An American Legion Post for only female veterans was the idea of Esther Goldsmith. She was a 30 year legionnaire and her service to our country was as a member of the Women’s Army Corp and a Nurse. On September 17th 1956 she sent notices out to all female veterans in the metropolitan area of Denver, Colorado to come join a Women’s Post.
She arranged for many of the women to participate in the first all women marching group in the Denver Veterans Day Parade on November 12, 1956. From there a meeting date was set and a charter was written for submission to National Headquarters. The name of this new post would be Women’s Metropolitan Post No. 206. Flags were purchased in December.
The first commander was elected. Helen K. Osmundson was a member of the Women’s Army Corps and a Signal Corps officer. Her dates of service were 19 October 1943 to 4 January 1947. She later became District 5 Adjutant in 1958 and District 5 Commander in 1960. In 1967 Helen was nominated as a candidate for “Colorado Women of Achievement Award”. Helen passed away on March 4th 1985. On February 26, 1957 Frank P. Lynch Jr. (Department Commander), presented the post with a permanent charter. And so the Women’s Metropolitan Post 206, Aurora, Colorado was officially born. Meetings were set up for 2 times a month on Tuesday evenings. They met at the Kiwanis Club in Aurora; paying $2.50 for that privilege starting that October. 28 Women from World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict were present at the February meetings.
The “Colors” of Post 206 made their first public appearance on Memorial Day 1957 at Fort Logan National Cemetery. A proclamation from the mayor of Aurora was signed designating “Aurora Poppy Days” and the members of Post 206 sold poppies before Memorial Day. This became an annual event for the next eight years with the funds going to Child Welfare.
The Four Pillars of The American Legion: Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children & Youth became the stock by which Post 206 was recognized by District 5 and Department. Some examples include:
The Post was very active in Child Welfare and Rehabilitation; they provided gifts of scarfs and shampoo to the teenage girls at Holland House (a home for girls) for Christmas. They donated money to a veteran with a deaf son for his hearing aid.
Sponsored Junior Legion Baseball and bought emblems and numerical for their uniforms. A candidate sponsored by the post won District 5 Oratorical contest and sponsored 6 boys to Boys State from Aurora schools. Three of the boys were elected to office.
37 boxes for “Magazines for Friendship” were collected as part of a nationwide program to be sent to Far East Asia communist so they could see the ‘American Way of Life’.
Members of the post also participated in “Watchers of the Sky” a civil defense program.
The first fiscal year for Women’s Metropolitan Post No. 206 ended with 49 members. Helen passed away on 4 March 1985.
Year two and beyond.
1958-1959 Commander was Ruth Ringland. The post made plans to establish a male Auxiliary. This organization became an “Honorary Auxiliary” called the “Vigilantes”. The auxiliary included men from other American Legion Post in the metropolitan area. And reached a total of 300 members with in ten years. This year the post sponsored a young lady to District 5 Oratorical and a member to Girls State. Several members of the post joined the Honor Society of Women Legionnaires and this group became the Twenty and Four (20/4). In October of 1958 ten members were approved and Echelon #20 was formed. And to be further known as the “Jeepettes”.
1959-1960 Commander was Marge Miller. The post continued supporting the Four Pillars. They also started an annual Rummage Day Sale to raise fund for the post. The membership grew to 52.
1960-1961 Commander Joe-Claire Minister. This year the post sponsored 10 boys to Boys State.
1961-1962 Commander Ruth Lindel. The Women’s Metropolitan Post No. 206 began publishing a newsletter for its members. It was called “Women’s Metro Musings”. The post also sponsored the Aurora baseball team who became the State Championship team. Membership is up to 62 this year.
1962-1963 Commander is Elva Loeptien
1963-1964 Once again Helen K. Osmundson is the Commander.
1964-1965 Commander Jane Carter.
1965-1966 Commander Ruth D Lindee. The post presented flags to the Aurora Hinkley High School on May 6th. (include picture) Pictures are Mr. Hinkley, Helen K. Osmundson and Ruth D. Lindee.
1966-1967 Commander Aileen I. Bissing. Past Commander Helen K. Osmundson was nominated as a candidate for Colorado Women of Achievement Award.
1967-1968 Commander Hazel M. Brown. On December 31st the post was honored with its first Viet Nam Veteran, Tine Gorospe.
1968-1969 Commander Agnes M. Ward. This year the post sponsored an Aurora all girls softball team.
1969-1970 Commander Gwyneth Keith
1970-1971 Commander Elva Leoptien
1971-1972 Commander Joe-Claire Minister. Rummage Day Sale continues to provide monies for the post.
1972-1973 Commander Anna S. Fox
1973-1974 Commander Sarah Ann Guy. This year the post sponsored the 1st place winner in the District 5 Oratorical. The young man came from Aurora Central High School.
1974-1975 Commander Hazel M. Brown
1975-1976 Commander Marie M. Cosby
1976-1977 Commander Margaret L. Conway. The post was awarded the “National One-Year Post History Contest” Honorable Mention certificate. The commander presented flags to Isaac Newton Jr. High School.
1977-1978 Commander Marjorie Murray. Lakewood Colorado Historical Society requested a display reflecting the role of women in World War I and World War II. The post gathered uniforms and testimonies that were put on display at the Belmar Museum.
1978-1981 NO INFORMATION
1981-1982 Commander Hazel Miller. Post 206 helped with the Colorado Special Olympics Bowling Tournament.
1982-1983 Commander Rita Geis.
1983-2012 NO IMFORMATION
2013-2014 Commander Terri Schelefontiuk. Terri Schelefontiuk and Kathy Haley got together and decided to stand up Post 206 again. The first official meeting was held on April 20th 2013. Elections were conduct and Terri Schelefontiuk was elected Commander.
Their first order of business was to request a name change. The new name for Women’s Metropolitan Post #206, Aurora, CO became Helen K. Osmund son Post 206, Aurora, CO. Approved by National Headquarters on June 24th 2013. This was in honor of the first Commander of Post 206. The meetings were first held in Colorado Springs at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs until the summer when The Potters House Church allowed them to meet in one of their rooms.
New By-Laws were written and approved and a new Constitution was being written.
2014-2015 Commander Terri Schelefontiuk . The Post was in need of funds so they held a Fund Raiser by selling Butter Braids in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. A few members attended the District 5 Fall Formal.
The Post continued to promote the American Legion Four Pillars by hosting a Chili Cook-off for The Potter House veterans and by helping one female veteran with much need legal assistance.
In November the Post Chaplain Rev. Kathy Haley welcomed Dr. Chrisanne Gordon to speak to female veterans about TBI/PTSD; this was held at AL Post 1. November also yielded an Honorary Post Life Membership for the oldest living member Aileen Bissing. She was Commander 1966-1967.
The New Year brought many events. Some included:
An introduction to “Virtual Adjutant” by the District 5 Senior Vice Commander.
Shorten version of Rev. Kathy Haley’s Service Dog training class.
Helping a female veteran moving from Washington State to Georgia when she became stuck in Colorado without any money. Also helped move an evicted veteran into another apartment.
Members volunteered at the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Denver Veterans Regional Office with recruiting for the American Legion.
In March Rev. Kathy Haley presented the movie “Unsung Hero’s” to invited female veterans around the metropolitan area.
2015-2016 Commander Terri Schelefontiuk. In September the Post was represented at the Women Veterans of Colorado Conference for a second year in a row. 2015 continued to offer many opportunities for members of Post 206 to get involved with the Four Pillars.
Collected “Box Tops for Education” to be presented to an elementary school in the spring of 2016 along with a presentation on the Flag.
Chili Fund Raiser at AL Post 1992.
Developed and implemented a Scholarship Program for members of three Jr. ROTC groups.
Became active in the Boys State Program.
Interviewed by The American Legion Magazine for an article about our Post. Represented Female Veterans at the Aurora Veteran Salute to Veterans of World War II.
Ordered and received an official American Legion Post Flag and held a dedication ceremony.
Held a POW/MIA Ceremony and invited Department of Colorado Executive Committee member Ed Wearing to narrate the program. Members of SAL and the Women’s Auxiliary participated.
A Christmas Tea was attended instead on having a regular meeting in December both 2014 and 2015.