For over 75 years, the American Legion Auxiliary Badger Girls State program has brought bright students from across Wisconsin together to develop leadership skills, learn the basics of state government, and gain confidence in their ability to make a difference in the world.

“[ALA Girls State] was made up of outstanding young women from all different backgrounds,” said Charlotte S., a participant in 2019. “I had the pleasure of getting to know them throughout the week. I learned a lot about our government and campaigning, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!”

For girls to have the chance to attend this prestigious program, ALA units often financially support girls in their area. In 2018, Wisconsin Unit 21 was able to sponsor one delegate’s trip to the weeklong program at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh, but they wanted to do more.

They set their sights on raising more money for 2019 but quickly hit a roadblock.

The Shopko Foundation wanted to help pay the way for girls to attend this once-in-a-lifetime leadership experience, but they couldn’t give directly to the unit due to its 501(c)(19) status. The unit then turned to the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation, to which donations can be given to a 501(c)(3) organization and transferred to an ALA unit or department.

Through the ALA Foundation’s sub-grant program, this donation was able to fund almost three of the seven sponsored delegates from Wisconsin Unit 21 who attended ALA Badger Girls State in 2019.

One delegate said her time at ALA Badger Girls State was an unforgettable experience.

“The time I spent at ALA Badger Girls State brought out the best leadership and education qualities I had,” said 2019 delegate Savannah A. “What I learned during a week at ALABGS is more useful to me than anything I have learned in a classroom. The hands-on and intensive learning experience made the week an extraordinary time that was unlike anything I had ever experienced.”

If you or an ALA member you know has found funding for your unit/department that must be given to a 501(c)(3) organization, check out ALA Foundation sub-grants and make sure you aren’t leaving money on the table! Visit or contact for more information.