American Legion Post 229 General Membership
Meeting Minutes, August 8, 2019
Call to Order The membership meeting was held at the Masonic Lunar Lodge #918, 740 Eastview Drive, Madison starting at 7:10pm. Meeting called to order by Commander Larry Vannoy. Prayer was given by Chaplain Andy Caudle.
Legionnaires in attendance: Larry Vannoy -Commander, Tommy Whitten – Second Vice, Stacey Harring – Adjutant, Robert Kirby – Finance Officer, Chris Brown – Judge Advocate, Andrew Caudle -Chaplain, Richard Blanton Jr- Historian, David Silvernail, Lawrence Fraves, Edward Durst, Ethel Durst, Lester Barnard, Tom McKinney, Chris Swan, Jean Downs
Blue Star Banner Presentation:
Blue Star banner presentation to the family of Matt Dye, USMC. He was in attendance with his father, mother, brother and best friend.
Connie Spears from Madison Forward, regarding the upcoming Ad Valorem tax increase vote in support of the Madison Schools. She served two terms on the Madison School Board, and is now representing Madison Forward, supporting the upcoming tax increase that will be voted on in the local election on SEP 10th. She explained the current statistics of the District, with a growth of 600 students last year. This tax will be earmarked for one new elementary school 2020 and new middle school in 2021 on land the district already owns, as well as additions to both high schools, and an addition to West Madison Elementary to increase the Pre-K program (currently there is a 200 student waiting list).
This is a $12 Mill tax, the average house in Madison is $300k, so that would be about $30 a month for the tax increase. The district needs a new revenue stream, since all current lines of credit have been maxed out and will not have additional funding available until 2025. www.madisonforwardAL.org will go live tomorrow for more information.
Approval of the Minutes – Minutes were voted to be accepted by the group after a motion by Andy Caudle and seconded by Tom McKinney, motion passed.
Sick and shut ins – None
Adjutant – The new legion year began in July; if you have submitted your transfer or a new membership prior to 8/6, the first batch was processed and cards will go out this weekend. You can renew three ways: here at a meeting, online or by mail. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Renewals can now be processed online if you mail a check; in doing so, the Adjutant will begin processing memberships 2 times a month to keep bookkeeping easier. This year we will implement an “early bird'' program: if you pay your dues by October 1st, you will have an early bird stamp on your card and will be invited to an early bird celebration sponsored by the post in October. Tom McKinney made a motion, seconded by Dave Silvernail to approve the adjutant report.
Finance Report – Finance report was passed out and discussed. A motion to approve was made by Tommy Whitten and seconded Andy Caudle, motion passed.
District Meeting – Bob Kirby went to the District meeting. The district budget was disapproved by the state. The main issue was a $10 transportation reimbursement fee for traveling for a county/district meeting, the other objection was that the spending was shown as greater than the money coming in.
Americanism – Legionaries Sherwin Callander and Major Wooten were made honorary citizens of the town on their trip back to Europe for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.
– Tom McKinney took Navy Veteran Thomas Sanders’ burial flag, had it framed and presented to his daughters Fawn Setzer and Judy Swaffer at the Huntsville Veteran’s museum where it will be on display. They were very grateful and sent their thanks. There will be an area set aside at the Huntsville Veterans Museum for funeral flags for anyone who doesn’t have any family to receive it after their death.
– There will be an honor guard being set up, headed by Robert Kirby. If interested let Bob know; the uniform and detail will be starting soon. They are looking into a firing party to serve at funerals as requested, along with other funeral services.
Monuments and Pavers – 6 pavers were installed last week; we have one new one that is on order.
Blue Star Banner – If you know of anyone who is eligible and would like one, please let Earl Watts know.
Post 229 Auxiliary – The Auxiliary does want to support the t-shirt sales for Trail of Tears. They will be cleaning veteran’s headstones on Nov 2nd, after flags are put out for Veteran’s Day
NAVFOC – Planning is starting now for Veteran’s week in November. Please check our calendar for all the local events going on.
Boy Scouts Troop 201 – There was a court of honor of the 21st of July at the City Hall. Over 200 merit badges were handed out. There is a co-ed Adventure Crew that allows members up to 21 years old in the works as well. The troop is still looking for merit badge counselors; let Dave Silvernail know if you are interested in helping out. Once training is planned, he will put it out. Especially looking for someone with skills as an electrician or carpenter. There is a car wash on Aug 24th; he would like to have an American Legion recruiting station there as well.
Girl Scout Troop 926: Two camping trips and a white water rafting trip are planned. They are working on a woodworking badge and cyber badge. There are 4 girls working towards their Gold Award.
Trail of Tears: TOT shirt sales will be on Saturday the 21st of September at the Harley Davidson in Huntsville. We will be setting up by 7:30 am. They would like two locations this year and will provide the tents. We will need to bring tables, chairs, banners, etc. Again this year we will receive a portion of the profits.
Madison Street Festival: It will be held on October 5th, we will be in the same location at last year in the park with Handel's Ice Cream, who will donate part of their profits to the Post. We will sell water and soft drinks and will drop off the tables the night prior. The Post is also signed up for a place in the parade.
Tut Fann Veteran’s Home Bingo Sponsorship: We will be holding bingo monthly, the 3rd Saturday of the month. We will be supplying about $70 worth of candy bars monthly for the event. We would like the other organizations (ROTC, scouts, etc) to sign up to host a month.
Stacey Harring mentioned adopting the gold star Woeber family that we have made a donation to. The idea was supported by the group, and it was agreed we would discuss further at the officer’s meeting and get back with the group on possible opportunities to help this young family. Stacey Harring will try to contact her this month to coordinate if possible.
Cemetery Decorations: Flags for Veterans Day will be put out on Nov 2, and picked up on November 16th. December 2nd we will be Wreath laying, more information to come as it gets closer.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:33 pm.