An American Legion Post only for 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”.
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.
An impressive ceremony of transfer of Mary L. Collins to Post Everlasting happened on May 28th 1958. Her daughter (an eligible WWII veteran) was given a 1958 membership.
The first fiscal year for Women’s Metropolitan Post No. 206 ended with 49 members.
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. Memorial Day at Fort Logan Cemetery, May 30th 1963.
1964-1965 Commander Jane Carter.
1965-1966 Commander Ruth D Lindee. The post presented flags to the Aurora Hinkley High School on May 6th. 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
Post 206 participated in Department level Memorial Service in 1974.
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. Convention photos 1977.
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. Post 206 went to meeting quarterly instead of monthly, Membership is around 30.
1982-1983 Commander Rita Geis.
1983-1985 NO INFORMATION
1985-1986 Commander Rosanell Moscoso. On March 4th, a Post Everlasting Ceremony was held for our name sake. Helen K. Osmundson. Post 206 donated a flag to the Beth Israel Senior Day Care Center and WWI military uniforms were donated to the Military Heritage Command, Adams County Airport (Buckley Field).
1986-1988 NO INFORMATION
1988-1989 Commander Jackie Schmitz.
1989-1990 Commander Polly Kitchen. The Post donated handmade bibs and clothing to the Nursing Home Care Unit at the VA Hospital. The Post also donated money to the Denver Rescue Mission. King Soopers saluted Victim Outreach Information and Pat Wilcox. Victim Outreach Information is a non-profit agency whose mission is to help improve the treatment of victims of crime. The first discussion about disbanding the Post were held.
1990-1991 Commander Pat Wilcox. “Women’s Post 35th Anniversary Party”, April 24th 1991. Dr Beverly Chico , history professor at Metro State College and University of Colorado at Denver will display and discuss her famed collection of some 200 pieces of historic headgear.
The Post donated money to the American Legion Boy Scout Flag Program, Colorado State Veterans Center for the purchase of a new van, and the National Emergency Fund. They were presented with a banner to add to the Posts’ flag.
1991-1992 Commander Pat Wilcox. Dues were $15.00. A WWII Veterans questionnaire was given to the WWII ladies. This questionnaire came from National Headquarters.
1992-1993 Commander Midge Speelman. Many of the members of Post 206 are also members of Chapter 76 of the Women’s Army Corps Association. The WACs held their convention in Denver in August. The Post was invited by Post 23 to join them in the “Gateway to the Rockies Parade” in Aurora.
1993-1994 Commander Aileen Bissing. Westminster Historical Society hosted a photo-essay exhibition April 9 thru Jun 13 1994. “Quiet Shadows: Women in the Pacific”. Post 206 participated by dressing up in uniforms from all eras.
1994-1995 Commander Aileen Bissing. Dues increased to $20.00. Still meeting quarterly. The Post donated money toward helping more than 30 members of the Overland High School choir attend D-Day ceremonies. The choir represented the state and sang at the cemetery at Normandy.
1995-1996 Commander Patricia Teter
1996-1997 Commander Patricia Teter. Post Everlasting Ceremony was conducted for Roberta Mae Frye and Nelda L. Weeks on January 18th 1997. Post 206 joined with WAC Vets Chapter 76 for a potluck luncheon and a memorial service. Roberta and Nelda were members of both organizations.
1997-1998 Commander Patricia Teter. The Post received another banner for its participation and donation to National Emergency Fund. Dues go up to $20.50 and still meeting quarterly. Membership stands at an outstanding 51!
1998-1999 Commander Patricia McIntire. Dues were $21.50. Post Everlasting Ceremony for Mary Stoudt was held on April 22, 1998. Post Everlasting Ceremony was held for Delma L. Fraser on October 14, 1998.
1999-2000 Commander Patricia McIntire. Post 206 was asked if they would donate a flag and a plaque for the Women’s’ Veteran Memorial at Mt Lindo Cemetery.
2000-2002 Commander Wilma Easton. Plans were being made by the Department of Colorado to divide up District 5 by counties. Since Post 206 was in Arapahoe County it was being reassigned to a new District. District 15. District 15 consisted of Arapahoe and Elbert and portions of Adams and Douglas Counties. And Portions of Denver County lying east of Interstate I25. Apparently, this was short lived. By 2003 Post 206 was once again under District 5.
2002-2003 Commander Wilma Easton. The Commander of District 5 Jim Otto presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Wilma Easton. He also asked female members of other post to consider joining Post 206.
Post 206 member Connie Keller was recognized and honored at the Women’s Army Corps Veteran’s meeting on May 17, 2003 with the presentation of her WWII medals. Connie is twice honored, in March of 2002 she was awarded the Channel 7 “Everyday Hero” award for her many years of volunteering her physical training to help MS victims with water exercise. A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to the Post from the National Commander in February 2003. For the members’ support of the “I Am Not A Number” Campaign. A Post Everlasting Ceremony was held for Milred (Midge) Speelman-Pero. She passed on August 15th.
2004-2005 Commander Wilma Easton. Post 206 member Bonnie O’Leary along with Dottie Holmes to raise money in Colorado for the Women in Military Service Memorial at Arlington Cemetery. Colorado donated $25,695.00. These ladies also attended the groundbreaking ceremony in 1995.
2005-2006 Commander Wilma Easton. Everyone was celebrating the new National Commander. From Colorado, Tom Bock! On March 25, 2006, AL Auxiliary Unit 1 held a Lady Veterans Night. Besides dinner there was a reading of Veterans’ Biographies and a showing of the video interview of Sarah “Sally” Guy at Regis College.
2006-2007 Commander Eve Sivahop.
2007-2008 Commander Eve Sivahop. Members of Post 206 were invited to the Colorado State Veterans Home for a tour and lunch. Since member Patricia Wilcox had just moved into this facility, the Post called it “Pat Wilcox Day”.
2008-2009 Commander Eve Sivahop. Post Chaplain Wilma Easton went with a group from Malley Senior Center to Mount Lindo Cemetery. There is a monument dedicated to Women Veterans in the Veterans Garden. Two decorative trees sit on either side of it. It is a natural garden and the wild flowers cover the entire cemetery.
2009-2010 Commander Donna Nuce. Dues are $23.50.
2010-2013 Commander Donna Nuce. Women’s Metropolitan Post No. 206 is disband. All financial records are turned over to Department of Colorado. What money was in the now closed bank account was sent to Women in the Military Service Memorial as a donation. Post 206’s 501(c)3 status has been stopped. Any assets were given to Department, to include framed Charter.
2013-2014 Commander Terri Shelefontiuk. Terri Shelefontiuk and Rev. Dr. 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. Osmundson 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 summer when The Potters House of Denver allowed them to meet in one of their rooms.
New By-Laws were written and approved and a new Constitution was being adopted to incorporate the Constitutions of District and Department.
2014-2015 Commander Terri Shelefontiuk. 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.
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” and invited female veterans around the metropolitan area.
2015-2016 Commander Terri Shelefontiuk. 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. Raising over $400.00 for the Post.
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.
Membership dues had increased to $35.00 for 2016. Membership also increased to 55.
In May of 2016 Helen K. Osmundson Post 206 held its’ first award banquet. Not only were members of the Post presented with awards for leadership; the Post also recognized a Police Officer from the City of Aurora.
Post 206 also recognized the Pastor from the Potter's House of Denver for allowing us to use his facility for our Post meetings.
The Banquet also honored the oldest living members of the Post. Aileen Bissing (950 was present to receive her award and Patricia Wilcox (also 95) was represented by her daughters.
2016-2017 Commander Deb Davis. Past Commander Terri Shelefontiuk moved on up to Senior Vice Commander at Department of Colorado.
July 2016 saw a review and rewrite of the Constitution and By-Laws. The Post also received their new 501(c) 3 status and Incorporation in the State of Colorado. The Commander opened a bank account.
Members of the Post – Brenda Horton, Cynthia Francis, Deb Davis and Terri Shelefontiuk posed with the National Commander Candidate Denise Rohan at the Department of Colorado Convention.
Also at the Convention, Post 206 receive recognition for 100% Membership. Department Commander Jerry Flores and District 5 Commander Jimmie Walker were presenters.
Summer 2016 brought a reorganization of District 5 and District 6. Post 206 was reassigned to District 6.
The Post got involved with American Legion Baseball. We were fortunate to receive George Washington High School as a Team. The Patriots! Though we did not finish first we all had a great time.
The Odyssey House is an Apartment Building for homeless veterans. It was originally designed for female veterans however males were given apartment to fill the 35 units. Helen K. Osmundson, Post 206 adopted the Odyssey House and members began filling the apartments with furniture, bedding, towels, pillows, and personal hygiene items. The Post stocks their “lending closet” twice a year with cleaning supplies, paper towels, toilet paper and personal hygiene items. At Christmas time we donated a tree and provided the residents with gifts for the children, both two legged and four legged.
In September 2016, we honored POW/MIA Day with a table at The Potter’s House. We maintained the table for a whole week.
The first coming together of the Female Veterans Action Committee and Auxiliary Unit 50 in Palisade was an outstanding success. The Workshop brought over 60 female veterans from the Western Slope together to hear about benefits and programs for female veterans.
Post 206 and the FVAC voted to hold two Workshops annually to get the information out to female veterans. The next Workshop was schedule for March 2017 in Colorado Springs.
Every year the city of Aurora celebrates veterans by hosting an Aurora Salutes Veterans Program. The Post participated with an information table.
Many members also participated in the Denver Veterans Day Parade.
November 2016 was a busy month. The Post also helped with the Denver Stand Down for Homeless Veterans.
Helen K. Osmundson Post 206 held their first Post Everlasting Ceremony. Three former members were recognized for their service to the country and The American Legion.
The New Year 2017 brought the Mid-Year Department Conference. The Post donated $500.00 toward Denise Rohan’s campaign.
In April, District 6 Auxiliary and Parlimentary group hosted its annual Female Veteran Recognition Luncheon. 58 veterans attended and the Honor Guard for LCW Post 1 performed the Five Hats POW/MIA Ceremony.
Memorial Day brought the Parades. Post 206 participated in the largest parade in Colorado. Commerce City, CO Memorial Day Parade.
2017 Department of Colorado Convention was held in Colorado Springs CO. Commander Deb Davis was elected to the position of Department Historian and Terri Clinton (formerly Shelefontiuk) was sworn in as Department Commander. This was a very proud convention for members of Helen K. Osmundson Post 206.
2017-2018 Commander Deb Davis was reelected.
Summer 2017 brought Garage Sales as a Fund Raiser for the Post. Three members volunteered to host the Garage Sale and nearly $1000.00 was raised.
The Post Annual Awards Dinner was held and members of the community that support veterans but are over looked were recognized. The Odyssey House Manager and the All Veterans Honor Guard.
Marie Verrett was recognized as American Legion Legionnaire of the Year. She was the 2nd Vice Commander and later elected to Post Historian for 2017-2018
Other activities during the summer included:
· American Legion Baseball Tournament host by Region 8 at Metropolitan State University.
Honor Flight for WWII, Korea and Vietnam veterans.
A Golf Tournament for a fund raiser.
The Post participated in the 2017 Denver Veterans Day Parade.