State Award

Bonnie Phaneuf is pictured with Char Kiesling, Wisconsin Auxiliary President (left) and Past Wisconsin Auxiliary President Joyce Endres

At the Wisconsin American Legion and Auxiliary State Convention held in July at the Marriott West, Middleton, members of Waunakee’s American Legion Post #360 Auxiliary received three notable awards.

Bonnie Phaneuf was named the 2018-2019 Department of Wisconsin American Legion Auxiliary Member of the Year. She was chosen because she is the first to volunteer for unit activities and is a strong advocate for the American Legion Family — veterans, youth and community.

As Unit 1st Vice President and Membership Chairperson, to ensure her unit reached 100%, Phaneuf diligently reached out to veterans, particularly women veterans and the community to recruit eligible members.

As the Unit Poppy Chairperson, she worked with volunteers to send a poppy to each Post and Unit member to ensure all received one to wear proudly. Phaneuf coordinated Poppy Days through contacts with community merchants, scheduled Unit and Post volunteers and monitored the sites over the two-day Poppy event.

As the Waunafest Co-chairperson for the Unit, she attended the monthly Fest Committee meetings and coordinated the Auxiliary lunch stand activities and volunteers over the three-day festival. Phaneuf has volunteered to provide baked goods and to cook the American Legion 100th Birthday and Veterans Day Dinners for many years.

Having previously served twice as Unit President, she is very proud of her daughter who now serves as Unit President.

Phaneuf said, “These achievements could not have been accomplished without the support of the members of my Unit and Post. I am proud of my ALA membership as my way to serve and say thank you to veterans for their service.”

Phaneuf will travel to the national American Legion Auxiliary convention in Indianapolis in August to be recognized for her award.

In addition, Karen Knudsvig, Unit #360 Chaplain, received an award for Best Prayer Book from those submitted from around the state. The award is based on presentation and prayers presented.

Finally, Auxiliary Unit #360 received an award for achieving 100% membership for 2018-19.

ALA membership is open to spouses and widows of America’s military veterans, as well as mothers, sisters, children and grandchildren of veterans. The purpose of the ALA is to support the American Legion and to enhance the lives of veterans and their families. For more information, (608) 628-2530 or send a message to

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