COPPERAS COVE — Members came out in full force Saturday as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8577 Ladies Auxiliary held its community auction.
Last year, the women raised close to $1,000 with an auction, raffle, Dime a Dip and cake walk combined, said Juanita Workman, the auction’s coordinator.
“All of the items here are donated by the women of each organization present,” she said. “We are 100 percent volunteers and it’s getting better each year.”
Workman has been a member for the past 30 years.
“I spent 28 years in the Army with my husband and he retired in 1982, a year after we moved from Germany,” Workman said. “I was looking for ways to get involved with the military and the community and so I joined the VFW. I’ve met some amazing women.”
Myrtle Hummer, who turns 89 on April 25, founded the auxiliary 50 years ago, and her husband founded the post.
“We’d moved from Louisiana and there wasn’t much going on here,” said Hummer, who is past president and junior vice. “We were active in their VFW so we decided to start one here.”
They started with 25 members and now the organization has more than 300. Membership received a boost in 1954-1955 after Fort Hood became two divisions and more people began moving in, she said.
“The only reason I remember so much is because of my scrap book collection and clipping from over the decades,” Hummer said.
The VFW’s Hummer Hall is named after her husband who died in 1982, and she said she’s witnessed too many members die or move away.
“It’s a surprising wonder why I’ve been chosen to stay,” she said. “Why in the world was I left when so many friends are gone? It has helped making friends like Juanita though.”
Auxiliary President Karen Kaylor said the auction was about those bonds and bringing community together.
“My husband said we should just donate the money but it’s about community and coming together and sharing,” Kaylor said. “We’d miss out on all this.”
In fact, Kaylor celebrated her 39th wedding anniversary Saturday. She said the secret to a happy marriage is respect, trust and communication.
The auction had about a dozen vendors who were raising funds for the veterans hospital, cancer and cancer research, the National President Program, youth group and the Voice of Democracy program in Cove.