When Paula Sellens was elected American Legion Auxiliary District Eight President in 2016, she was charged with developing a President’s Project to benefit veterans.
She launched an art therapy program for Fort Dodge Kansas Soldier’s Home. She obtained funding from an art auction the first year, then received two grants from the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas to keep pace with the growing popularity of the project.
The initiative received continued support with additional funding from Kansas Department Legion Commander Dan Wiley and the Dodge City Chapter of the Retired Teachers Association.
National American Legion Auxiliary Executive Committeewoman Jeanne Haas encouraged Sellens to apply for a grant from The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation.
Sellens liked the suggestion and applied for a Veterans Project Grant to the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation. She was recently notified that her application was successful, and the project was being awarded a $2,200 grant.
Auxiliary members organized a ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Dodge on Feb. 3.
The ceremony was well attended with over 30 Legion family members participating.
In addition to Haas, dignitaries present included National Auxiliary President Kathy Dungan, Kansas Auxiliary President Karen Hasting, American Legion Auxiliary Foundation President Doris Hammeke, and Fort Dodge Superintendent Dave Smith.
"I am very happy to have access to this great equipment," Sellens said. "It will be very useful in developing more interesting art lessons."