Harry's Girls Auxiliary
Harry’s Girls & Auxiliary is a group of ladies and gentlemen that supports the Harry S. Truman Little White House in its efforts of obtaining items for the collection, hostessing events, and raising funds for the restoration of the Little White House.
History often repeats itself. During the 1948 Campaign, a corps of young ladies donned Harry Truman newsprint design dresses, carrying Mason jars to collect much-needed funds for Harry Truman’s re-election campaign. They were called Harry’s Girls and are featured in Democracy At Work: The Official Report of the Democratic National Convention.
In 2003, the need arose for a corps of goodwill ambassadors to meet scholars and speakers coming to Truman Legacy Symposium. A group of women volunteered to serve as our hostesses (and often drafted their husbands and partners into service) for these very important guests.
Coincidentally, they chose the name Harry’s Girls Auxillary as the name of their informal organization. In 2008, the group greatly expanded their function with the Little White House by taking on an active role insearching antique shops and the internet for missing furnishings for the restoration of the house. They have designated funding for certain projects like the re-upholstery of living room chairs, the framing of paintings and purchasing trees and plants for the restoration of the 1949 gardens.
One member donated a dozen Adirondack chairs that have proven to be a huge hit with our guests. Every day groups of visitors can be seen enjoying the Key West sunshine and engaged in conversation with themselves before or after our tour.
It certainly has created a delightful park like setting for the Little White House. Members of Harry’s Girls have donated elegant china and crystal service for twelve, 5 gallon silver-plated punch bowl, lovely pieces of silver, lamps and the like. The only way to describe it, is WOW! All these gifts to the Little White House become property of the State of Florida and enhance the collection and presentation of the Little White House.
Harrys Girls also host the annual holiday for the Key West Harry S. Truman Foundation. This event has become one of Key West’s most anticipated on the city’s social calendar.
Today Harry’s Girls and Auxiliary and as can be seen from the photo below, the group includes men as well. All are dedicated to making the Little White House as presidential and welcoming as possible. Mrs. Jane Vetter is the current president, and coincidentally a native of Missouri, just like Harry Truman.