The first meeting of the Auxiliary of the New Salem Volunteer Fire Department met at the New Salem Fire House on Thursday, March 25th, 1965.
A Charter was created and signed by the 28 Members present. Shirley Hotaling was Acting Chairman and the first Officers were elected:
President: Audrey Meineker
Vice President: Sally Hallenbeck
Secretary: Kay Wright
Treasurer: Judy Picard
Other Charter Members included:
Marilyn Adriance, Marcia Campion, Sandra Carl, Hazel Carl, Marian Cox, Jean Dedrick, Sue Ferguson, Carroll Greene, Betty Hamilton, Rosanne Hannaman, Shirley Houck, Frances Higgins, Betty Hotaling, Shirley Hotaling, Betty Hughes, Anne Johnson, Janet Lambry, Charlotte MacEwan, Beulah MacMillen, Shirley Matuszek, Helen Miner, Betty Moak, Bette Neal, Eunice Osterhout, Edna Rivenburg, Frieda Sandleman, Betty Sutton, and Betty Youngman.
Some of their many early activities and accomplishments included:
- Emergency Feeding for firefighters at extensive fire calls.
- Their first donation was $5.00 to the Red Cross in 1965.
- For the Fire Dept's 25th anniversary, the Auxiliary presented the firefighters with an old fashioned firehouse nozzle mounted on a wooden base. Both in 1968 and 1969, packages and cards for local boys serving in Vietnam were sent and donations from local businesses helped fill the packages. In 1971, Betty Crocker coupons were donated to Delta Junction, Alaska to help purchase a fire truck. 1975 started the Sweets 'n Treats Bake Booth at the Punkintown Fair.
- Assisted with the Fire Dept.'s Punkintown Fair Operations. In 1978, the Auxiliary formed a drill team and competed at various fire departments and auxiliary field days.
- Presented the Fire Department with a United States flag which had been flown over the Capitol in Washington, DC at the Department's Memorial Day picnic in May 1979. Visit the Firemen's Home in Hudson and served refreshments.
- Christmas baskets were made and given to needy families of the fire district. The Auxiliary won awards for marching at parades and for Best Appearing Squad at some events.
- Created a cookbook and proceeds went toward purchasing curtains for Fire Department. Held many social events related to reasons and seasons - Fish Fry dinners Friday nights during Lent, round and square dances, rummage sales, parties, dinners and banquets, flea markets, Stanley parties, Easter Egg Hunts, parade floats - first in 1972 was a 10' in diameter pumpkin on a hay wagon. They also organized donkey baseball games, competitive bowling clubs, bake sales, blood drives, hayrides, hosting other neighboring auxiliaries and proceeds from events were used towards donations of firefighting equipment for the Department fire hall furnishings and several types of donations to non--affiliates. Purchased china dishes for Fire Department functions.
2018 members of the Auxiliary are:
President: Stephany McKinley
Vice-President: Sue Gruss *2008
Secretary: Robin Shufelt *1971
Treasurer: Patti Thompson *2014
Katy Carl *2009
Susan Cronk-Dembling *2009
Ellen Hunsinger *1970
Paula Finkle *2004
Sue Gruss *2008
Lindsay Martin *2013
Brook Rowley *2014
Judy Shearer *1976
Robin Shufelt *1971
Christina Springer *2011
Teresa Springer *2011
Tina Stewart *2014
Patti Thompson *2014
Shirley Unser *1996
*(active member since)
The Ladies Auxiliary holds monthly meetings 10 months out of the year. They do not have official meetings in July and August as they are busy working on the Fair. The objective for the organization is to promote the welfare and perpetuate the principles of the New Salem Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. (NSVFD) and to render assistance to the NSVFD. Please contact President Shirley Unser (439-1303) or Vice President Katy Carl (765-3229) if you have an interest in joining the Auxiliary.
The New Salem Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary are members of the following:
- Auxiliary of the Albany County Volunteer Firemen's Association, Inc. (LAACVFA)
- Ladies Auxiliary of the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association (LAHVVFA)
- Ladies Auxiliary of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (LAFASNY)
- Ladies Auxiliary of the Hudson Mohawk Volunteer Firemen's Association (LAHMVFA)
- Assist with the Fish Fry dinners that are held during Lent.
- Waited on tables at the Corned Beef dinner which is a tradition that the Fire Dept. has had for several years at their March general meeting.
- Monetary donations to the New Scotland Food Pantry and the Hilltown Christmas Program.
- Kept with tradition and sponsored the "Sweets and Treats" bake booth at the fair.
- Assisted the Fire Department with an Easter egg hunt for the community.
- Marched with the Department at the Memorial Parade in Voorheesville. They took 1st place as "Best Women's Group".
- Planted flowers in May at the firehouse.
- Planning the 5th Annual "Teddy Bear Tea with Mrs. Claus" in December 2012. Look for further information in the Fall.
- A vendor Craft Fair was held in September 2010 as a fundraiser for the Auxiliary. Twenty six vendors were in attendance. They sold hot dogs with sauerkraut and chili and beverages and other sweet treats made by the members.