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Fallen Heroes Mandarin Post 372
General Membership Meeting
March 8, 2018
The General Assembly meeting of American Legion Post 372 of March 8, 2018 was held at the Mandarin/St Johns Elks Lodge #2866.
The meeting was promptly called to order at 7:00pm by Commander Painter.
Opening ceremonies were conducted.
The Commander recognized 2016-17 Boys State Delegate TJ Tillo, 2016-17 Boys State Delegate Travis Dempsey, 4th District Representative for John Rutherford and Boys State Alumni Ryan Bass, Commander of Squadron 372 and Director of Chapter 372 Joe Maltese, 5th District Sons of the American Legion Commander Tom Harris, and Past Commander Dan Hempsall.
Roll Call of Officers
Roll call of Officers was held, and it was determined that a quorum was present. Chaplain Buck O’Connor and Executive Board Members Frank Hunt and Jim Hughes were absent.
The February 8, 2018 minutes are posted online.
Motion to approve the minutes of the February 8, 2018 meeting as posted online at was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Draft letter to be mailed to Posts in Florida, along with a picture from our meetings, as a fundraising project to raise funds for our own Post.
5th District Annual Picnic Flyer being held at Post 283
Clay County Veterans Appreciation Day Flyer
Memo from Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense regarding the cessation of mailing DD-214’s to State and Territory Veterans Agencies
Thank you letter from Nease High School for our $50 donation for the trophies for their January 13th drill meet
Reading in of New or Transferring Members
The following Veterans were presented for membership:
Jesse Anderson Army WoT Transfer from Post 400
Thomas Weber Army Vietnam Transfer from Post 400
Julian Carter Army Panama Transfer from Post 400
Robert Lippert Navy Grenada/Lebanon Transfer from Post 400
Motion to approve transferring members was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The Finance Officer read the Finance Report.
Motion to approve the Finance Report, subject to audit, was made and seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Sons of the American Legion
5th District Sons of the American Legion Commander Tom Harris spoke about dual membership for Legion members. Squadron 372 has six members but needs ten to keep their Charter. He encouraged Legion members to consider joining the Sons of the American Legion. Legion Members are eligible for the S.A.L. if a mother/father/grandmother/grandfather served during wartime per Legion eligibility rules and dual membership dues are $8.00.
Squadron 372 Commander Joe Maltese stated that their membership goal is 10 members by April and 40 by December.
4th District Representative for John Rutherford and Boys State Alumni Ryan Bass stated that he attended Boys State in 2009 and also served as a counselor three to four times as a volunteer. He reported that Boys State teaches boys the fundamentals of life and Legion beliefs. He stated that Boys State is the equivalent to being an Eagle Scout when filling out applications for scholarships, college, and military schools.
2016-17 Boys State Delegate TJ Tillo reported that he has an appointment to the Naval Academy and thanks members for the opportunity to be a Boys State Delegate. He reported that there is no better program than Boys State for leadership development and networking. He noted that he had high expectations going in but learned that lower roles in government are equally important. He stated that he learned that no matter what role you have, you must give it your best effort. His Americanism was awakened to the point where he knew he wanted to attend a service academy.
2016-17 Boys State Delegate Travis Dempsey stated that he always knew he would join the military, but he thought he would go in as enlisted and then go to college so that he could be commissioned. Instead, he said he will be attending college in the fall thanks to winning a scholarship through Boys State. Out of 527 delegates, five scholarships were awarded. To be eligible to win, he had to write an essay titled, “Why do you deserve this scholarship?” Travis is a cadet officer in Mandarin’s JROTC program. He thanked everyone for the opportunity to attend Boys State.
Thomas Schneider, Boys State Chairman and Boys State Alumni reported that interviews were held on February 24, 2018 and it was difficult narrowing it down to two delegates for the 2017-18 Boys State program. He added that it was a fantastic experience interviewing top caliber boys.
The Commander thanked everyone for their hard work. He added that the Sons of the American Legion, the Auxiliary, and the Legion Riders were bringing energy to the Post. Report is attached.
The Vice Commander reported on membership and the status of the Sporting Goods Raffle. His report is attached.
The Adjutant’s report is attached.
The Service Officer Litsky reported that he had one contact. He added that he has sent out a letter to the Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Officer requesting a nomination for Law Officer of the Year. The nomination is due to Department by April 1, 2018.
Executive Board member Nichols gave a report for the Branding Committee. He passed around a brochure titled, “Why You Should Belong to the American Legion.” He recommended that members keep one with them should someone ask that question.
The Post held two hot dog giveaways on President’s Day and raised $354. This was the first time that the Post held simultaneous hot dog giveaways and since it was successful, we will continue to hold two at the same time in the future. The giveaways were held at Hagan Ace Hardware on San Jose Boulevard and Thompson Ace Hardware on Old. St. Augustine Boulevard.
The Early Bird Dinner will be held on March 10, 2018 at Post 233 in Ponte Vedra. We currently have 26 Post members signed up to attend.
Executive Board member Steve Sullivan proposed that the Post recycle aluminum cans to raise money for the Building Fund. The plant pays .50 cents per pound and he will pick up cans at General Meetings. He added that he is working with the Elks Lodge to collect their cans as well.
The Executive Board is working on a Mutual Aid Agreement with the Mandarin/St. Johns Elks Lodge that spells out what services they agree to offer the Post and what we agree to donate for such services. We are suggesting $20/month and the sponsorship of a table, not to exceed $250, at their annual Casino Night.
Motion to approve the submission of the Mutual Aid Agreement to the Elks Lodge, with a monthly donation of $20 and the sponsorship of a table, not to exceed $250, at their annual Casino Night was made, seconded, and approved unanimously.
The Post’s Liaison to the Elks Lodge, Sheri Rodriguez, will propose the Mutual Aid Agreement the next Elks Lodge Board Meeting.
Elections for Executive Board Members and Officers will be held in May. First nominations will be held in April and second nominations and the election will be held at the May 10, 2018 meeting.
The Commander reported that the Post needs an additional 10 sets of School Medals for the 2017-18 academic year since he has a few sets left over from last year. Awards will be starting soon so we need to get them now. The cost of these medals is $194.95.
Motion to approve the purchase of 10 sets of School Medals from Emblem sales for a total of $194.95 was made, seconded, and approved unanimously.
Riders Director Joe Maltese reported that he is working with Gainesville and Palm Bay Harley dealers to get the best deal for the raffle. He explained that if we purchase a motorcycle at cost at $11,000, this bike would retail between 19 and 20 thousand dollars.
He reported that the Riders would be having their monthly meeting on March 18, 2018 and then riding to Post 283 for lunch. They plan on visiting all the Posts in the 5th District.
Sons of the American Legion Commander Joe Maltese thanked Vice Commander Don Severns for being a dual member in the Legion and Sons of the American Legion.
For the Good of the American Legion
There is a new Post Volunteer Opportunity Form on your chairs. If you are interested, please fill it out and return it to the Adjutant. It is also available on the website.
March 15, 2018 is the American Legion’s 99th Birthday
The next Riders meeting is Sunday, March 18th at 10:00am. Meetings are held on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Breakfast is available for $6.00 beginning at 9:00am.
The next Auxiliary meeting is Tuesday, March 20th at 7:00pm. Meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. A taco bar is available for $5 per person as a fundraiser for the Auxiliary.
The next S.A.L. meeting is Thursday, March 26th at 7:00pm. There is a “Meet and Greet” at 6;30pm. Meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of each month.
The next Executive Board meeting will be held on Thursday, April 5th.
The next District meeting will be held on Sunday, April 8th at Post 54 in Fernandina Beach.
The next General Membership meeting will be held on April 12th.
The 5th District Picnic will be held on Saturday, April 21st at Post 283.
Closing ceremonies were conducted.
The meeting adjourned at 8:18pm.