South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary


Team South Dakota

Working Together to Promote the American Legion Auxiliary Programs

Have You Hugged A Veteran Today?

Dept. President Melanie presenting South Dakota State Commander Dunham with a gift at her homecoming

South Dakota State Commander Dunham showing patriotic platter given to her by South Dakota Auxiliary Dept. President Melanie Martens

Department President Melanie Martens Hugging a Veteran at the Purple Heart Memorial Rededication in Pierre, SD

South Dakota Department President Melanie Martens with South Dakota American Legion Department Commander Charemon Dunham at the Purple Heart Rededication ceremony in Pierre, SD

Wonderful Junior Project!!! setting up Military"s Child's Table in local library Special help from a young Junior member. Thank you to Sharon Teunissen, Jr. Activities Chairman, for your work with the Juniors in South Dakota.

Dept. President Melaine Marten posted this on Facebook. We decided to share on the website since this promotes President Melanie's theme this year "Have You Hugged A Veteran?"

Sharon Teunissen this is for your challenge to hug a veteran. Unit 31 Junior member hugging a veteran!!

Joyce "Hugging Her Veteran" for the SD Juniors "Have You Hugged A Veteran

Today" Challenge

Great day for the DennisJensen Memorial ride! Post 31 Legion,Auxiliary and Juniors greeted the riders as they entered Lead. Wonderful turnout.

2015-2016 South Dakota Department President, Jane Benzel, with Miss South Dakota, Autumn Simunek. Autumn's platform was based on helping Veterans. Jane looks like she has her own crown!!! 

Department of South Dakota President, Melanie Martens, getting flowers pinned before she is sworn in at the 96th American Legion Auxiliary National Convention in Cincinnati, OH. Department Secretary, Laurel Stringer, doing the honors. 

Outgoing National American Legion Auxiliary President, Sharon Conaster, welcoming incoming National Auxiliary President, Mary Davis. 

South Dakota Legion/Auxiliary members marching with banner in Legion Parade during National American Legion Convention in Cincinnati  

The Webster Unit had a surprise at thier American Legion Auxiliary meeting on Tuesday night. They got to see the new DAV vehicle that they did a fundraiser for back in March of 2015. This group was very instrumental in raising money for this project by creating interest in the community. Webster is very supportive of thier veterans. 

Thank you to Charlotte Johnson Hoverstadt for supplying the pictures and information.

"I got a chance to hug one of my favorite veterans this past weekend--my brother, Jon Brakeman. Thanks for your service Jon."

Picture posted on FB by Dept. Chaplain Shelley Dragoo. 

District 7 President, Teresa Huntimer and Dept. Secretary, Laurel Stringer

Was in Hartford this afternoon to participate with Hartford and Humboldt Legion Family in West Central Homecomings parade

Auxiliary Ladies getting ready for parade in Hartford.....participating in community/school events

9-11 Welcome Home ceremony in Britton, SD

Thank you / credit to Rose Kraft - District 5 President

Auxiliary Group Picture at District One 2016 Fall Meeting - Box Elder, SD

Dorothy giving Veteran Duane a "HUG" 

                                        Membership Chairman Barb giving her Veteran a Hug 

Auxiliary Group Picture at District Two 2016 Fall Meeting - Hermosa, SD

"Hands Over Hearts" 

        Dept. Secretary Laurel "Hugging" her Veteran    Legionette Editor Micheline "Hugging" her Veteran

A big group "Hug" for Veteran Diane MacDonald

Hands Over Hearts group picture at the District 7 meeting in Hartford, SD

Red Shirt Friday group photo at the District 7 Fall meeting in Hartford, SD

Dept. Secretary Laurel donning her patriotic hat at the District 7 Fall meeting

Hands Over Hearts group photo at the District 8 Fall meeting in Tynall, SD

Hands Over Hearts group photo at the District 3 Fall meeting in Winner, SD

This cute bear holding a flyer with President Melanie's theme "Have You Hugged A Vetaran Today"at the District 3 Fall meeting in Winner, SD

South Dakota Auxiliary ladies participating in Stand Down in Sioux Falls, SD

Thank you / credit to Teresa H.

Soldiers in the 153rd Engineer Battalion participated in the Huron Homecoming parade.

Thank you / credit to Sharon B.

Hands Over Hearts group photo at the District 6 Fall meeting in DeSmet

Hands Over Hearts group photo at the District 5 Fall meeting in Milbank

Hands Over Hearts group photo at the District 4 Fall meeting in Cresbard 

Northwest Division VA&R Chairman, Jane Benzel, South Dakota, hugging a Veteran at the

National Creative Arts Festival.

District One workshop. Lots of great information, laughter, fun and delicious food. Cindy even had time to hug a veteran from Texas while we were in Faith. Thanks everyone!!

from Dept. President Melanie Marten's Facebook post

Introducing the new Mrs South Dakota, Lisa Shannon.

Lisa is an auxiliary member from Unit #71 Hot Springs, SD


South Dakota Dept. President Melanie Martens put this on Facebook and we are sharing here also.

"Thanks to Linda Holmes for a great workshop! We even had the State Commander in attendance. Lots of new ideas and information shared. The treats were awesome, great to visit with Auxiliary sisters. Good job everyone."

This picture and words below were put on FB by Sharon Broghammer.

"What a great honor for the members of Brownie troop 57005! Molly Mae Potter, Ms. Veteran America, personally thanked the girls and their leaders for their service to Veterans."

Another great workshop! Thanks District Three and District Four - you did a great job of planning this together. What a fun craft idea making cards for our veterans. Lots of good information in the Tri-Trivia class. Thanks to the Americanism, Leadership and Membership chairmen for presenting the class!! Lots of laughter and goodies to snack on. Good job!!

And we even got to hug a Veteran during the workshop

3 pictures from the Sioux Falls VA - Setting up the Christmas Gift Shop for the Veterans

to shop for thier families 

South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary President, Melanie Martens, driving in the

2016 Rapid City Christmas Parade of Lights 

Linda Rae Placek of Pierre submitted this picture and information to Facebook page. Sharing on website

President Patsy Madsen and Jalaine Hish Fette of Unit 8 - Pierre were volunteer greeters today at the Capitol Christmas Trees at our State Capitol. They were joined in the picture by our South Dakota Governor!

Junior Bake sale 
Junior Bake sale raises $366.00 for Hot Springs VA Veterans

South Dakota Dept. Commander Charemon Dunham and

South Dakota Dept. President Melanie Martens attending

the Sioux Falls VA Christmas Party with  Christmas Party Chair- Kathy Geraets

South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary members and American Legion members

handing out gifts to the Veterans at the Fort Meade Christmas Party, Sturgis, SD

State Auxiliary President, Melanie Martens (third from left) and State Legion

Commander, Charemon Dunham (third from right) in picture below

Second photo from the Fort Meade VA Christmas Party. South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary

President - Melanie Martens, second from left and South Dakota American Legion Commander -

Charemon Dunham, far left were present to hand out gifts to the Veterans.

Yankton Human Services Christmas Party group photo of allthose participating in the day

State Commander Charemon, Auxiliary 1st Vice Elvira, and Auxiliary President Melanie ready to serve

Auxiliary 1st Vice Elvira, Dept. President Melanie, and Christmas Party Chairman Cheryl

Christmas Party Chairman Cheryl, Dept. President Melanie, and Dept. Commander Charemon 

group photo with Yankton Human Services administration personnel

Pierre Unit 8 President Patsy Madsen attended Wreaths Across America wreath laying ceremony

held in Pierre SD Dec. 12th

Dept. President Melanie attending the Ft. Pierre Christmas Party

Facebook quote from President Melanie below

"Thank you Post and Unit#20 of Ft. Pierre for inviting me to your Christmas Party. Fun time!!

Great hosts, wonderful food and lots of laughs."

State Workshops

Dept. President Melanie with the District One Workshop group

District 2 Workshop participants. Great time making sharing information

and making Prayer Pillows with State Chaplain Shelley.

Dept. President Melanie

State Chaplain Shelley

District 2 President Carol

Ladies hard at work on the Prayer Pillow project  

District 3 Workshop 

with Dept. President Melanie and District 2 President Mary Jo

District 8 Workshop with Dept. President Melanie

and District 8 President Jan

Flag Etiquette was presented

Legionette Editor and Spearfish Unit member, Michelline Nelson, submitted the following 

pictures and commentary regarding a wonderful project that they did in Spearfish.

"The Spearfish Unit made ten Buddy Bags:

Thank a Hero for the Veterans aisle at the Cornerstone Mission in Rapid City."

Linda Rae Placek submitted the follow commentary and pictures of an

activity conducted by Pierre Unit 8

"This was a membership drive during Crazy Days over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. We spent 4 days with a booth space at our local mall, talking about our organization, signing up new members, refreshing our friendships with current members, and of course, grabbing a picture or two of us hugging those veterans for whom we are so thankful! 7 new members were signed up during our campaign and another 7 renewals were sent in the week following!


A New Unit Added to the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary Family

Welcome Canistota Unit 162

Photo's submitted by Teresa Huntimer, District 7 President

Below are pictures from the South Dakota Legislative Day in Pierre, SD

February 1st, 2017

Along with Dept. President Melanie Martens and South Dakota Legion Commander, Charemon Dunham,

the 2016 Boys State Governor and Girls State Governor were introduced to 

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

South Dakota Senate chambers and the South Dakota House of Representatives chambers

Dept. President Melanie with

Girls State Chairman Cheryl Hovorka

and Co-Chair Irene Hovorka

2016 Girls State Governor 

Dept. Commander Charemon Dunham

Dept. President Melanie Martens

2016 Boys State Governor and mother

2016 Girls State Governor and mother

The Legion and Auxiliary Legislative Day attendees with Governor Dennis Daugaard

Dept. President Melanie with

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

at the 2017 Legislative Day in Pierre, SD

Feb. 1, 2017

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard

with  2016

Boys State Governor and Girls State Governor

Legislative Day in Pierre, SD

Feb. 1, 2017

Introductions being made in the State Senate chambers -

Dept. President Melanie Martens and Girls State Chairman Cheryl Hovorka

Below is a picture of  the 2016 Girls State Governor and Boys State Governor 

as they observe the proceedings in the State House of Representatives

Joyce Smith, Auxiliary Emergency Fund Chairman, provided pictures promoting

President Melanie's theme "Have You Hugged a Veteran Today?"

Pictures show Joyce with all the Veterans in her family


Highlights from 2017 Mid-Winter Conference - Oacoma, SD

(just a few of the many highlights from the conference....the entire set was

put on the South Dakota Auxiliary Facebook page)

                              President Melanie preparing to start meeting

      Our guest - Northwest Division National President, Virginia Hansen with Melanie

                                                 Melanie with National Vice-Commander, Douglas Boldt

                       Melanie with Mrs. South Dakota, Lisa Shannon



                                                           1st Vice President, Elvira Moen (red top/poppy scarf) working                                                                      with otherAuxiliary ladies on the Veteran's Relief Project.

2nd Vice-President, Jeannine Loesch, working on the 

Socks for Love project with Auxiliary and Junior members

                  Northwest Division National President, Virginia Nelsen, (far left) helping to promote the                                  challenge Hearts for Our Veterans Day - to be promoted for Valentine's Day. 

   Virginia helping "Josh the Dog" wave to the crowd. This was to promote the

                           project that helps children of deployed military.

Veteran Relief Drive project - led by Autumn Simunek

picture / words posted by Autumn on Facebook

"Thank you to the Roy Anderson American Legion Auxiliary Unit 12 of Yankton

and the Yankton Area Chamber of Commerce

for joining as first-time partners in the Veterans' Holiday Relief Drive this year."

President Melanie presenting check from Dept. of South Dakota  at "2017 Parade of Checks" to

National President Mary Davis

in Washington DC - February 2017

State Commander Charemon Dunham and Dept. President Melanie in Washington DC

Sioux Falls Post 15 Celebrating 98th Birthday of The American Legion

Also celebrating 98 years of being an American Legion post

Lead-Deadwood Auxiliary members with thier completed

Prayer Pillows

Spring 2017 District Meetings

District One - March 18th, 2017 - Sturgis, SD

District Two - March 19th, 2017,  Mission, SD

Three new Junior members from Rosebud Unit

President Melanie presented with her new Fairburn Agate rock from

District 2 President Carol 

GO TEAM SOUTH DAKOTA Cheerleaders !!!

District Three Spring Meeting

Memorial Service at District 3 Spring meeting in Highmore, SD

District 4 Spring Meeting     

District 5 Spring Meeting


                                                District 6 Spring Meeting


District 7 Spring Meeting

District 8 Spring Meeting

National Auxiliary President Mary Davis's South Dakota Visit

National Poppy Day

Lead and Spearfish Units join together to make Poppy pictures

Watertown Unit making Poppy pictures

Unit 22 Senior and Junior members

distributing poppies

Box Elder Unit members 

distributing poppies at EAFB