Published on November 23, 2021

The View from my Seat

Sugarplum Market is more than just a holiday event

By Ernie Williamson
The Bulletin

A Brazoria County veteran with a wife and four children dies of brain cancer. They need help.

Someone gives the family an old trailer in need of repairs. Financial assistance is provided and local merchants make donations.

A 70-year-old veteran was being cared for by his brother who passes away. A sister wants to take over caring for her brother rather than put him in a home. She, too, needs help.

Funds are provided, volunteers help repair a trailer and a local merchant provides funds for food and medicine.
The common rallying force behind these two charitable efforts to help veterans was the James Anderson American Legion Auxiliary Unit 561.

On Dec. 4, the organization will host the Sugarplum Market, a fundraiser to benefit veterans and their families.

The auxiliary, which has about 25 active women, helps veterans in times of hardship and illness, helps pay for funeral expenses and on every Memorial and Veterans Day puts out Poppies made by members in honor of those who have served and those who gave their lives

The group also provides scholarships for seniors.

Until 2016, the auxiliary and the companion Legion Post had been dormant for years. Candy Rab, who is now 1st vice president of the auxiliary, and her husband Robert were the drivers behind getting the organizations reactivated.

Candy Rab explains that the auxiliary was named in honor of James Anderson, the first resident of Brazoria County to die in the Korean War.

The auxiliary was re-started with only a little more than $200 in the bank and the group soon realized that it couldn’t help veterans and their families without finding a way to raise money.

The idea for the Sugarplum Market was born.

The Sugarplum Market is the auxiliary’s primary fundraising event and has allowed the organization to spend $50,000 helping veterans and their families in the last four years.

“We have a good group of women who keep up with goings-on and know what help is needed,” says Candy Rab. “We do all sorts of things, including paying utility bills if needed.”

This Market on Dec. 4 will be held inside the Legion building at 203 East San Bernard in Brazoria and in a pavilion outside the building.

The event features more than 50 vendors, a silent auction, a chicken spaghetti lunch for $10, Santa Clause, the Grinch, and a Sugarplum fairy and helpers.

There will also be a raffle for a “Stars and Stripes” quilt donated by Teresa Pool, the owner of Mimi’s Quilt Tops & More. Auxiliary members are busy selling chances for $5 each or 5 for $20. The drawing will be held at the Sugarplum Market.

Judy Parker, 2nd vice president of the auxiliary, emphasizes that the organization is fortunate to have widespread community support.

“You can’t be successful in these types of projects without support from the community,” she says.

Judy Parker and her husband Donald have strong motivation for their involvement in projects that help veterans.

Donald’s half-brother was the first serviceman from Brazoria County to be killed in action in Vietnam.

“We do this to honor him and other servicemen who gave their lives for our country,” Judy says.

(Ernie Williamson welcomes reader input. Please contact Ernie at williamsonernie@gmail.com. Or, send letters in care of The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)