American Legion Auxiliary Unit 372
General Membership Meeting
April 24, 2018
The Ceremonial opening was conducted by Acting President Sheri Rodriguez.
The meeting was called to order at 7:06pm.
Present: District President Molly Main, Unit 372 Members Danielle Fix, Robin Maltese, Christel Pfister, and Sheri Rodriguez.
District President Molly Main spoke about an email she received from other Legion entities and Auxiliary Units in the 5th District about the status of our Unit. Word is going around that we are going to lose our Charter, we do not know what we are doing, we are doing nothing, and more. She noted that most of the email she received was false information being repeated from things people are hearing because someone in our Unit has asked for help.
She went on to state that the Auxiliary is their own entity. No one from the Riders, SAL, or Legion can help run an Auxiliary. The Riders and the SAL are programs of the Legion, so the Legion can, and does, help them when needed. If we need help, we call the District first, and then Department if we do not get the help we need.
She noted that the Acting President had already been in contact with her and Department and that everything that needs to be done, is being done. If someone has issues with the Acting President, they are to come to her. If they have issues with both of us, they can go to Department. No other entity can, or should, address issues pertinent to the Auxiliary.
The District President complimented us on our membership. She recommended that we create a motion book to record all our motions.
There was no correspondence.
The minutes of the March 20, 2018 were read.
A motion to approve the minutes was made by Danielle Fix and seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
A motion to post the minutes online so that they can be read prior to the meeting and approved as read was made by Cristel Pfister and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Finance Report was read and filed for audit.
Executive Committee Recommendations
The Executive Committee recommends that we move our meeting day to the same night that the SAL meets, the 3rd Thursday of each month. We will have our own meetings but spend a part of each meeting together to brainstorm. A taco bar will still be available as a fundraiser for the Unit. The new meeting date will begin on June 21st.
A motion to approve the meeting date change was made by Danielle Fix and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
The Executive Committee discussed attendance at Auxiliary’s District Meetings. Because the Acting President is also a Legionnaire she cannot attend the Auxiliary’s District Meeting. Vice President Pfister has agreed to attend the Auxiliary’s District Meeting to represent our Unit. The Acting President will continue to create the monthly report and the Vice President will read it at the District Meeting. She will report back to the Acting President what she learns at the meetings so that it can be disseminated to the Unit members promptly.
The Executive Committee discussed holding a Poppy Drive this year but decided there was not enough time or active members to successfully hold a drive this year.
A motion to approve not holding a Poppy Drive this year was made by Cristel Pfister and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
District President Main noted that there is Poppy Book on the Department website, so we can get more information. She recommended that we read it before planning our own Poppy Drive.
Reports of Officers
There were no reports.
Reports of Committees
There were no Committee Reports.
The Unit has 10 members and is 91% of our 2017-18 Membership Goal. The Acting President noted that she received a renewal that day and we are now at 100%.
Acting President Rodriguez stated that Constance McElmurray and Mary Hughes have applied for membership. Constance McElmurray is eligible under her deceased father and has been verified by the Post’s Adjutant. Mary Hughes is eligible under her husband who is a member of Post 372 and has been verified by the Post’s Adjutant.
A motion to approve Constance McElmurray’s application for membership was made by Cristel Pfister and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
A motion to approve Mary Hughes’ application for membership was made by Danielle Fix and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Acting President Rodriguez announced that Melissa Klevans is returning to Post 88 as she and her husband feel that their expertise is needed at their old Post.
The Charter has been received by the Unit and the paperwork to create our own EIN, Sun Biz account, Department of Agriculture registration, and bank accounts has begun. Danielle Fix will speak to Navy Federal to see if the Auxiliary can bank with them. Three signatures will be required on the account. The President, Secretary/Treasurer, and one other person will be needed. Two signatures are required on every check.
The Unit’s dues were discussed. Department and National are raising their dues by $5.00 so the Unit needs to consider raising their dues from $30.00 to $35.00 to accommodate the increase. Last month, Danielle Fix recommended that dues be raised to $40.00 since we are a new Unit and need funds to operate. The topic was tabled until the April meeting for further discussion.
A motion to increase the Unit’s dues to $35.00 was made by Cristel Pfister and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
The draft Constitution, By-Laws, and Standing Rules were discussed and will be voted on at the May 15, 2018 meeting. Acting President Rodriguez will email them to the members for their review one last time.
Danielle Fix volunteered to Chair an event called, “Christmas in July” as a fundraiser. Suggestions for the recipient of the funds will taken at the May meeting for a vote. Tentative dates for the event are Saturday, July 14th or Saturday, July 28th, pending availability of the Elks Lodge.
Acting President Rodriguez suggested that we host a Charter Party in August. She will find a date that is available at the Elks Lodge and start planning the event. All entities in the 5th District will be invited, as will all Auxiliary District and Department Officers.
Acting President Rodriguez informed the members that their community service/volunteer hours, no matter where or what they do, should be tracked so that we can report them at the end of the year. Cristel Pfister asked if her knitted lap blankets count. Once she was assured that knitting lap blankets counts as volunteer work, the discussion turned to where we could donate them because the Domiciliary and Veterans home have reported that they have plenty. Nursing homes, the USO, and homeless shelters were suggested as donation ideas.
The Acting President reported that she is working on a cook book for the Mandarin Food Bank’s clients as part of her volunteer work as grant writer with Mandarin/St. Johns Elks Lodge. She asked for healthy recipes with no more than 8 to 10 easily available and affordable ingredients. She pointed out the Food Bank clients receive pasta, canned tuna, canned ham, canned chicken, canned vegetables, bread, and peanut butter so recipes around those ingredients are desirable.
The discussion then turned to items that are rarely donated and it was suggested that toothpaste and toilet paper companies be called about donations.
American Legion Post 9 was burglarized and then set on fire to cover the burglar’s tracks. The Post was destroyed, and their insurance does not cover all their losses. A GoFundMe site has been created for donations.
A motion to donate $50.00 was made by Robin Maltese and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
A motion to donate the taco bar earnings of $35.00 was made by Cristel Pfister and was seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
The Acting President will ask Post 372 Vice Commander to use the Post’s debit card to donate $85 via Post 9’s GoFundMe site.
For the Good of the Auxiliary
Nominations and Elections
In an effort to make sure all mandatory positions were filled; all the members declined their earlier nominations as follows:
Danielle Fix declined her nomination for Historian.
Cristel Pfister declined her nomination for Executive Board.
Sheri Rodriguez declined her nomination for Vice President.
By declining their earlier nominations, members can now be nominated for positions that are required by National.
Second Nominations were made and accepted by the nominees and are as follows:
President............................... Sheri Rodriguez
Vice President......................... Christel Pfister
Secretary/Treasurer................ Danielle Fix
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. A taco bar is available for $5.00 beginning at 6:00pm as a Unit fundraiser. The meeting will follow at 7:00pm.
Reminder that beginning in June all meetings will be held on the third Thursday of the month. Taco bar will be at 6:00pm and the meeting will begin at 7:00pm.
The Mandarin St. Johns/Elks Lodge is planning a Kids Fair to benefit the Mandarin Food Bank on June 19th. It was suggested that Peggy Miller at Post 283 and Sandra Kass at Post 88 be contacted for ideas since they both have successfully held a Kids Fair.
The Ceremonial closing was conducted by Acting President Rodriguez.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:45pm.