PRESS RELEASEs and news Articles

American Legion Auxiliary working across the state to prevent suicides by veteran 

  • Staff photo by Graham Cullen -Paulette Caron, department president of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Maryland, is raising funds for a campaign to prevent suicides by military veterans

Frederick resident Paulette Caron is about halfway to her fundraising goal in her campaign to prevent suicides by military veterans.

Caron, a Frederick resident, is raising $10,000 for the cause, a project she chose as department president of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Maryland.

“In the past, the normal goal has been $5,000, but I just feel very strongly about this organization and about this cause, and I challenge the 20,000 members of this department to reach for new heights this year,” she said.

She has less than a year to raise the money through donations from residents, American Legion posts and American Legion Auxiliary units across the state.

Caron said she’s raised about half of her total so far. The Legion’s state convention in July will be her deadline.

“I always say, go big or go home, and we are going big,” she said.

Caron chose to fight veteran suicides because, she said, they’re an “epidemic that’s out of control.”

“When our military comes back from serving, whether it was many years ago or whether it was recently, we just have to make sure as a nation that we recognize them,” she said.

To help Caron with her campaign, Brunswick’s American Legion Auxiliary unit has been collecting donations from one bingo game per night for the past few weeks.

“The players are excited to be helping raise funds for her cause,” said Andrea Anderson, president of the Brunswick unit. “They all have a feeling of pride to be helping out.”

Caron plans to visit the Brunswick American Legion post Nov. 9 to participate in a bingo game herself.

The games usually generate donations of about $120 each week, Anderson said. The Brunswick American Legion post will continue to collect donations through bingo games through the spring.

One of the recipients of those donations may be Platoon 22, a Frederick-based nonprofit that raises awareness about suicide and advocates for veterans’ mental health. The organization’s name refers to the estimated 22 veterans who die by suicide each day.

Caron said multiple organizations will each receive part of the total money raised once her campaign is complete in July.

“Because we are a statewide organization, I want to make sure that the funds are divided across the state,” she said.

A white elephant sale and dinner at the Woodsboro American Legion post raised about $1,200 in two hours for her campaign, she said. Caron is also planning a Christmas raffle in December at the Mount Airy American Legion post, where she is an honorary life member.

The American Legion Auxiliary’s mission is to support the American Legion. Its membership is limited to female relatives and female descendants of members of the American Legion and some U.S. veterans.