Call to Order
The meeting of American Legion Post 229 was held at the Madison Senior Citizen Center, 1282 Hughes Road, Madison, Al 35758, time 7 PM and was called to order by Commander Woods. Opening prayer was offered by member Chaplain Dewey Cockman. Legionnaire in attendance were Commander Carlos Woods, Past Commander Carl Dow, Past Commander Hollis Bridges, 1st Vice James Vance, 2nd Vice Bill McGahey, Finance Officer Leondra Kelley, Chaplain Dewey Cockman, Judge Advocate Mario Ventura, Sgt-of-Arms Mike Marcel and Earl Watts, Admin Officer Scott Turbiner, Reginald Belton, Andy Cox, Larry Cunningham, Kenneth Epps, Larry Frakes, Jerry Tepper, Lelia Woods.
Approval of Previous Minutes
Commander asked the meeting attendees if all had the opportunity to review the 9 June 2016 Minutes and if there were any corrections. There were no corrections. It was motion for approval by 2nd Vice McGahey and second by Past Commander Carl Dow. The membership voted and approved minutes as posted.
· Sick and Shut in: Commander Woods reported that Legionnaire Louis Rizzo was sick and shut in. Commander Woods gave a report of Legionnaire Rizzo condition and ask all members to keep him and family in their prayers.
o Was absence from meeting on vacation. Commander Woods stated that the Adjutant reported that new membership renewal has started coming in but a slow rate. Our 2017 Membership is upon us and all member should be receiving a renewal form to be mailed in with $45 membership dues. We hope that all present member will renew and we hope that each member will try and recruit one new member each. All member should have a New Member Welcome Letter and Application form. If you do not have these forms, please contact Commander Woods or Adjutant Vannoy. Our membership year runs from 1 July to 30 June.
o Two of our members got Recruiting Award from our National Office. Commander Woods received the Silver Badge Award presented to him at the Alabama American Legion State Convention held at the Huntsville Marriott. Commander Woods received this award for recruiting 30 new members. Commander Woods presented Sgt-of-Arms Michael Marcel, his National award for recruiting three new member for 2016.
o Legionnaires Jerry Tepper was recognized for recruiting two new members and Scott Turbiner was recognized for recruiting one new member for 2016 at a previous meeting.
o Finance Officer Kelley gave his financial report on both the Operating and Memorial Funds. It was reported that all members that have made Tax exempt donations to our Post that they can pick up their tax exempt receipt from him at our meeting. All non-members it will be mailed. If cannot attend a meeting to get your receipt, please let the Finance Officer know and he will mail to you.
o It was reported that our yearly budget is $9000 yearly.
o Finance report was motion, voted, and approved.
· State of the District/County Report:
o It was reported that the Alabama American Legion Convention held in June 2016 in Huntsville was and outstanding event. New State Officers were elected and it was voted on that the State will be raising our dues by $5. Our Post had already project this increase that in why we raised our dues from $35 to $45 dollars at the start of 2016. This means there will be no increase to your present membership dues. Our dues will remain $45.
o There was no report from the County.
· North Alabama Veterans Coalition NAVFOC: Nothing to report but 2nd Vice McGahey reported on the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, Lecture Series to be held on November 5, 2016, time 10 AM to 1:30 PM. It will be held at the Jackson Center, 6001 Moquin Drive NW, Huntsville, Al 35806. Cost no charge. Registration copy and paste link into browser; http://wa.tbgtom.com/ , Guest Speaker, CSM Jimmie Spencer, United States Army Retired.
· Disabled Veterans (DAV):
o Past Commander Hollis Bridges reported that there is a DAV counselor located at the VA Clinic located at our new VA Clinic located at 500 Markaview RD NW, Huntsville, Al 35805. It is open to assist veteran with questions about their VA benefits and claims.
o TUT FANN Veteran Home, 2701 Meridian St N., Huntsville, Al 35811, will have its 21st Anniversary on Friday, 23 July time 10:00 am. Everyone are Welcome.
· Americanism Committee
o Chairman Tom McKinney was not present at meeting but provide Commander Woods with the following report: The Madison Police Department has responded and DECLINED to participate in our Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award for this year. I spoke at length with Major Jim Cooke who is acting Chief during the absence of Chief Muncey. Chief Muncey is on Admin leave until further notice. Chief Cobb responded to my initial contact and assigned Deputy Chief Cary Sadler to the project. Chief Cobb forwarded my initial email and the requirements to Chief Sadler. I contacted Chief Sadler via email on June13 and again on July 1 to set up a meeting. To date, I have not received a response. Will keep trying and report more at next meeting.
· Membership Committee:
o Our Post need new member Commander Woods state that Alabama and the Southern States as a whole are not doing well in recruiting new member for the American Legion. We are hoping that each member does his and her share in trying to recruit one new member to our Post.
· Monument Committee:
o Will be covered in Unfinished business.
· Fund Raising Committee: Fundraising was discussed under the Monument Committee report.
· Post Charter Signing:
o Members that were present that have not signed our charter did so.
· Memorial Weekend events - Reviewed:
o 2nd Vice McGahey reported that Placing the Flag when well but we had very few members that show up to pick up the flags. We must do better next year. Both our JROTCs and Boys Scouts were at camp.
· Monument Update:
o 1st Vice Commander James Vance provide and outstanding briefing on our Monument Project. The 1st Vice will be briefing the Madison City Council on 25 July 2016, time 6 PM at the Madison City Municipal House, located at 100 Hughes Road. We are requesting all of our members to be present for the briefing. 1st Vice Vance will be requesting funds and our Post plans to raise fund to rebuild our Monument that is located at the corner of Front and Church Street, in Madison, Al. The cost of the rebuild will be $45,682.00. Our Post have asked for assistance from the County and our City Government. With this help we will still need our members to assist by buying a paver at a cost of $200 or $100. We have plans to enter into a contract with Clark Memorial on 1 September 2016 if we can raise the funds and plan to have our Monument dedicated by Memorial Day 2017. Once the briefing is completed more information will be forthcoming. Please come out and support us on 25 July 2016.
o The Post Bi-Laws need revising; they have been distributed to the post officers for an initial review for changes.
· 4th of July Booth
Adjutant Vannoy was not present to report on this event
· Madison Street Festival
o The festival on the first Saturday in October. The Adjutant has register our Post. We still need committee members and determine if we will sale Walking Tacos are something else. If you would like to volunteer, please contact our Adjutant (email@example.com)
· Member Picnic
o Bill Pettit volunteered to set up a Membership picnic to be held in September. A date is yet to be established.
o No new business conducted due to time.