Organized in early 2005, our first officers were installed on February 10, 2005, and our permanent charter was received and officially presented in May 2005.
AUXILIARY ACTIVITIES HAVE INCLUDED:
- Members of Unit #523 assist our Post with numerous special programs such as on Veterans Day services, a dedication program related to new benches which were placed at our Veterans Park, and the renaming of a new road, “Harrisburg Veterans Road”, dedicated in October 2016.
- Unit #523 has often participated in Harrisburg’s annual July 4 th parade. Themed parade float entries have included “Rosie the Riveter”, “Betsey Ross and the American Flag”, “Freedom is Not Free”, a “Salute to American Women”, a float depicting the USO of NC, and tribute to three local heroes killed during the War on Terror. Another float acknowledged our heroes of all ages -- veterans, current military and youngsters who may one day serve in the Armed Forces.
- Poppies are distributed each year during the Memorial Day weekend at several area businesses in order to promote remembrance, to explain the significance of the poppy and its history and to accept donations which support our Unit’s programs tailored for area veterans.
- Each year our Unit sponsors 1-3 young women to attend Tar Heel Girls State, and our unit has hosted orientation meetings for that program on numerous occasions.
- Pocket flags have been purchased, folded and provided to active duty military members.
- Halloween safety brochures have been distributed at a local elementary school.
- Our Unit participates in the Belk Charity Day sales events each year in an effort to increase exposure of our organization, to market ourselves to prospective members and to create revenue for our general fund.
- Each year Unit #523 members join with several other auxiliary organizations to provide, prepare and serve a luncheon to all guests following the annual Veterans Day program in Concord, NC which is sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club.
- Several members have routinely participated in special activities at the Salisbury VA Medical Center which included Homeless Veteran Standdowns, special proms for residents of the VA, hot dog fundraisers and Basket Bash fundraisers.
- Our Unit is always represented at Department conferences and conventions and has often hosted Division and/or District meetings. Several members have attended Legion College and one has been a presenter at a number of those annual educational weekends.
- Members collect aluminum pop-tops to support the NC Legion’s Ronald McDonald House participation.
- Our Unit’s biggest and most rewarding activity has been the annual Christmas Project which benefits hospitalized veterans in Harrisburg at two nursing homes and convalescence centers as well as the State Veterans Home in Salisbury and the Salisbury VA Medical Center. Working along with our Post, this project began in 2006 and resulted in 100 gifts being distributed. Expanding on that success in 2007 and thereafter, we have prepared 200 gift bags each year. Area businesses, citizens and our members have been instrumental in making our project successful year after year. The gift bags used for this project are decorated by first graders at Harrisburg Elementary School and include hand-made Christmas cards. Contents include personal care items, socks, games, books, quilts, afghans and similar products.
- Every quarter Harrisburg Unit and Post members travel to the Salisbury VAMC in order to host a bingo social. We provide a wide range of refreshments, and winners of the bingo games receive cash prizes, mystery gift bags, military hats and/or handmade quilts, afghans and ditty bags. We are always warmly welcomed and sincerely thanked each time we make these visits.
- Novie Fero has served as Unit Historian since the Unit was organized and has collected and preserved photos, newspaper clippings, etc. Several of our scrapbooks were entered in the Department’s scrapbook competition and received numerous awards.
- Janice MacLeod, our first Unit President, was chosen as “Unit President of the Year” by the Department of NC in 2006 for her leadership with the Harrisburg Unit. Another Past Unit President, Vivian Day, was selected as NC’s “Unit Member of the Year in 2011” for her unwavering dedication and involvement in our Unit activities and programs.
- Beginning in 2006, Unit #523 member Janice MacLeod began serving on the Department level in various positions of leadership. At the NC Convention held in June 2014, she was elected to serve as North Carolina’s Department President for 2014-2015. She served as North Carolina’s National Executive Committeewoman for 2015-2016. In addition, Janice has served on the National level since 2015 on the Americanism, Community Service and Public Relations committees.