1st Quarter Newsletter – 2016

Legionnaires:
From the commander’s desk

We found our closing year 2015 to be very eventful and disastrous with the worst flooding we have seen since the 1982 and 1993 floods. Our post had some damage, but we were very fortunate especially compared to several of our downtown Fenton neighbors. Thanks to Doug our building board president for his actions in getting cleanup crews in ASAP to clean up our building basement and door areas so we were able to open for fish fry on January 8th. Thanks to all involved for getting the post ready to kick off the New Year. Membership: We have kicked off the New Year with additions to our membership. This was the result of a mass mailing again done by 1st Vice Commander and membership chairman Jim Merx, and myself along with Becky and Sandy addressing and stuffing envelopes for mailing, Brian Mclean gave a helping hand as well.
Lent is coming! The Lenten season is fish fry season and it is fast approaching. We desperately need help every Friday or we will not be able keep up with demand. If we start to fall too far behind we will lose customers and a lot of $$$ -so please step up to the plate and help us on both shifts.
This is your post Remember why we function as a veteran’s organization. Let’s continue as an A-TEAM and work together for the cause, be a dedicated member and make your post proud. We are well known throughout the region and the states as a good operating post. Let’s keep the reputation and be PROUD of who we are.
Sid Staton, Commander.

Upcoming events at your post
Super bowl party Sunday February 7th, let’s all gather and have some fun, bring food to share.
Valentines party
Sunday February 14th,
Special Post Dinner
Thursday March 10th, we have the honor of hosting a dinner for our National Sr. Vice Commander. Please sign up at the post or RSVP to Commander Staton.
Post Birthday Dinner
April, To be determined.
Bike presentation
To be rescheduled.

VETERANS NEWS
Health insurance coverage must be reported on this year’s taxes. As part of the Affordable Care Act, anyone who has health insurance must report their coverage on their 2015 taxes or risk paying a fine otherwise known as an “individual shared responsibility payment” This payment can be up to 5% of your annual income. You must have qualifying health insurance for the full tax year. It is reported on an IRS 1095 form.
For members who purchased their insurance though the Health Insurance Marketplace or exchange you should receive a 1095-A
A1095-B For retirees, annuitants, and former spouses covered by TRICARE, and people enrolled in VA healthcare or Medicare.
Active duty members and their families who are covered by TRICARE should receive a1095-C.
What do I do with this form? If you have a 1095 –B or 1095–C that shows you and your dependents had health insurance for the entire year, simply check the appropriate box on your form 1040(a)(ez). No other action is required. If you have a 1095-C you will need to fill out IRS Form 8962. Where do I get my 1095 form? Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force members, retirees and surviving spouses can get the form on the MyPay website https://mypay.dfas.mil/ with all of your other tax documents. For those who don’t have a MyPay account the form will be mailed. For Coast Guard members retirees and surviving spouses the forms will be available in Direct Access. For Veterans receiving VA health care, the forms should be mailed by the VA. In all cases you should receive the form not later than January 31, 2016. Article from www.military.com/benefits
From the Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County
There are many programs that may be beneficial to American legion post members at NO COST. The programs that may help are the HOME Owner Rehabilitation Program and the Sanitary Sewer System Replacement program. Under the Rehabilitation Program they can provide for repair or replacement of health and safety items that are in a deteriorated condition (leaking roofs, broken windows, damaged siding, HVAC and plumbing). This program has a maximum assistance of up to 15,000 per home. Under the sewer system replacement program they can help replace failing on-site septic systems with a maximum assistance of 20,000 per home (exceptionally suited to existing residents that have been cited as failing by Jefferson County Code enforcement). For more info or guidance on how to apply go to www.jeffcountymo.org under entitlement programs or request assistance from the development corporation office 636-797-5336 information from Economic Development Corporation of Jefferson County letter

Building Board
The New Years flood hit the basement hard and all was a total loss. It was mostly storage such as Christmas decorations. We also needed to replace the door to the basement. Upstairs some water did seep in, so we cleaned and sanitized or replaced rugs. Flag pole repair will hopefully be done shortly. Side door replacement is in progress as it lights replacement in signs. Lastly, thanks to the Auxillary the back room was repainted and is looking good.
Building Board President, Doug Hawkins
Fish fry

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We are off to a very cold wet start. Welcome to the Fish Fry. We are all looking forward to another great year. Fry is going good and we are seeing a lot of new customers. However, we are also only seeing the same workers. Folks we need help at the Fish Fry; we are open from 10am to 7pm every Friday. With Lent just around the corner which is an extremely heavy time of the year. The afternoon and evenings are the hardest times. During Lent we stay open to 7:30pm. If you can just give a couple of hours on any Friday, whether Lent or not, it would be a tremendous help to give a break to the other workers. Remember the Fish Fry is one of the major functions besides the Bingo the keep our post going.
No experience is necessary everyone working will pitch in and show you what needs to be done! Come on in and join a great group of guys and gals, maybe you have some ideas that would make things run smoother. If you have any questions see me or just talk to any of the workers to get more information.
Pete McGauly Fish Fry Chairman

Bingo
Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. Last spring when I took over the Bingo Chair from Brian no one was sure what was going to happen, we were still trying to fill the seats each Saturday night. Consistently for the last 6 months or so we have been averaging over
100 people a night. This allows us to keep our heads above water.
We are able to pay our bills each month and have a little left over, which enabled us to sponsor 6 boys for Boy’s State for $4000.
We were closed on Dec 26th and Jan 2nd so our workers could spend time with their family and friends. We closed Jan 9th because of the weather and the leftovers from the flood made the parking lot dangerous for both our workers and bingo players. The first bingo for 2016 started the new year with a bang. We had 128 bingo players that night. Hope that is a sign for the new year.
Allen ‘gramps’ Sandifer, Bingo Chair Person

CHILDREN AND YOUTH
From the Auxiliary

     The past three months have been very busy.  Thanks to all of the Ladies who knitted and crocheted hats, scarves and blankets to keep many children nice and toasty in the cold weather.  Gloves were purchased and Sandy made up individual bags containing a scarf, hat and gloves all color coordinated.  Sandy and I ventured out in the pouring down rain and made deliveries to three different places:  Circle of Concern in Valley Park, Every Child’s Hope in Overland and Mary Grove in Florissant.  The ladies at each of these places were overwhelmed with our donation.
10 Birthday Club Bags were delivered to Circle of Concern in Valley Park.  The ladies were so appreciative of our donation. This is such a rewarding project.  We can bring smiles to boys and girls that they may have a birthday party with some friends.
We were able to adopt 2 families for Christmas.  Mike LeBlanc connected me with a family with 6 kids.  The dad was in the Army and was blown up in artillery round gone wrong on a firing range.  I spoke with the mom and got the kids names and ages and their wants for Christmas.
Shopping was in full swing and on Christmas Eve I met with the mom and gave her 3 big Hefty bags full of wrapped gifts.  I said to her, “Merry Christmas.”  Her response was, “It will be now”! 
     The other family we adopted was a 4 year old girl named Julie.  She was being raised by her Grandmother and her dad was in Afghanistan.  Sadly, Julie had cancer and passed away on December 21.
Thank you for bringing in school supplies and filling the bucket.   The last full bucket was taken to Feed My People in High Ridge.  As always, they were delighted to get our donation.
Thank you to all the ladies for all their hard work and all their love that went into the project to keep the children warm.  Thank you, too, for being generous in adopting 2 families for Christmas.  You all are sweet blessings from God.
Jackie Sandifer, Children and Youth

From the Scouting Program:

American Legion Post 400 Nominee is accepted into the 2015 Missouri Cadet Patrol Academy.
Every year, each American Legion post in Missouri has the opportunity to nominate a young person from their community for the Missouri Cadet Patrol Academy. This course is sponsored by the American Legion in cooperation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.  Its underlying purpose is to provide firsthand experience of the role of our law enforcement officers.  It is hoped that the young men and women who participate in the Cadet Patrol Academy will develop favorable attitudes toward law enforcement and help disseminate these attitudes throughout the community. 
The program consists of a typical week of intensive Patrol recruit training.  The week’s activities will include classroom instruction in the history of law enforcement, defensive driving, radar, motor vehicle laws, first aid, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as demonstrations of police skills such as personal defense.  Organized sports will be a part of the program, as well as tours of criminal justice facilities.  Applicants must be physically able to take part in a rigorous physical training program. Local posts are only allowed to nominate one applicant per year. From there, the applicant will compete at a district level for one of the two positions. From there, they go to the state level for review and appointment. 
This year, Post 400 nominated Sarah Abbit, a junior from Kirkwood High School. Sarah came highly recommended with a list of accomplishments that included participating in local and national Law Enforcement explorer programs. Her resume also included prior police youth training from a variety of additional programs offered through exploring.  She competed against several other youth nominees and was selected to attend the Missouri Cadet Patrol Academy this summer, where she graduated with distinction. Sarah represented Post 400 admirably at the Missouri Highway Patrol as part of the Cadet Patrol Academy 45th annual class. Her graduation looked favorably upon the American Legion and the explorer program. 
Sharpshooter. As part of our youth program, the Boy Scouts of American believe in the safe and responsible handling of firearms.  This is the main focus of our Venturing Crew and what we strive to instill in our participants. 
I am in the process of planning an event at STL Sharpshooters for Saturday, March 5th during the morning hours. If you have children or grandchildren between the age of 10 and 21 who would like to shoot, please feel free to come to our event. We are always looking for new members and would like for you to be a part of our group. Please feel free to contact me at any time with your questions.
ELVIS LIVES! I don’t know how many Elvis fans we have out there, but if you are one, please come to our show!  We are doing an American Legion District Fundraiser with a portion of the proceeds going to the children and youth fund. This is the same fund that we use to support the Boy Scout program. If you like Elvis, love him, or just want to support our program, please come to this event. It promises to be a good time!  Please feel free to tell your friends about this too. The show goes on Sat Feb 13, 7pm, Legion post 162 (9305 S Broadway). Thank you, thank you very much. See me for tickets

Ed Ucinski

From the Editor:
The next newsletter will be published in April. You can hand articles to me at
any time or email to .
Susan Sauter, member post 400

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