Milford resident Colleen Thompson, who just stepped down as the president of the Department of Delaware Ladies Auxiliary, earned the department national recognition as the 2014 Outstanding Department during the 101st National Convention of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Milford resident Colleen Thompson, who just stepped down as the president of the Department of Delaware Ladies Auxiliary, earned the department national recognition as the 2014 Outstanding Department during the 101st National Convention of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Thompson, who also led the group to win a variety of program awards, said the recognition was only possible through the collective efforts of all the members throughout the state.
Q: What’s it like to be the president of an organization recognized as an outstanding department?
A: Very humbling, but it cannot be done alone. We have seven department program chairs and they run the programs and the 19 auxiliaries within the state report what they have done for each of those programs. Our programs for the Department of Delaware include veterans and family support, Americanism, cancer aid and research, hospitals, legislative and scholarships. In Americanism, cancer and aid and hospitals, we received first place. For legislative and veterans and family support, we received runner up. In scholarship, we received for the best promotion of the young American creative art contest and continual education scholarships. It cannot be done by one person.
Q: What’s the most important thing about ladies auxiliary organizations and why?
A: The most important is our veterans and their families and the military now. That’s what our main focus is, to help in any way that we can. Especially now, with the last couple years, I’d say our major concern is the veterans and families and the active military and their families. We did a lot last year with sending packages to the men and women overseas, and we did a lot with their families here.
Q: What are you and the organization working on now?
A: There was a new president elected in June, and I went to Kansas in April and became the national certified recruiter/trainer for Delaware. So I’ll be training ladies within the state, so that’s one of our main goals – we’d like to recruit new members. This year, our main focus will definitely be the veterans and family support and the programs we’d be working on include national veterans’ services, national military services, and another program we have that everybody supports, is a VFW national home for children in Eaton Rapids, Mich. It’s an amazing program.
Q: What advice do you have for other people who would like to make a difference in their communities, especially for veterans?
A: To get involved in a veteran organization. We’d love to have them be members of any of our auxiliary, but also here right in our own area we have Home of the Brave, and Home of the Brave II now, [which can also use help].
MORE ABOUT THOMPSON
HOMETOWN Clarksburg, W.Va.
CURRENT TOWN Milford
FAMILY Husband of 45 years, Gerald W. Thompson; daughter, Gretchen Pikus, and son-in-law, Steven Pikus, of Milford; grandson Dalton Pikus, 18, and granddaughter Emma Pikus, 13; daughter Shannon West and son-in-law Matt West, of Plymouth Meeting, Pa.; grandsons Jake West, 8, and Luke West, 4
EDUCATION Notre Dame High School, Class of 1965; Robert Morris Junior College, associate’s degree in secretarial science, 1967; Delaware State College, bachelor’s degree in business education, 1981
CAREER Business education teacher at Indian River High School, Woodbridge Junior/Senior High School and James A. Grove High School, 1981-1985; Adjunct teacher and program coordinator at Goldey Beacom College, 1989-1992; Book keeper for Milford Pharmacy, 1982-1984; Office manager for i.g. Burton, 1985-1986; Owner of the Teacher’s Depot, 1992-1995
TV SHOW “NCIS”
FOOD Any seafood, except clams
HOBBIES Working with veterans and their families