The meeting of American Legion Post 229 was called to order by Commander Woods. Opening prayer was offered by Rev Oscar Draper. Legionnaire in attendance were Commander Carlos Woods, Past Commander Carl Dow, Past Commander Hollis Bridges, Adjutant Larry Vannoy, Finance Officer Leondra Kelley, Judge Advocate Mario Ventura, Deputy Sgt-of-Arms James Vance, Executive Committee Member Tom McKinney, Members: Rev Oscar Draper, Edward Durst, Rev. Eugene Folks, Richard Blanton, Richard Jones, Jerry Tepper, Victor, Blades, Earl Watts.
· Approval of Previous Minutes
Commander asked the meeting attendees if all had the opportunity to review the published meeting and if there were any corrections. No corrections or clarifications were made. The minutes were voted and approved by the members present.
o Sick and Shut-In: Commander Woods stated that 2nd Vice Bill McGahey was recovering from knee surgery.
o Adjutant: Commander Woods stated that he would make the Adjutant report due to the newly elected Adjutant begin just assigned the duty. The post membership is currently at 100% according to the state but there remains a discrepancy on the true percentage of membership.
o Finance: Finance Officer Kelley handed out the February finance report and summarized the operational account deposits and withdraws. Most of the expenses were for the JROTC medals and wreaths storage containers. Financial report was accepted and voted on and passed.
o State of the District/County Report: Commander Woods stated that there was going to be a Commander/Adjutant meeting to take place the following week at the Huntsville Legion Post 237. The meeting will discuss the upcoming Boys State Event to be held May 29 to June 4, 2016 at the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
o NAVFOC: No report from NAVFOC.
o DAV: No Report.
o Committees Reports:
§ Americanism Committee: Committee Chairman Tom McKinney reported on plans for the City of Madison firefighter and Police Officer of the Year. He stated to be competitive at the State and National level we need to take a look at the criteria from which past State selections have been made. An act of heroism carries a lot of weight. The calendar for the State and National selections is such that the 2015 awards actually take place in 2016. Legionnaire McKinney will get with the Chiefs of both the Fire and Police Department to discuss further requirements for the awards.
§ Membership Committee: We have several members that according to our records that have not renewed, Commander Woods is continuing to contact non-renewed members. A reminder was given that fees are going up to $45 starting this year.
§ Monument Committee: Commander Woods informed the members that he has received a copy of the American Legion National Headquarters paperwork that identifies our American Legion Post 229 as a 501-19c non-profit classification also applies to the state. Now that we have this paperwork in hand we can start pursuing organizations to help us fund the monument. Cost of the monument is $39K plus.
§ Post Home Committee: Chairman Larry Vannoy spoke on the progress towards finding a permanent post home. Madison need a place for our veterans. Several locations have been identified, Jerry Tepper and wife Barbara have been doing searches for the owners. Others options remain for us to rent or share a facility with another organization. Now that we have the paperwork in hand identifying our post as a non-profit 501-19c, more opportunities to fund raiser have opened up.
· Unfinished Business
o Service Officers Training: Training continues at the Madison City Hall with a class coming up next week, the 18 February 2016. We have had two members to participate and Commander Woods. The intent of this training is not to offer advice but rather help facilitate putting together the materials for submission of requests for benefits to the VA.
o New Members Initiation: New members Initiation was not conducted.
o Madison County Oratorical Contest: Commander Woods stated that both the male and female winners were from private school. Next year we need to be more aggressive with all our high schools to get better participation. Thank you to all our members and County member that helped make the event a success.
o Boys State: Commander Woods stated that unfortunately we, nor Huntsville Post 237 would be able to pay the participation fees nor the bus trip to Montgomery for Boy’s State unless we are fortunate to find a donor. However, Post 237 is putting on a dinner for the Madison County attendees and their families. The Madison Counties American Legion Posts are looking for 48 High School Junior Boys to participate. The Application fee for each young man will be $225 and the bus fare will be $50. More information to follow. This information has been provided to the high schools.
o Veteran of the Week: The Madison Record continues to seek veterans for their weekly “Veteran of the Week,” column. When identifying a candidate, please let Commander Woods know. Members please participate.
· New Business
o Meeting Location: Our meeting for 10 March 2016 will be conducted at the IHOP on Hwy 72 West. Meeting will start for those members that would like to have dinner at 6 PM and our meeting will start at 7 PM. You can bring your wife, A friend, and maybe a new member. You will have to pay for your meal. This will be only for our March meeting. We will meet at the Madison Senior Center in April. Legionnaire Jerry Tepper suggested the idea of having a meeting out.
o Memorial Day Ceremony: An Accolades for the success of last year’s events and stated that we need to start planning for this year’s events. We need a POC and master of Ceremony. Commander Woods will help with the POC requirements. Commander Woods does not want to be the Master of Ceremony. Last year our 1st Vice Monica Dumont took the lead and did an outstanding job. If you are interested in being the POC or Master of Ceremony let the any officer know. You may contact Commander Woods at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
o Committee Members Needed: Commander Woods’ stated new committee needs to be established. If you would like to be a Chairman and or members of these committees, please contact him.
§ Memorial Day Ceremony Committee
§ Boys State Committee
§ Veteran Park Monument Fund Committee (Rebuild)
No members had anything else to discuss, so Commander Woods adjourned the meeting at 2015 hrs.For the Good of the Legion