Fallen Heroes Mandarin Post 372
General Membership Meeting
October 11, 2018

The General Assembly meeting of American Legion Post 372 of October 11, 2018 was held at the Mandarin/St Johns Elks Lodge #2866 with 19 members present.  


The meeting was promptly called to order at 7:00pm by Commander Painter.  


Opening ceremonies were conducted. 

Sickness or Distress


Martin Schwartz and Jim Hughes are both recovering from surgery.




Franz Gilbert, 2018 Boys State Delegate and his grandparents, Ed and Sue Heuren, were in attendance.


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 Franklin Hunt and Jim Hughes were excused.


The Adjutant reported that there was a quorum.




The Adjutant reported that the September 13, 2018 minutes are posted online.

Motion to suspend the reading of the minutes from the September 13, 2018 General Membership meeting and approve them as posted online was made, seconded and passed unanimously.


Motion to suspend the reading of the minutes from the October 4, 2018 Executive Board meeting was made, seconded and passed unanimously. The minutes were available for distribution.



  • Flyer for an Icemen hockey game on Saturday, October 13, 2018. Portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Cecil Field POW*MIA Memorial.

  • Letter from the Legacy Planning Law Group advising members that the VA came out with new rules making it more difficult for veterans and their spouses         qualify for Aid and Attendance.

  • Form to fill out if members want to receive the Vets 4 Vets of Northeast Florida events email.

  • Email from Abestos.net asking Post 372 to put a link on our website to theirs as a reference source for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.

  • Notice from the IRS to check your withholdings to prevent a huge tax bill at the end of the year.

  • Flyer abut a hiring event at NAS Jacksonville on Saturday, October 13, 2018

Reading in of New or Transferring Members







Motion to approve new and transferring members was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.


Omar Rodriguez introduced himself and was welcomed to the Post.


Officers’ Reports


The Commander noted that he met Captain Matthew Pottenburgh, Deputy Commodore, NAS Jacksonville, Patrol & Reconnaissance Wing Eleven at the Mandarin Chamber of Commerce luncheon and is working with him to see if the Post can have a booth at the Air Show.


The Finance Officer read the Finance Report.


Motion to approve the Finance Report, subject to audit, was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.


The Harley Davidson Raffle is underway, and 677 tickets have been distributed for sale with 573 tickets yet to be distributed.


The Finance Officer’s Report is attached.


The Adjutant/Vice Commander reported that Post 372 currently has 238 members per National  with  129  renewed which puts us at 67.89%. Online processing has begun,  and  we had five renewals in our first batch that will not count until  the process is complete. The first batch takes 10 days but after that the processing is much faster. We also cannot submit another batch until this first one completes, and we have one renewal pending in a 2nd batch. Once these are complete, we will be at 71.053% leaving the Post needing 8 renewals to meet the December 5th goal of 75%. We need 55 for 100%.


SAL is currently listed a 58.8% but all renewals on were mailed in on Monday and they should be 108.33% next week.


The Auxiliary's membership is 80%. They are collecting aluminum cans for the Post's recycling program and Box Tops for Education for Mandarin Oaks Elementary. When you are cooking, look at your food and see if there are any Box Tops for Education on them. If there are rip them off and bring them to the General Meeting. Each tiny little Box Top is worth twenty cents to the school. They add up fast.


We did not give away the $500 last month because no one recruited 10 members. We did give away $25 because two members recruited a total of three new members. The $25 was donated back to the Post by the winner, Chuck Benham, for the Building Fund.


The Early Bird Dinner will be held on November 10th from 3:00pm – 8:00pm. Members who renew on or before November 10th are eligible to attend at no cost. All other dinners are $10. Menu is Pot Roast, potatoes, carrots, and desserts. There will be entertainment. If you know of a member who cannot attend because of illness or they are unable to drive, please let us know so that we can arrange meal deliveries. RSVP sheets were passed around for members to sign up to attend.


The Adjutant asked how many in the meeting have fathers, mothers, grandparents, or great-grandparents who served in the military. She stated that there was no better way to honor the service of their relatives than to join the Sons of the American Legion or American Legion Auxiliary.


The next Membership Rally will be held on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Please let the Adjutant know if you are willing to volunteer and/or donate food items. We give away hot dogs during the rally and usually earn about $300 in donations. These rallies are a large source of funding for our programs. Rosters were passed around for members to sign up to volunteer.


The Judge Advocate deferred to the Adjutant who reported that the Constitution and By-laws were returned unapproved because we had listed a range of no less than two and no more than five Vice Commanders and a range of no less than two and no more than four Executive Board Members. Ranges are not allowed, and we must select a finite number of Vice Commanders and Executive Board Members.


Since we have to revisit the Constitution & By-Laws, we will remove the requirement to have the Executive Board minutes read at every General Membership meeting and replace it with Executive Board minutes from the most recent meeting will be available at every General Membership meeting.


At the Legion Training in September it was highly recommended that Posts add a requirement in their By-Laws that a representative from the Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders attend all Executive Board meetings. There have been communication issues at other posts and this requirement will prevent similar issues are we grow and leadership changes.


The Sons of the American Legion and American Legion Riders are programs of the American Legion, and as such, are subject to the Post’s oversight. For this reason, all bank accounts held by either program will have a Legionnaire as an account holder.


In addition, we need to add a line that states that post membership will be notified of any special election ten days prior to the election.


An email will be forthcoming listing all the proposed changes and when the election will be held.


Program & Committee Reports


Steve Sullivan reported that the 1st Quarter Audit will be scheduled, and the results will be presented at the next General Meeting.


Chuck Benham reported that American Legion Riders Chapter 372 is participating in two rides. The first will benefit Leukemia and Lymphoma and the second is a District Unity Ride.


Boys State Chair introduced 2018 delegate Franz Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert spoke about the impact the program had on him. He explained that while delegates were running for offices, resumes were considered important but as the elections were held and delegates with strong resumes lost, he saw that character trumped experience. He stated that it was the best experience of his life in terms of leadership and that it will stick with him for the rest of his life. He said that his city came together as one and that they will never have anything like this again in their lives. He was so moved by his experience at Boys State that his parents donated a $450 scholarship for another student to attend this year.


Marty Kaufman presented a thank you card for the Post’s donations. Comrade Hempsall asked if the Coups for Troops program could be combined with the Cancelled Stamp Program since cutting out coupons for active duty military deployed overseas would be beneficial. Comrade Kaufman suggested that Comrade Hempsall write to the Stamps for the Wounded Program and see if this is a possibility.


Children & Youth Chair Nichole Squair presented a budget for the Trunk & Treat event scheduled for Halloween for 40 children at Daniel. She proposed $250 to purchase supplies for the event and asked for volunteers to assist by decorating their cars and helping hand out candy. The proposal is attached.


Motion to approve $250 for the Children & Youth Trunk & Treat event at Daniel was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.


Comrade Kaufman stated that the Post should consider hosting a holiday party for these children. Chair Squair reported that she is planning an event for the holidays and will have more information at the November meeting.


Barry Litsky reported that he is in the preliminary stages of planning this year’s awards and that he is working with District Officers to possibly have all 18 posts host their award ceremonies during National Police Week.


Department of Florida Oratorical Chair Meri West recruited a Chair for our Oratorical Program. Christopher Matthews transferred from Post 137 to help us run our competition.


Adjutant Rodriguez noted that the Service Officers are the Chairs of the VA&R Committee but since she now lives near the Lake City Domiciliary, she is willing to bring any donations to them. She noted that she will call the Domiciliary and see if they need anything.


Old Business  


If you know if a Veteran who needs help with yardwork please let the Adjutant know. We have volunteers ready to help.


The Post’s first Steak Night raised $412.35 and was a great event. A POW*MIA Ceremony preceded dinner. The Commander recognized Steve Sullivan for his hard work in planning the event and cooking all the steaks.


New Business


The 2018 Mandarin Chili Cook-Off will be held on Saturday, November 17, 2018. The Post will need volunteers to cook hotdogs and hamburgers.  Rosters were passed around for members to sign up to volunteer.


The Commander reported that it would cost the Post $350 to host a booth, but only $40 to enter the chili contest. It was proposed that a chili competition be held at the next General Meeting and that the winner will be entered into the 2018 Mandarin Chili Cook-Off. The Post will pay the entry fee of $40 and $60 towards chili ingredients.


Motion to approve $100 for a chili submission of $40 and $60 towards chili ingredients was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.


The Adjutant asked Comrade Hempsall if he would check to see if the Copper Blue Band is available for the Early Bird Dinner on November 10, 2018. He agreed to see if they are available and how much their fee would be to perform.


For the Good of the American Legion 


As part of our donation of $250 to the Elks Lodge for their Monte Carlo Night, 5 tickets were given to the Post for distribution. A drawing was held and five members who attended the meeting won tickets.


Dan Hempsall won the 50/50 raffle and donated $10 towards the Post’s Building Fund.




There is a new Post Volunteer Tracking Form available to track volunteer activities. It is available on the website and will also be available at every meeting.


The Volunteer Opportunity Form is also available online and at every meeting. If you are interested in volunteering on a Post Program or Committee, please fill it out and return it to the Adjutant.


Upcoming Events


  1. Monte Carlo Night, Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 5:00 until 9:30pm. $25/ticket. Proceeds go to Elks Charities.

  2. 5th District Meeting at Post 283, Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 2:00pm. All are welcome.

  3. Riders Meeting, Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 10:00am.

  4. Auxiliary Meeting, Thursday, October 25, 2018. Social Hour at 6:00om. Meeting at 7:00pm. Dinner is available for $5.

  5. Sons of the American Legion Meeting, Thursday, October 25, 2018. Social Time at 6:30om. Meeting at 7:00pm.

  6. Executive Board Meeting. Date TBD due to Fall Conference.

  7. Next General meeting, Thursday, November 8th at 7:00pm, Chili Cook Off at 6:00pm.

  8. Early Bird Dinner, November 10th from 3pm – 8pm. Details forthcoming.

  9. Membership Rally, Hagan Ace Hardware, November 11th from 11am – 2pm. We need volunteers and food donations.

  10. Department Fall Conference is November 1 thru 3, 2018.

  11. 2018 Mandarin Chili Cook Off, November 17, 2018. Volunteers needed from 9:00am to 3:00pm.


Closing ceremonies were conducted. 


The meeting adjourned at 8:22pm. 

Sheri Rodriguez

Sheri Rodriguez




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