Every year in August, the Puyallup-Sumner subchapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) hosts a Salute to the Troops event to support active-duty and retired military personnel.
As of this summer, the Puyallup-Sumner subchapter has a new president. Michele Fuller, with the help of volunteers and community donations, is putting together the annual event to support the morale and welfare of local service members.
“The event is free,” said Fuller. “We want the soldiers to have fun.”
This year’s event, which is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 11 at Pioneer Park, will feature the usual basketball tournament and painting activities, and there will be a pie-jousting game, a jumbo cupcake eating contest and a new inflatable slide.
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While the city of Puyallup is providing the Pioneer Park Pavilion for the day, local businesses are donating other items. Walmart is providing water, ice, and drinks, Baskin Robbins is contributing ice cream, and Farrelli’s Pizza is donating lasagna and salad.
“Everyone in our staff volunteers,” Fuller said. “We raise money through corporate sponsorship.”
Gift baskets and other goodies provided by board members and sponsors will be raffled off. Raffle tickets will be sold for $1 or eight for $5. The proceeds will go toward the organization.
The AUSA Puyallup-Sumner subchapter meets monthly to discuss and vote on how to support the needs of local soldiers.
Some of the soldiers returning home from deployment don’t necessarily have homes to stay in, Fuller said. AUSA can provide sheets for beds and other toiletries for returning soldiers.
“We support how we can when we hear about the needs that they have,” Fuller said about the soldiers.
Since AUSA is a national organization, Puyallup-Sumner is one of about 11 local subchapters, and is a part of the Captain Meriwether Lewis Main Chapter that supports Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
To learn more about AUSA, visit ausa.org.