American Legion Auxiliary 100th Anniversary



The American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State program—designed to promote the development of young women as future leaders—was first presented nationally in 1937.

In 1945, with both educators and legislators supporting the idea, Massachusetts adopted the national model and held its first session at Bridgewater State Teachers College. Since then, state programs have successfully continued and approximately 20,000 young women participate in Girls State summer events across the nation!It is a week-long experiential immersion of high school juniors chosen to represent their schools. They actively participate in learning the fundamentals of government structures at the state and national levels. As you can imagine, it is a very lively and exciting time as students live in “cities/towns”, campaign, hold conventions, town meetings and elections to become mayors, county leaders and state officials of their Girls State.

As students participate by taking on many roles of government structure, the comradery, memories and new friendships all contribute to a rewarding experience.

Our Manchester Auxiliary began sending delegates to GS in 1948 when then high school junior Nancy Smothers was named as the very first representative. Nancy gave a very favorable report of her experience and the Auxiliary sent two delegates the following year – Mary Burke and Carol McDonald.  In the 75+ years since, the program continues to promote its original ideals with a relevant and enthusiastic model. Unit 113 actively supports this exceptional program and sponsorship of delegates each year is a top priority. We know you will recognize many of the names of the young women who have attended. Our thanks to MANCHESTER CRICKET archives where we were able to verify many of these names and dates. The Auxiliary looks forward to participating in Girls State for many years to come!

1950-Isabelle Bachman;1951-Betty Lear; 1952-Katherine Doane; 1953-Joanne Wielgorecki; 1954-Jane Phillips; 1955-Agnes Burgess; 1956-Joanne Manning; 1957-Harriet Goldthwaite; 1958-Joan Dermody; 1959-Evelyn Jennings; 1960-Nancy Barnett; 1961-Jean Emslie; 1962-Barbara Eaton; 1963-Beverly Doane; 1964-Susan Tracy; 1965-Patricia Capello; 1966-Marjorie Mollison; 1967-Susan Greenberg; 1968-Keri Keating; 1969-Alice Cool; 1970-Carol Bailey; 1971-Jane Gillis; 1972-Mary Ann Coughlin; 1973-Diane Schlaikjer; 1974-Mary Noonan; 1975-Dianne Kelly; 1976-Joan Cullinane; 1977-Karen Donelan; 1978-Debbie Raddock; 1979-Pat Perry; 1980-Karen Ambrose; 1981-Lynn Bottger; 1982-Ellen Field; 1983-Ellen Noonan; 1984-Betsy McDonald; 1985-Joanne Cararo; 1986-Jessica Hays; 1987-Kendra Hellen; 1988-Katina Brown, Sara Thielbar; 1989-Colleen Wood, Jennifer Machain; 1990-Karin Andersson, Kate Flatley; 1991-Danielle Gauthier, Holly Park; 1992-Lauren Bergquest, Jenni Campbell; 1993-Kirsten Anderson, Tricia Mitchell; 1994-Gina Defelice; 1996-Laura Hargrove, Amanda Orlando; 1999-Pamela Kiely, Cecilia Kiely; 2000-Brianne Emhiser, Elly O’Beirne; 2001-Ellen Flatley, Carolyn Ryan, Maureen Henderson; 2002-Ruth Baer, Allison Bane, Emily Browne, Betsy Tufts; 2003-Mary Bazylewicz, Katie Fifer; 2004-Rebecca Lumsden, Lauren Forsythe, Katie Burnham; 2005-Jenni Houde, Deede Dixon; 2006-Maryellen Kwasie, Caroline Round; 2007-Stephanie Colbert, Alexandra Curatolo; 2008-Anne Osbourne, Hannah Dumont, Jordan Biggar; 2009-Jasmine Bailey; 2010-Brittany Edwards; 2011-Ellen Burgess, Morgan Kennedy; 2012-Devin Kelley, Kelsi Field; 2013-Kendall McCormack, Fiona Davis; 2014-Hannah Riordan, Arianna Jackson; 2015-Julia Bonaccorso, Sara Stanton; 2016-Melanie Carter, Madeleine Conway; 2017-Gabrielle Allmendinger; 2018-Isabella Graves; 2019-Christina Bullock. (No participation during pandemic – 2020, 2021, 2022.)

bridgewater state teachers college, the american legion auxiliary’s girls state program, manchester auxiliary, mary burke, carol mcdonald