DENVILLE, NJ -- The Denville Township Council recognized several individuals during its Dec. 17 meeting for their community support.
The first group was the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 390 in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the Ladies Auxiliary nationwide. The Ladies Auxiliary unit is a subsidiary organization of the American Legion posts, consisting of women who may or may not be military veterans themselves, but are relatives or spouses of veterans. Like the legion, they conduct community events and raise funds to support America’s veterans.
“The auxiliary has a cherished legacy that will continue into the next century as members of their organization and our community,” said Mayor Thomas Andes, who handed out a proclamation to auxiliary members in attendance.
“Now therefore, I, Thomas W. Andes, mayor of the Township of Denville, in celebration of 100 years of service not self by the Ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary and more than 63 years of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 390, proclaim December 17th to December 23rd 'American Legion Auxiliary Unit 390 Week' in Denville. I extend a heartfelt appreciation and sincere thanks to all the Ladies of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 390 for their distinguished service to our community and urge all our citizens to pay special tribute to this very special group of citizens in our community.”
According to the American Legion website, Ladies Auxiliary was first founded in 1919 and now has more than one million members nationwide. It is the largest women’s patriotic service organization with nearly 10,500 units located in every state and some foreign countries. The Ladies Auxiliary Unit 390 of Denville was first started in 1946.
“I’m very proud of this recognition and I think it brings a lot of attention to a lot of people working in the unit and to all their projects,” said Sharon Doty, an auxiliary member who serves as her unit’s secretary.
“And the town of Denville has always been good to us.”
The Ladies Auxiliary has been involved in a lot of community projects, such as visiting veterans at Lyons Hospital; holding cookouts, pizza nights, bingo parties and karaoke; donating food to the local food pantry; donating school supplies; contributing funds for summer camps for special needs children; giving scholarship to Morris Knolls High School students; and more recently, placing wreaths on veterans’ graves during the holidays.
“All women here are great people,” said Sue Mitchell, a Denville resident who serves as president of the Ladies Auxiliary Unit 390.
“They are so cooperative and they all do everything for their unit. We all pull together for each other.”
Later, the Denville Township Council took time to recognize their grand marshals of this year’s holiday parade; which was meant to take place on December 1 but was canceled due to inclement weather.
“We didn’t have a parade, but we do have grand marshals and we want to recognize them,” said Councilwoman Nancy Witte.
“These folks were grand marshals for our 2019 holiday parade. For nearly two decades, Robert and Donna Ott and their sons Chris, Brian and Thomas have been the backbone of our community’s audio and video technology. The Otts were instrumental in the lighting of Santa Land, our new sound system on Broadway and the audio system at St. Mary’s. For years, the Otts were the first to arrive and the last to leave, no matter the heat of summer or the cold of winter, providing the sound system for the Joey Bella Foundation events, the Rotary street festival, Christmas tree lighting, St. Francis Fall Festival, Downtown Denville events, the Denville Centennial parade and holiday parade. They are certainly Denville's premiere volunteer family.”
Donna and Robert Ott were joined by their son Christopher, friends and fellow grand marshals Pat Dyer and Ellen Sandman.
“This is something totally unexpected and very much appreciated,” said Robert Ott.
“We’ve given to the town, but the town has returned tenfold to our family. It’s truly a pleasure to be in Denville.”
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