When Paula Sellens was elected American Legion Auxiliary District Eight President in 2016, she was charged with developing a President’s Project to benefit veterans. She launched an art therapy program for veterans at Ft. Dodge Soldier’s Home for her project. She obtained funding from an art auction the first year, then received two grants from the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas to keep pace with the growing popularity of the project.
The initiative received continued support with additional funding from American Legion Department Commander Dan Wiley and the Dodge City Chapter of the Retired Teachers Association. Sellens also received a grant from The American Legion Auxiliary Foundation to purchase additional art equipment.
The art therapy program continues to gain recognition and support. Dodge City Brewing Co. recently sponsored a public showing for some of the Ft. Dodge art projects. Dodge City Brewing made room among its fine craft beers and stone baked pizza for the art display. In addition to providing a location for the event, owners Larry and Sheri Cook made a significant financial contribution. “We heard about Paula’s art therapy classes at Ft. Dodge,” Sheri Cook said. “This was our way to support our patriotic veterans.”