The first Kansas recipient of the American Legion Auxiliary Shining Star Award is Amy Schartz Mellor, for her work with the Golden Plains Quilts of Valor.
On the last Friday of each month, the volunteer group presents quilts to area veterans at the Great Bend American Legion Post 180. Local women create 10-12 quilts each month, with Mellor doing the quilt tops.
The award was conceived last September at a Strategic Planning meeting for the Kansas American Legion Auxiliary. It was decided that districts, units and individuals should be recognized for outstanding contributions to the Auxiliary throughout the state.
At the Department (State) Convention on May 21, Mellor was one of two recipients of the new award for outstanding individuals in a Unit. She was nominated by a member of Unit No. 180 here in Great Bend, noting her tireless work with the Quilts of Valor.
Mellor learned about the award the following Friday, at the next quilt presentations, said Norma Titsworth, Great Bend American Legion Auxiliary president.
”Because this award was a surprise, it was great fun to turn the tables on her at the May QOV presentations and present her with this award.”
“Amy is always smiling and willing to help out no matter how busy she is,” the nomination notes. “She stepped up to help continue the Golden Plains Quilts of Valor that our dear member Debbie Berkley started and fought for. Sadly, Debbie passed away from cancer and Amy has honored Debbie’s memory and dream by giving a Quilt of Valor to local veterans. Debbie would be proud of the labor intensive work effort that Amy continues at every level.
“She is a full-time Barton County assistant prosecuting attorney, was our Unit Vice-President and heads up the Golden Plains Quilts of Valor as well as hosts the GPQOV presentations the last Friday of each month at the American Legion. Within our community of Great Bend and beyond, Amy is known and respected and was nominated because she is the ‘real deal.’”
“Our Post is very proud of her and the dedication to the Quilts Of Valor,” said local American Legion member JP Postlethwaite.
This story was modified on July 10 to correct the name of the veterans group. This award from the American Legion Auxiliary was awarded at the Great Bend American Legion Post.