Commander, Byron Watson
Hello Comrades and Friends, can you believe it is almost the end of October already, and we only have two more months left to accomplish our 2013 goals? Myself, Paul and Carl attended the 5th District Meeting that is held the third Thursday of each month in Maywood at the John H. Shelton Post. I would like to see more of us attending these District Meetings each month. It would be great for you see how a formal Legion meeting is run along with the format and tradition. When attending the District Meetings you get to build relationships with other Legion members and show the rest of the District who we are—a small Post with a large vision. You will see how we as a Post measures up against all the other members and Posts of our 5th District Legion Community. During the meeting you will get a chance to share what your Post is doing and solicit support from the other Posts in the District as well. Attending these meetings you will learn more about the business side of the American Legion and see how the officers do their jobs. The Jr. Vice Commander speaks about fundraising and the social calendar. The Sr. Vice Commander speaks about membership and recruiting new members. The Commander runs the meeting and disseminates information from the Department and the Division while looking for motions and sharing opportunities for others to get involved and grow our membership.
The Commander applauded Broadview-Hillside Post for achieving their membership goal for this year already. She mentioned Broadview-Hillside Post has over 150 members and our Commander, Gigi Callaway, said jokingly; that recruiting new members, especially a large Post with that many members is like herding cats. Recruiting members is a hard chore, like herding cats, but it can be done, with an aggressive and fun agenda with members who have the mind, heart and time to serve one another. In my opinion, finding more veterans to join us while giving them the opportunity and resources to grow their personal development, leadership skills all while giving back to the community is a win-win for everyone.
Many civilians along with some veterans do not know what the American Legion is and what the mission and purpose of this great Veteran Service Organization is all about. I’m sure you would agree the more people who know about their local American Legion Post and the service it provides; recruiting new members would not be like herding cats. At the last District meeting, I spoke about how each Post should become more visible and active in their communities by sharing opportunities for people to serve. I suggested a Town Hall style meeting open to the public to let our community know what we are doing and how we could serve them too. They are welcome to help out if they so choose. I mentioned Paul’s work with baseball and how all the Posts in the District could get more involved. I shared that during the American Legion Baseball Season, between June and July, there are about 50-60 games between both of our two teams. Baseball season would be a wonderful opportunity for a Post to have an informational table during the games and share the services they offer. Or, how about just come out and have fun together as a Post.
I hope to see you at the next Post meeting.
Sr. Vice Commander, Darvy Perez
How to attract new members: a question every organization asks. New recruiting materials and online services make joining and renewing easier than ever and are not available to help Paul Revere Post 623 grow to an all-time high in numbers.
Most prospective members do not realize all that The American Legion does for veterans, service members, their families and communities at the local, state and national levels. With the “Why You Should Belong” brochure, it’s much easier to share that information with prospective members. The brochure is a one-stop recruiting tool that provides information on dozens of Legion programs, as well as the impact of those programs. It’s a valuable asset for any Legionnaire on the recruiting trail.
For example, let prospective new members know that each year the Legion:
Helps thousands of veterans receive VA benefits they earned through service to their country.
Conducts, promotes and supports hundreds of career fairs for veterans and transitioning service members, bringing employers face to face with job hunters.
Lobbies Congress for better quality of life for U.S. military personnel.
Provides more than $138,000 in scholarships through its High School Oratorical Contest.
Raises hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for its Legacy Scholarship, helping ensure children of U.S. service members killed on or after Sept. 11, 2011, have a chance at a college education.
Helps nearly 100,000 young men experience teamwork and competition through its nearly 5,000 Legion Baseball teams.
Collects more than 80,000 pints of blood through donation drives.
Sign Up New Members
The traditional way to join the Legion is to fill out a simple form, but prospective members may also join online. Here’s a look at some methods, and how to use them:
Paper form. After a new member completes the application form, a Legion representative needs to sign it and provide a membership card on the spot or send once shortly thereafter.
Regardless of where a recruit is signed up, the post adjutant or membership chairman must log the new member’s information and then transmit the form to the department headquarters.
Online form. Prospective members also can sign up online at: www.legion.org/join. This information will be processed by National Headquarters. Once processed, a membership card will be sent.
Once members are registered, encourage them to take advantage of the Automatic Renewal Program. Members can go to www.legion.org/renew and click “Renew Now” to safely and conveniently pay their dues. Automatic renewal can also be set up by calling the Legion’s customer service line: (800) 433-3318
Jr Vice Commander, Marco Aguilar
In the month of October I was appointed as chairperson of the Ways and Means Committee. This committee focuses on raising the required funds to enable our post continue the exemplary community involvement we have done in the past. The upcoming Paintball Explosion Outing is the perfect example of an opportunity for our post to raise funds specifically in support of our programs (this one to support Homeless Veteran Programs) while having a good time! Currently the committee is discussing creating a raffle and a dinner in March as other possible fund raising opportunities.
The committee will support the post in a number of ways. One way is to be focused on providing incentives to post members who have both paid their dues and met their fundraising requirement. These incentives may include discounts on future events, free raffle entries, merchandise, or a couple of other things being discussed. In terms of merchandise, we are currently looking at items that are branded “Paul Revere Post 623” that members could purchase in support of post programs.
In closing, as the post Junior Vice Commander, I would like to thank everyone for their involvement and remind each of you that everything we do is for the betterment of our community and our nation. God Bless.
SAL Squadron – Commander, Tom Vacala; Adjutant, Cris DePhilips
The Post #623 Sons of American Legion has been busy over the past few weeks preparing for our first fundraiser to benefit our Local Homeless Veterans programs. The event is on November 10th and the goal is to raise over $2,000 but more importantly, since this is the first event we have hosted, our goal is to spread the word of Who we are, How we are taking action to help veterans and the community, What type of events we will host, and more importantly we want people to trust that the commitment of SAL post #623 is to raise money for NO other reason than to purely support and help the Brave Men & Women that have risked their lives for our freedom!
Being a squadron of The American Legion Post #623 is an honor. The quality of men that lead this post are unlike any that I have ever met or had a chance to work with! We have involvement in the political arena, social arena, motivational and coaching arena, business arena, and more but a group of men who understand this God given gift of life that they have received and their call to duty to give back to the community in any way that they are capable. What a great group of guys and I look forward to what we will accomplish as a group.
Being that I have not served in the military but had a heart for the men (like my father) and women who did serve, the Sons of American Legion gives me an opportunity to honor them. It is a platform for people like me who are living their lives day to day trying to support their families but understand truly the reason we have this great opportunity of freedom to choose to work is purely by the act of God and the men and women who risk their own lives to fight for that freedom. Through all the downfall of the economy and mishaps in our governments this is still a great country to live in and everyone needs to take time out of their busy lives to devote time, money, & or prayers to simply give back to this country. The greatest way is by supporting our soldiers.
Join the American Legion or the Sons of American Legion and give back to what has been giving to you for generation to generation.
Post #623 SAL Commander
Adjutant, Paul Knudtson
November 6th, 2013, 6pm – Division Meeting Robert E. Coulter Jr. Post #1941 900 S. La Grange Road, La Grange, Il 60525 Commander William Manders
November 13th, 2013, 7pm – Paul Revere Post 623 Regular Meeting, 6938 W. Diversey, Chicago IL, 60707
November 21st, 2013, 7:30pm – 5th District Council American Legion Meeting, Broadview – Hillside Post #626, 4941 Butterfield Road, Hillside, IL
November 23rd, 2013, 4pm – Shabonna Saints Youth Football Fundraiser Dinner, American Legion Post 414, 500 Circle Ave, Forest Park, IL
November 28th, 2013, – Happy Thanksgiving!!
December 19th, 2013, 6:00pm – American Legion 5th District 2013 Annual Christmas Party, Sawa’s Old Warsaw Resturant, 9200 W. Cermak Road, Broadview, IL ($20 per person)