E.C. is not at the meeting, please notify the Executive Secretary before the session begins so that she can verify whose name should be on the Roll Call.  I will try my best to complete the Roll Call as quickly as possible.


President Marecek welcomed National Commander Marion Polk who is from Louisiana.  Commander Polk spoke on his very quick but productive 5 months in office.  He told us how 3 weeks ago a NASCAR truck driver, Clay Greenfield of Tennessee, contacted him about putting the AMVETS logo #Please Stand on his Truck #68 for the race.  Commander Polk said he gave his permission and was thrilled when he went to the Friday night race and saw the entire truck covered in our logo.  He said that “AMVETS sure is known now”.  Clay Greenfield said in an interview “I’ve always been a big supporter of our Veterans and Military and he wanted to do what he could to support veteran’s organizations”.  He qualified 3rd and they introduced him driving the Please Stand AMVETS Chevrolet.  Commander Polk was invited to be part of Greenfield’s Pit Crew.

He said how please he was to be here with us today and said he didn’t know what they would do without the Auxiliary and all our projects and support of the AMVETS.  His project this year is the Desert Storm War Memorial.  The Memorial has been approved by Congress and the Site Selection Committee has been made.  He told us about an email he received from Neil McCoy, country western singer about his song “Take A Knee My Ass” and that the song played on the radio for about 2 weeks and then stopped playing it as it was too political. The song reflected AMVETS logo #Please Stand.

Honors & Awards Chairman – PNP Evelyn McElvin.  Her report is on Page 48.  Please read it at your leisure.  Remember our President’s theme is “Reach for the Stars” and this year’s Awards Program theme is “Be a Star Mardi Gras Style“.  She said to feel free to dress the part when you come to convention.  They will be handing out the Forecast today and it has everything you want or need to know about convention.  All S.E.C. women, Dept. Officers, Past Dept. Presidents and District Presidents will have to sign for them.

President Marecek concluded the Officers Reports for today and asked for announcements.


The Gavelier’s Luncheon will be in the President’s Suite.  The School of Instruction will be at 1:30.  No shorts – but capris are allowed.  The S.E.C. Council Meeting and President’s Council Meeting will be at 3:00 here in Ballroom B.  The reason they are together is because we lost a salon due to the AMVETS having more instruction meetings.

PDP Mary Lou Maslo announced the winner of Friday’s 50/50 for $87 was Trudy Wood.  The winner of the Saturday’s 50/50 of $120 was Tom Welty from Post 7467. 

Benediction was given by Chaplain Becky Coupe and Respect to the Colors was led by Sgt. At Arms Claudia Thompson.  The Meeting recessed until Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

President Marecek called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.  Invocation was given by Chaplain Becky Coupe followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Sgt. At Arms Claudia Thompson.

Roll Call was given by Susan Leverone, Recording Secretary.

Reports, Continued

Credentials Chair – Doe Seals.  Her report is on Page 47.  There were 129 pre-registered, 12 late registrations, 10 on-site and 23 no shows.  She will be turning in $1,320.00.  She thanked her credentials team; Chrissy Albright, Kathie Mannix and Ramona Mourhess.
Gavelier’s President – PDP Karen Powers. She stated there were 10 PDP’s in attendance and thanked President Marecek for the lovely lunch.  They discussed the upcoming June Convention and August National Convention.  They had no recommendations.

Convention Chair – Mary Lou Maslo. The menu for the June convention will be:  a choice of Chicken Cordon Bleu or Pork Tenderloin, House salad, creamy scalloped potatoes and a choice of Key Lime Pie or Chocolate Mousse.  Also available is a vegetarian plate.  Fill out banquet form with your choice and send in as early as you can.  The Cost is $25.00 per plate or $200 per table.  She does not know if there is a drink included in that price.  The theme for the evening is a Florida Tropical Night.  No shorts or flip flop.

She announced the winners of the raffles.  The patio furniture was Tim Martin; the liquor basket was Nancy Meier; Dewalt Radio - Ken Barber; Dewalt Drill Set - Vince Streeter; and the Kindle Fire Tablet was Trudy Wood.  Sunday’s winner of the 50/50 of $138 was Beverly Munoz.  Total 50/50 for week-end was $465 and Patron’s Page $102.00.  Total on the Joint effort, $1,034.00.

Jr. AMVETS Coordinator – Fran McGurk reported 50/50 tickets raised $669.  The 50/50 prize of $334 was won by Kenny of Post 422 and he donated it all back but the $5 he spent; $329.  The Sons donated $200 and National President Marvell Ruppel donated $50 for a total of $914 for their project “The Spring”.

District II President – Eartha Melton reported that they raised $426 this weekend for Ways & Means.  She thanked everyone for their support and the ladies of District II for all their help. 

President Marecek said that District III will sponsor Ways & Means for the June Convention and there were boxes of cookbooks they needed to bring home with them. 

Grievance Committee Chair – PDP “Dee” Baggett   Her report is on Page 49.  “Dee” read her report which was “Please think long and hard before filing charges!  If anyone has any questions on grievances, please call her and she will talk to you about the policy.

Appeals Chair – Gloria Jasinski.  She was very happy to report that there were no appeals.

Presidents’ Council – Holly Burbach.  She thanked 1st Vice Meltonia Presley for starting the meeting for her as she was still in another meeting at the time.  In attendance were 21 President’s and 1 guest.  They discussed event planning, things not reportable and awards.

 S.E.C. Council –Claudia Thompson They had a very good meeting with 25 S.E.C.’s, 4 Alternates and 6 guests.

Bushnell Cemetery Representative – Claudia Thompson Her report is on Page 50.  Bushnell is going thru remodeling and are trying to make it beautiful for us to enjoy.

Sgt. At Arms – Claudia Thompson Her report is on page 38.  She thanked Peg Morgan, Terry, who helped yesterday and Carole Ahmad who helped with the flags.  She thanked Viola Jones, Aux #30 who helped with the talking cup and who turned in $1.25; Claudia had $15 from yesterday, $7 from today totaling $23.25.

Fisher House Representative – Darlene Linnell Her report is on Page 51.  Please read it at your leisure.  She is looking forward to working with everyone next year. 

Quartermaster – Wendy Luzader Her report is on Page 44.  Please read it at your leisure.   She thanked everyone for supporting the Quartermaster and with pleasure, she turned in $1,315 for Friday, $1,206 for Saturday with total sales of $2,521.

VAVS Representative – Bay Pines – Jan Northcutt Her report is on Page 52.

 VAVS Representative – Orlando – Eartha Melton Her report is on Page 53.  Fisher House at Lake Nona will be opening soon.

District President’s Reports.  District II report on Page 54, District III report on Page 55, District VI on Page 56 and XVI on Page 57.

Local President’s Reports The following auxiliaries had reports in the book: 1, 2, 8, 26, 30, 32, 44, 50, 60, 67, 81, 312, 2000.  The following had no reports in the book but gave oral reports:  Aux # 4 – doing a lot of projects.  Aux # 9- doing a lot of things, Aux #12 working on many projects, Aux # 14-working hard on things, Aux #23 –are doing very well for the first time in a long time, Aux #98 –have been working very hard, Aux #292 – working on projects, Aux #301 – They don’t have an AMVET home and their Auxiliary are waiting to see what happens, Aux # 444 – working on a lot of projects, Aux #893 – working on a lot of projects especially one that works with abused children and Aux #1992 announced that their Americanism officer has been named Americanism Officer of the Year Award., Aux #2006 – Donated Christmas gifts for children and worked on many other projects.

President Marecek said that National President Ruppel was not on the floor yesterday when she gave her report.  At this time, she thanked National President Ruppel for being our guest this weekend and hopes she has special memories of Florida and our sunny personalities.

“Dee” Baggett announced that they sold 48 Freedom’s Foundation pins over the weekend and that she was turning in $240 and that the Dept. of Florida and our Madam President’ has a gift of $800 for your project.

Sgt. At Arms Claudia Thompson announced that she just collected $21 from the head table for talking; this will buy a lot of chocolate.

National President Ruppel was escorted to the podium.  She greeted us and thanked us all for the warm, friendly weekend she has been shown.  She said that she’ll have many fond warm memories of her weekend in Florida.  Her goal this year is to replace the antique lighting at Freedoms Foundation Campus in Valley Forge.  She presented President Marecek with a present of a bracelet with green stones, a beautiful card and $100 for her project.
She presented PDP/NEC Sheila Haywood with a beautiful pen set and  PDP Karen Powers a pen set with the Auxiliary emblem on it.

President Ruppel thanked us again for showing her a wonderful weekend and looks forward to seeing us all in Orlando in August. 

Sgt. At Arms – Claudia Thompson Turned in $68 from the talking cup for candy.
There was no unfinished business.

New Business 

The following declared their intentions to run for office for the 2018-2019 year:

 Sherry Marecek                                  Dept. President

Meltonia Presley                                 1st Vice President

Debbie Beck                                        2nd Vice President

Patty Piening                                       3rd Vice President

Karen Powers                                      Treasurer

Becky Coupe                                       Chaplain

Holly Burbach                                     Americanism Officer

Linetta Shilling                                    Hospital Officer

Jan Northcutt                                      Scholarship Officer

Tonia Blauvelt                                     Scholarship Officer

Claudia Thompson                              Sgt. At Arms

Having no further business, Sgt. At Arms Claudia Thompson extinguished the candles, closed the Bible and led in retiring the Colors.  Chaplain Becky Coupe gave the Benediction.

President Marecek adjourned the S.E.C. Meeting and wished everyone a safe trip home.

Respectfully Submitted:                                              Approved:

Susan Leverone, Recording Secretary                        Sherry Marecek, President