Story and Photos by Tim Sproles
LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Another membership year is in the books. The American Legion, Department of Indiana held the annual Close of Books on the 2017 – 2018 membership year at the historic Indiana Veterans Home in Lafayette, Ind., Sunday, June 10.
The Close of Books event gives posts around the state one final opportunity to turn in membership cards for the year. Department leadership also use this event as an opportunity to establish best-practices for the upcoming membership year.
Even with heavy rains and storms in the area, members of the Hoosier Legion Family came out in full force.
The Department had a very robust recruitment program that even saw a winter statewide membership drive-around called “The Snowball Express”, but the Dept. still came up short on membership.
Department Membership Chairman, Ron Byrley, said, “We turned in 823 cards today. We gave a tremendous effort this year. We signed up 73,606 Legionnaires this year. That’s seems like quite a lot, but unfortunately, we didn’t meet our 100% goal.”
“Membership has and always will be the life-blood of this organization,” said Department Commander Marty Dzieglowicz. “Membership dollars support our Dept. Service Office and a range of other programs that help our Hoosier Veterans. We came up short on membership this year, but we will never come up short on helping fellow veterans. Dept. Commanders and blue-cap volunteers across Indiana are already working on getting our membership numbers higher.”
The Sons of the American Legion Indiana Detachment met their goals and then some.
“We actually beat our record for last year by 115 cards and that puts us over 100% in membership,” said Dewey Long, Detachment Commander. “It seems like our Detachment just keeps growing. We have reached record number for the last three years in a row. I think that says a lot about the SAL and the on-going mission of The American Legion.”
Legion family members said that the best part of the day was meeting the staff and residents of the Indiana Veterans Home.
“We all enjoy coming here for the Close of Books,” said Department Cmdr. Dzieglowicz. “The mission of the staff here at IVH falls right in line with the mission statement of The American Legion. We help our Veterans. Spending time with these wonderful people is something we look forward to each year.”
Together, we change lives for Veterans, their families and their communities.
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