Local teen receives state American Legion Auxiliary award
By Christina Sampson
Seventeen-year-old Michelle Potter will be presented with the Arizona American Legion Auxiliary Good Deed award during tonight’s 7 p.m. Maricopa City Council meeting.
The auxiliary is a veteran advocacy organization open to women related to members of the American Legion by either birth or marriage.
Michelle, a junior member of the Maricopa American Legion Auxiliary Post 133, is receiving the award for her volunteer work in the community with various local organizations and on her own.
She has delivered food for the local food bank, F.O.R Maricopa, participated in the Against Abuse Stop the Violence 5K Fun Run and 1-mile Walk and been a volunteer for the Let’s Move Maricopa soccer program.
Legion 2nd Vice Cmdr. Julia Gusse, who is also president of the auxiliary unit and a member of the city council, said Michelle is “willing to go anywhere and everywhere on behalf of the auxiliary.”
The Maricopa Auxiliary unit was formed in 2010.
“We’re excited to be such a young unit to be receiving awards like this,” Gusse said.
Michelle’s mother Gabriela Potter said, “Anything that has to do with sports, she’s really involved in.”
Potter said her daughter always enjoyed volunteering, but even she was surprised when Michelle took it upon herself to organize a car wash for the Samaritan’s Purse program, an international relief group that sends Christmas presents to needy children around the world.
Michelle recruited her brother and some friends to wash cars and then bought gifts and mailed them to needy children on her own.“I mean, she always wants to help, but this she put together on her own,” Potter said.
Michelle “doesn’t think of (volunteering) as a duty, she feels it’s satisfying,” her mother said.
She said the family as a whole is involved with volunteer activities through their church and said Michelle’s dad, Councilman Leon Potter, has “given her a really good example to get involved and help others.”
Leon Potter is also a member of the Maricopa Friends of the Library and does volunteer work in Maricopa Unified School District.