Wednesday, December 10, 2008

American Legion Post 295 Winter News

***Next Meeting is Thursday Dec 11 7pm Mangiare Bene, Toys for Tots Collection.***

Happy Holidays,

On behalf of all of Post 295’s American Legion Family, I would like to extend our best wishes to you and yours for a safe and pleasant holiday season, and for those members serving in harms way our thoughts and prayers are with you. If or when you are deployed, please contact me so that we may send a “care package” to you.

Many are called, but few are chosen. That applies to many things in life. As a fellow American, you chose to give service to your country when you joined the military. For those of us who have served in time of war, there is a bond that cannot be broken. Our lives and our backgrounds can be as different as night and day, but we are joined by battle, by service and by experiences that are uniquely ours. And we are joined, too, by an organization founded to serve only us with the privileges and benefits we have earned with blood, sweat and courage. In 1919, the United States Congress approved the charter of The American Legion as an organization of veterans. Some of our members served overseas during war-time while others served stateside. Yet we all served during periods defined by Congress as war-time service.

As we reflect on 2009, our Membership is off to a solid start, there are some exciting benefits for being a member; Gaithersburg Post 295 won the State Championship in American Legion Baseball, our Children and Youth program is running well, and our Veterans Affairs programs has had some success and some not so successful outcomes.

I would like to start off by thanking the 422 members of Post 295, who have renewed or joined us this year. Post 295’s membership goal is 476 members. We have reached 88% of our goal! On January 9th at COB, we need to be 100% in order to qualify for the “Outstanding Commander’s Cap.” Post 295 has reached 100% membership by the 1st week of January for the past 6 years! With just 54 renewals we can achieve that goal. It has been my personal goal to reach 100% membership each year. I have put a lot of effort into our membership program. As a personal plea, please renew before December 31st. Dues are still $25. If the $25 is an issue please contact me at 240-505-4660. There are 254 members whom have not renewed for 2009. I suspect that many will not renew, but if every one did our Post would have well over 672 members! Attached to this letter is a list of ALL Legionnaires that have not paid for 2009.

The American Legion Department of Maryland’s newest benefit is “The American Legion Aggregate Electrical Cooperative” Deregulation in Maryland in 1999 has allowed the American Legion to form an electrical cooperative with the potential to save members a lot of cash. There is no obligation to save money, and the actual savings will be calculated before you sign up. BUT, YOUR DUES MUST BE PAID FOR 2009. So if you are living in Maryland and would like to potentially save $ on your electric bill, renew now. You may renew online at The American Legions Web Site which offers secure payment at www.legion.org. There are plenty of other benefits: such as 20% of Sears through Sears Commercial, 17% of Apple Products, 12% off of Dell

Computers and big savings on prescriptions and eyeglasses.
Our youth programs are doing well. This year our Senior American Legion Baseball Team won The American Legion Maryland State Baseball Championship. This is the 3rd time since 2003, that Gaithersburg Post 295 has won the state title. Their showing in the Regional’s was commendable, defeating Delaware 12-1 in a rain shortened game. The team did lose to two proverbial power houses, these kids made me feel small, Boyerstown, Pa and Edison, NJ. The Junior American Legion team played very well and ended their season vying for the division championship.

Cub Scout Pack 1760 has seen an increase in membership as more children and their parents are interested in scouting. Our annual donation to the Pack assists them in purchasing awards and paying for a location to meet in.

As the financial crisis has gotten worse, we have received numerous requests for Financial Assistance. Our biggest success was helping a member with 2 young dependent children avoid eviction. Our failure has been others have called and we have been unable to provide assistance due to lack of funds. There is a application process to apply for funds provided for Temporary Financial Assistance Program in Maryland. Bills and financial conditions are taken into account and every application is evaluated on it’s own merits. Post 295 is not in the position to make loans that is for banks. Many times since we do not have resources, we forward requests to the Department of Maryland.

On a brighter note, we honored centurion Bart Trimboli (100) a D-Day survivor at our Veterans Day Dinner at the Golden Bull with a US Army Freedom Team Salute. We also honored Mannie Aragon, Jason Errilenne and Mike Stanley, we were set to honor 20 more but many were unable to make it. On December 7th, Post 295 hosted a “Welcome Home/Christmas Party” for the 422d Medical Detachment (Veterinary Services). It was a wonderful event. Post 295 presented a National Commander’s Certificate, American Legion Coin and a US Freedom Team Salute packet to each member of the unit. To get your Army Freedom Team Salute packet, please contact me, active duty members are not eligible, but their family members are.

So as the year’s ends and tax time looms, consider making a charitable donation to “your” American Legion Post 295 so that we may expand our programs to be able to assist more veterans. Our non-profit tax ID No is 52-1299542. Our raffle is another excellent way to give to the Post and maybe get something in return, your choice of a Harley-Davidson 2005 Road King, or 1 of 2 Sharp Aquos 52” LCD TV’s!

All the Best,

Bob Ouellette
Commander, American Legion Post 295
Commander, Montgomery County Council

American Legion Post 295
PO Box 690
Germantown, MD 20875

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