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PSAR REALTOR® Elected as State President of VFW Auxiliary

posted Jul 6, 2018, 1:42 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jul 6, 2018, 1:45 PM ]
During this patriotic Fourth of July week, PSAR is proud to announce a special honor for PSAR REALTOR® member Eleanor “Ellie” Mello. Ellie has been elected as 2018-2019 President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary (VFW) for the State of California. Her term runs from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. She was recently installed at the 94th annual VFW state convention held in early June. Ellie will oversee the state’s 162 VFW auxiliaries in 16 separate districts with a membership of more than 21,200 members.

The VFW is a nonprofit veteran's service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces. “We have VFW posts located from Chula Vista to the Oregon border. I’m expecting to add another 35,000 miles to my car over the next year since I will be traveling nearly every weekend for official visits,” said Ellie. “I have been in line to become state president for the past six years.”

Last year, the name of the Auxiliary was changed from “Ladies Auxiliary” to “Auxiliary,” which opened the door for males to be members.

It was 1997 when Ellie began her involvement with VFW Post #2111 in Chula Vista. “Since my husband was a member of the VFW color guard, I joined so that we could do volunteer work together, that’s my `why,’” Ellie said. “Volunteering is like fingers, once you get involved it grabs you because it’s so rewarding.”

Ellie’s assignment as state president over the next year will be to raise money for VFW programs benefiting veterans and their families, including scholarships for local middle and high school students, youth activities with Boy Scouts and youth groups and unexpected medical expenses and emergency relief grants for household repairs when a spouse is on deployment. “We raise money so we can give it away,” said Ellie. “My theme for this year is `360º Support for Our Veterans and their Families.’ The symbol I chose for my year is the compass. The colors I chose are all shades of purpose.”

Ellie’s special project, she said, is to collect donations in support of the VFW National Home for Children. Based in Eaton Rapids, Mich., the 80-acre VFW National Home for Children serves as a living memorial to America’s veterans by helping our nation’s military and veteran families during difficult times. The 58-acre complex with 42 single-family homes was founded in 1925 as a place where the families left behind by war, including mothers and children, brothers and sisters, could remain together, keeping the family circle intact even when their serviceman didn't come home. Ellie said today’s families face different challenges, including reintegration, post-traumatic stress, high unemployment and rehabilitation from battlefield injuries, and the National Home has evolved over our decades-long history to meet those changing needs. Recently, Ellie participated at a fundraising golf tournament for the VFW National Home for Children. She said $1,500 was raised at the tournament held at the Mt. Woodson Golf Club in Ramona.

“No one does more for veterans than the VFW,” said Ellie. “Our mission is to serve our veterans, the military, and our communities and advocate on behalf of all veterans. Our vision is to ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country. Our core values are to always put the interests of our members first, treat donors as partners in our cause, promote patriotism, honor military service, ensure the care of veterans and their families, serve our communities and promote a positive image of the VFW.”

Ellie and her three children, including twin boys Keith and Brian and daughter Samantha, are life members of VFW Post #2111 in Chula Vista. Ellie has five grandchildren.

Ellie is very proud of her Portuguese heritage. She was born in Newport, Rhode Island to Arthur and Elizabeth Mello. In her formative years, she had a Roman Catholic education and graduated from St. Catherine Academy, an all-girls private school in Newport, Rhode Island. Ellie has visited the Azores, a Portugal island, where she examined artifacts and learned more about the food and words she knew as a child.

Ellie has served on the PSAR board of directors. She also has served on the Grievance Committee and Finance Committee. She frequently attends the weekly marketing sessions.

Ellie has lived in San Diego since 1975. In 1976, she started her real estate career with a Forest E. Olson office. In 1996, she started her open company called Compass Real Estate and Property Management in Chula Vista. How has she survived more than 40 years in such a competitive business? Ellie replied, “You take one day at a time, never give up trying and thank God for your blessings. I surround myself with positive people, like the great staff at PSAR who are always willing to lend a hand. That’s how I learned the business and I hope I display that helpful willingness when I’m around newcomers.”