The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

New VFW Auxiliary leader wants to focus on community, kids


June 3, 2020

DENISE LOVIK, in front of the Veterans Club, is the new president of the VFW Auxiliary.

Denise Lovik wants to keep the VFW Auxiliary working for the community and local children during the next year as she takes over as president of the organization.

In the organization's annual election of officers, she was named president, while Ron Wilson will continue as Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3437 commander, his second year in the position. The selections are typically followed by an installation ceremony in June.

Lovik intends to hold some kind of installation ceremony, although plans are on hold at this point.

Cathy Lindsay will continue as VFW Auxiliary treasurer. Rose-Marie Allyn continues as secretary. Sylvia Smith moves from trustee to chaplain. Carolyn Croxford moves from president to senior vice president. Dennis Lindsay moves to junior vice president from chaplain. Lisa Smith is thew new patriotic instructor. Vern Warner is the new conductress, and Linda Harrington is the new guard.

In the VFW, Marty Lovik remains senior vice president. Kurt Begley is junior vice. Howard Ruby is trustee, Marion Fritts is chaplain, Ryan Matheson is quartermaster. Chaz Thallard takes a newly created position, services officer.

Denies Lovik is also the Department of Oregon Chairwoman and District 14 senior vice.

"I joined in 1992," Lovik said. "I've been back (with the auxiliary) about 12 years."

Lovik grew up in Sweet Home, although she graduated from high school at West Albany in 1988. She returned to Sweet Home, where she has lived for more than 30 years.

She has been married to Marty Lovik for more than 24 years. They met after he returned from the Operation Desert Storm, while Denise Lovik was working at the Vets Club.

She said being involved in the veterans organizations is part of her duty to her family.

"My dad was a World War II and Korea Vet," she said. He died Christmas Eve 1974, and serving at the club, serving other veterans, honors his memory. It also honors her husband.

But her continued involvement is more than that.

"It's just the veterans all the way around, the camaraderie," Lovik said.

Looking forward to the year, "my goal is to let the community know we're out there for them," Lovik said. "We're not just a bar."

The auxiliary stays busy with children in the community, offering parties for Christmas and Easter.

"My big thing is we're trying to get out to schools," Lovik said, where the members are able to give scholarships to children involved in patriotic activities, such as essay contests.

In the past year, Sweet Home sent one student on to the state level of the contest.

Beyond that, Lovik oversees the club's flag department, coordinating the volunteers who put out the flags for patriotic holidays and most recently to honor others among the community. Last week, the flags were up to honor peace officers. Two weeks earlier they were out to honor "essential workers" and healthcare workers.

Coming up, the VFW will hold its annual Memorial Day Service at noon Monday at Gilliland Cemetery, Lovik said. During the ceremony, participants are asked to respect physical distancing requirements. The traditional post-ceremony potluck at the Vets Club is canceled.

For more information about the VFW or the VFW Auxiliary, call the post at (541) 367-3437.


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