2nd Quarter Newsletter -2015

Legionnaires:
From the commander’s desk
Greetings Comrades & Ladies Auxiliary: Friday, August 14th. Fenton Memorial American Legion Post 400 will hold their installation. The officers for the 2015/2016 year will be installed. The Ladies Auxiliary will also install their 2015/2016 officers. Doors open at 6pm, the program starts at 7pm with dinner to follow (reservations are required).
August 22nd. Post 400 is presenting Memories of Elvis (Steve Davis), with Buddy Holly (Tom Hickey), Patsy Kline (Anna Blair) and a special musical quartet. Come out for an unforgettable evening and make some new memories. This is a fundraiser for the USO, the Post and to help disabled veterans with a special bike donation, so please come and support the cause. Tickets are $25.00 each available at the post, see Becky Merx. You can pick up tickets on Saturday or call the commander (cell 636-226-5724, home 636-600-1774). Note; thank you Becky for your assistance with this project, your help is more appreciated than you know.
October 3rd. The city of Fenton will be having its annual Fenton day’s celebration. This will be a very busy day and we will need help in many areas such as the kitchen, wine and beer tents, etc. Please be ready and willing to give of your time and help your post out. This is a great opportunity for us to raise funds.
October 9th We will be doing a fish Fry fundraiser for the 40&8. These American legion groups raise funds for children.
Support our troops. We do all we can to assist our active duty troops and those veterans and their families in need, but we can only do so much. We are always looking for donations to help take care of them as needs arise. Any donations would be greatly appreciated and used 100% to help out veterans and their families.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any organization. We are always in need of help with the fish Fry and Bingo. We have the same people every Friday and Saturday doing these jobs. If you could just volunteer every other Friday or Saturday or even once a month it would give those who are here all the time a break. Our dedicated workers are getting plain worn out. Sid Staton, Commander.

VETERANS NEWS
A coalition of Veterans Groups Suing TheVA.
Two more veterans groups are suing the Veterans Affairs Department over its changes to the informal claims process, saying officials have created “a rigid and veteran-unfriendly system.” Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars filed suit Thursday, arguing that VA’s decision to end the informal claims process could prevent thousands from receiving benefits they are owed. “Some veterans may be physically, mentally or financially unable to access the correct forms and VA is not providing a reasonable accommodation,” DAV National Service Director Jim Marszalek said in a statement. “This creates an unfair disadvantage for many veterans and places them in a situation where critical compensation will be denied or delayed.” It’s the second major lawsuit against the department on the issue since March, when VA officials announced plans to dump the informal claims process. For years, that process had allowed veterans to use any documentation — including handwritten letters and simple one-line notes — to initiate their benefits claims. The loose nature of the process locked in effective dates for future payouts but also left department officials complaining about the lack of consistent and coherent information to start work on cases. Now, VA requires the claims process to begin with a new standardized form, made available by the department online, by phone or for paper submission. But veterans groups have argued that move places too much of a burden on veterans, noting that individuals filing informal claims are unfamiliar with VA resources and procedures. Just days after the policy shift, a coalition that included the American Legion, AMVETS, the National Veterans Legal Services Program and Vietnam Veterans of America sued to reverse the changes. The new lawsuit follows that same goal.
“Congress’s intent for the VA was to create a system that would ‘fully and sympathetically develop the veteran’s claim to its optimum before deciding on its merits,'” Marszalek said. “And that is clearly not the case with this new policy.”
VA officials have been vague about how many veterans could be affected by the changes. Veterans groups estimate the figure could top 100,000 claims over the next 12 months.
Department officials have dismissed criticism of the changes, arguing the new forms are simply bookkeeping changes that will not significantly harm any veterans.
Thomas P. Skaug, MSG, Army Retired
Vietnam & Gulf War Veteran. Email:

Membership
Membership: Yes, we have met our membership goals. Now comes the hard part, getting these new members to attend the meetings and getting them active. If anyone has any ideas, please speak up. Carl Leuther Membership.

Building Board
Your building board works hard to not just maintain the building but to consistently meet high standards. New lighting has been installed outside; this will improve visibility and safety for all our members and visitors. Thank you to Rich Hely, who has done this at no charge. The Heating and cooling unit in the back storage area failed and needed to be replaced. It was over two years old and not covered by warranty. Rich Hely again stepped up and replaced it at no charge to the post. If anyone ever has any questions on the building, please contact the building board president. Doug Hwkins, President, building board.

Fish fry
The fish fry is running great. We had a fantastic Lenten season and set a sales record. Wish to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this possible. We also added two new items to the Lenten menu for sides; Mac-n-cheese and green beans. This worked out so well it was decided to keep it on the regular menu throughout the year. The Fish Fry will be closed as usual for the summer months of July and August due to the heat in the kitchen and also to give the workers a well deserved break. The last fish fry before the break will be June 26. We will reopen on September 11th the first Friday after Labor Day. We still need more help and if you would be available even if just once a month or for only a few hours we certainly would like to have you. No experience needed. Have a wonderful and safe summer. Pete McGauly Fish Fry Chairman .

Bingo
Summer is upon us and bingo has been doing pretty good. We have 100+ players every Saturday night with an all time high for Post 400 at 196. The Progressive game built to $2200 before it was won by one lucky person. We just had the Support Our Troops Summer Kick Off Black Light Bash (Cosmic Bingo) if you weren’t there you missed a good time.
Every Saturday night I see the same people behind the desk selling sheets, daubers, pull tabs etc. The same 3 people are doing all the calling. We sure could use some help. None of the jobs are hard. It would be real nice to have enough people so that everyone only had to work one Saturday night a month. The only requirement to work in the bingo hall is that you have been an American Legion member for 2 years. The 2 years doesn’t have to be at Post 400. This includes the Ladies Auxiliary if some of the ladies would like to help that would be great. If you’re waiting for an invitation from me well here it is. I invite each of you to come and give one Saturday night a month to support your post.
Shortly we will be losing 2 of the ladies that help us each week. They are leaving the area to live with their children, we’re gonna miss Jeanne and Terry. Thanks for all the work you have done for the post.
Allen ‘Gramps’ Sandifer, Bingo Chairman at large.

CHILDREN AND YOUTH
From the Auxiliary:
May 2nd, I went to the Ronald McDonald House on Park Avenue to drop off the soda tab tops we collected.  When weighed, we found that we had collected 1 pound of tabs. Every year tab top donations raise about $30,000.00 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of St. Louis. Thanks to all who have contributed. Please keep bringing tab tops in and continue to fill up the jars located in different areas of the legion post. Show your support for this worthwhile charity.
AUGUST, Last year we collected school supplies for “KidSmart-Tools for Learning”.  I learned that they need supplies year round. . I have placed a big container in the entrance area of the Legion Post with a list of supplies that are needed. Please show your support and let’s “Fill the Bucket to Fill the KidSmart shelves”. Jackie Sandifer, Children and Youth
Blanket Project:
Sandy Staton is looking for people who can knit or crochet baby blankets and scarves. The finished blankets are going to be donated to military wives. There are over 20 military wives on the list now and only about a dozen blankets have been finished. If you can help knitting or crocheting even just one item, it would be greatly appreciated. Sandy Staton, blanket project (cell 636-345-3534, home 636-600-1774

From the Scouting Program:
Special congratulations go out to Mr. Michael McDonald for his distinguishing actions! Michael, who was a former police explorer and one of the original founding youth members of the Post 400 Venturing Crew, received the Learning For Life Meritorious Action Award from the Learning For Life National Council. While a student at St. Louis Community College, Michael came to the need of a student who feel and struck her head, which caused a deep laceration and profuse bleeding. Michael exposed himself to possible harm by treating the victim even without proper safety equipment available. Despite the hectic situation, Michael quickly responded and treated the injured victim without regards for his own personal safety. Michael’s quick thinking and diligent actions were instrumental in the proper care and treatment of the victim until first responders arrived. All of his training was obtained through the explorer program, prior to him ageing-out after this 21st birthday. His story and picture have circulated through the entire Boy Scouts of America, Greater St. Louis Area Council. It is now the cover for the Friends of Scouting flyer, which went to the home of every registered scout in the area.
Ed Ucinski

From the Editor:
I may have dangled a few participles, misspelled a few words, or mangled some other obscure grammatical rule. And yes, you can even point them out and laugh.
Seriously, for all you potential article writers do not overly worry about such things –just get me the article at least three weeks BEFORE the next printing. The next newsletter will be published for the October meeting. You can hand them to me at any time or email to
If you wish to receive this newsletter via email please send me a note with a subject of “post email” and I will make sure you get added to the post email list
Susan Sauter, member post 400

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