OXFORD — The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) of Fort Hill Post #376 recently held a meeting that honored five special women who have been Unit 376 members for 50 or more consecutive years. Shirley Sykora (54), Judy Estelow (51), MaryEllen Sherman (51), Gloria Case (50), and Terrie Miller (50) were invited to attend an award ceremony on December 14. Members reminisced and shared what the Auxiliary meant to them.
MaryEllen Sherman joined the ALA in 1972, under her (now late) husband, John, an Army vet of the Korean conflict. She marched in the Memorial Day parade, helped with dinners and special events like the Clam Bake, and did whatever was needed. She had quite a reputation for her beautifully decorated cakes too! She and John, a past Post and County Commander, worked hard, but had lots of fun doing social and community activities together at the Legion.
In 1973, Terrie Miller joined the ALA as Oxford's first ever Junior member! She joined under her mother, Vera Barrows, who held all positions over the years, except for Unit president. Terrie's husband, John, was career military for 17 years. She credited the Auxiliary for teaching her the values of the US Constitution and the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary. From that Terrie applied her "devotion to mutual helpfulness" to learning and assisting other personnel on military bases.
Shirley Sykora, who joined the ALA in 1969, is a past unit president and past 6th D. president. She now lives in Ohio, but she wrote, "I am honored to remain a member of Unit 376. I am not able to attend and celebrate my membership. I often think of the activities and service our unit has provided over the years and miss participating. I am so proud of the continuing service of the current active members. Please let the members know that I am thankful for their continued service to the men who served our country and service to our community. I wish I could be there. With love for our unit in my heart, Shirley."
The five Unit 376 members were cited for their consistent loyalty to the ALA and for their outstanding contributions to the accomplishment of the programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.
The historic Fort Hill Post #376 is located at 17 S. Washington Avenue. For inquiries, contact unit president Louise Spicer, at 607-843-9495 or email Oxford107@Frontier.com; or call the American Legion at 607-843-8166. Visit Oxford-ALA.chenango.org.