Alaska women enjoy annual spring luncheon

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LT. COLONEL LINDA GRIFFIN presents honorary auxiliary membership to Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee.

Nearly 250 people gathered to enjoy lunch, as well as both silent and live auctions, at the recent Women’s Auxiliary annual spring luncheon in Anchorage, Alaska.

They also enjoyed a special speaker of local note, famed Alaska artist Barbara Lavallee. Barbara is noted for her colorful, energetic watercolor portrayals of life in Alaska, centering mostly on children and women. She says her women are “monumental,” women of substance, with nothing “wimpy” about them. How appropriate that she should address prominent women and men in the community!

Barbara met the Army in Anchorage through “Operation Santa Claus,” a joint effort between the Air National Guard, The Salvation Army, and the Anchorage School District. Each year 10 “bush” communities are chosen for a visit, bringing Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, Christmas gifts, school supplies or clothing items, and lots of Christmas cheer. It is indeed a “big deal” to have a large military airplane land next to a small village, spilling out with excited people offering gifts, entertainment, friendship, and love.

Barbara was part of the group that went to Kaltag, Alaska. While there, she was an absolute magnet for children and adults alike, as she chatted with them while drawing pictures on their hands, wrists, or forearms.

In like fashion, she was a totally charming speaker for the luncheon. She was presented with an honorary membership in the Women’s Auxiliary.

A banner year financially was achieved as a result of this luncheon. President Jean Sargent and each of the Auxiliary officers have since offered to serve for an additional year in their positions.

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