In 1921, a group of 14 women in Good Ground, N.Y., joined together to form the Eugene Hand Legion Auxiliary Unit. When they received their charter in 1922, they had a membership of 15. The president was Genevieve C. Penny, who served from 1922 to 1925. She also served as county chairman. Membership dues were $1.25 a year, and meetings were held in The American Legion building in Ponquogue, N.Y. Meetings were held twice month on Wednesdays evenings — the first month meeting was for business, and the second was for a social visit.
The Eugene Hand Unit was one of the three original units that made up the American Legion Auxiliary of Suffolk County.
The unit was inactive from 1942-45. In 1946, they paid their delinquent dues and were reissued a charter with their name changed to Hand Aldrich Legion Auxiliary, in honor of Hampton Bays, N.Y., resident John Aldrich who was killed in action during the battle of Saint-Lô. Dues were $2 a year, and the membership roster had raised to 50. The women of the unit handsewed their new uniforms for this rebirth.
Edibell Hubbard Langsdorf served as unit president for four terms from 1930-34. She served on committees too numerous to mention through her more than 50 years. She also served as unit chaplain and Gold Star Mother chairman. Ethel Warner was the one and only treasurer for many years. She gave up the position to serve as unit president for one year, but her records began in 1926. She was replaced from 1928-31 by Anna Foster, but then served as treasurer for 50 consecutive years.
Today, the Hand Aldrich Legion Auxiliary has approximately 30 active members. The goals of the organization are still the same — care packages are sent to active-duty troops on foreign soil; we still support our veterans and their families; poppies are still being distributed.
After 90 years, through good times and bad, this Legion Auxiliary unit is still going strong. Congratulations, Hand Aldrich Unit 924!
"Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."—Marjorie Moore, Belleville, Ill.