We have a mixture of new and very experienced Post Commanders. I know the “old hands” pay attention to www.vfw.org for their membership information. Once you are at National’s website, log in, and go to “membership stats”. If you drill down to “Department stats” you’ll find how each Post in Department is achieving 100% membership. If you take a look at it now, don’t get too excited if you see your Post is at 2 or 3 percent for the year. Eventually, National will post the updated Life Members to the Stats, and presto, you’ll be at 80 or 90%. However, the real stat to watch is the percentage of Continuous Members who have renewed. Start working early so you can achieve 100% membership prior to the Mid-Winter Conference. Also, contact those members who dropped out and see if you can reinstate them.
Resolution 302 was approved at the National VFW Convention in July. The Resolution reads as follows:
EQUALITY FOR ALL VETERANS’ SPOUSES AND FAMILY MEMBERS
BE IT RESOLVED, that the Veterans of Foreign Wars goes on record supporting the transformation of our national association, known as the Ladies Auxiliary, to make suitable accommodations for the male spouses and male family members of all eligible service members; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Adjutant General and the Ladies Auxiliary National Secretary be directed to work in concert, developing suitable language for by-law amendments, to be presented at their respective conventions in the year 2015; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the VFW supports any additional efforts by the Ladies Auxiliary to create an association name and protocols that are gender neutral.
As you can see, there is a year of planning before the Ladies Auxiliary becomes the Auxiliary. By the same token, the VFW also passed Resolution 301 which changed the Congressional Charter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars making it gender neutral by replacing “men” with “veterans”.
VFW Post 8870 has permanently changed its location from the Edmonds Senior Center to the American Legion Post 8870 at 117 6th Ave. S. Time and date remain the same.
Personally, I find the National VFW website difficult, at best, to navigate and find specific information. There is one tab that is generally the most crucial when visiting National and that is “My VFW”. After your log in, you access an area where you can view a number of items including contact information for your elected officials and a member service line where you can order replacement membership cards. One line that I bet is rarely accessed is labeled “Document Repository”. “Huh” you say. Well, if you go into that area which is buried deep in the website like any good repository should be, you’ll find all the documents you need to run a VFW District or Post including incorporation templates, election reports, even a Post Charter Location Change Form which I had never heard of before. I suggest to our newer Post Commanders and Quartermasters that they spend some time exploring the website to become familiar with the resources located there.
At the school of instruction, Mike Blue, QM for 1561, brought up the fact that even though National accepted his debit card for members’ due payments, they didn’t process them as they don’t officially accept debit cards. I know, weird. My Post, 8870, has had a credit card for a number of years primarily to pay for membership dues. However, John Morehead, QM for 2554, pointed out that your Quartermaster can set up a direct withdrawal from your Post’s checking account simply by entering your routing and checking account number. If you are interested in setting this up and need help in doing so, I’m sure either John or National can assist you.
We also learned that in the past, membership cards to continuous members were mailed 4th class to save money. I guess some cards were never delivered. Those cards are now being mailed 1st class so your continuous members should be getting them promptly.
New members need to feel they belong and getting them into the system promptly, certainly helps.
John Bradburn, Department Judge Advocate, presented Post 1040 a National Service Special Project award for the installation of the Desert Storm Map in Lynnwood Veterans Park. In addition, 1040 was also awarded a 75th Anniversary award by National.
Post 2554 was awarded the National Newsletter award for small Posts. Chuck and Judy Donahue started the newsletter a couple of years ago and apparently hit the sweet spot on the first couple of swings. Ray Fairbank, Department public relation director made the presentation. Ray also presented District 1 with the National newsletter award for medium size districts.
We have so many members unable to attend meetings but would like to be informed on Post activities. The only way to efficiently do so is by way of newsletters. I overheard one Post Commander say that over 50% of his Post no longer lives in the area. That is a Post where a newsletter, even a quarterly publication, would be beneficial.
As most of you recall, two years ago we had a very successful District fundraiser by raffling a 46” HDTV. The good news is we raised a lot of money (approximately $1,700) and the fellow who won it was an unemployed Vietnam Vet. Last year we skipped the fund raising as we were still flush from the previous year. This year, however, we need to address fund raising once again. At the District meeting, a motion was made and approved to have another raffle. In a month or two (sooner if the M’s are in the World Series), we will be getting tickets out to the Post Commanders for distribution to their Post members. Hopefully, we can keep the accounting and money collection at the Post level. We will provide accounting material to assist your QM with this task.
I overheard a conversation between a Post Commander and Linda Fairbank concerning the definition of 100% membership. Here is the fact pattern. The membership roster provided to the Post Commander had 99 names on it. He assumed if he got all 99 members to renew their membership, 100% would be achieved and he would be eligible for a White Hat (assuming the other requirements were completed as well). However, the membership stats online at National, showed he needed 100 members. So what happened? In this particular instance, a member of his Post transferred to another Post in the prior year. In a transfer, the individual is carried as a paid up member on the original Post’s statistics through the end of the year (June 30th). When the new year begins, the Post is shown as having 100 members in the prior year, but the Roster will only list 99 names. Bottom line, the Post will have to recruit an additional member to replace the transferee in order to achieve 100%. The Post Commanders and membership chairs should check the National website to verify their membership percentage. In addition, when adding new members, verify that National has added them to your statistics.
We are sure that everyone is aware that VFW District One, effective with the January 10, 2015 meeting will have future District meetings at Everett Post #2100 until notified differently.
Scheduling became a problem with the Boys and Girls Club and our District needed to make other arrangements.
In the “Old” days when each Post in our District owned their buildings we enjoyed traveling around to each Post for our meetings. About 10-12 years ago Post 1040 made arrangements for the District meetings to be held at the Boys and Girls Club.
Anyway—this piece is really a great Big Thank You to the VFW Post 1040 and the Boys and Girls Club for the use of the facilities for our meetings these past years.
Past District Commanders and Ladies Auxiliary Presidents Association
If you have an event coming up, please send me an email and let me know what is happening. If it just needs to be on the District Calendar, there is no need to expand on it. However, if it is something you would wish to publicize, give me enough details to expand into a column. For instance, in August Post 2100 had a rummage sale and the “Valley Posts” had a picnic. These are events that members of other Posts may wish to attend and getting the word out to the District (this newsletter goes to far more folks than just Post Commanders and Auxiliary Presidents for which it was once intended).
In the “old days” each Post Commander would receive a thick packet of information mailed to them on a monthly basis. Now, snail mail is a thing of the past and Department “mailings” are posted online at the Department’s website. Each month you need to go to www.vfwofwa.org, proceed to “Links” and review the mailings from National and Department.
Event: Welcome Back Luncheon for the student veterans
Place: Edmonds Community College, Veterans Center, Lynnwood Hall
Date: September 24th
Sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary Post 1040
Contact Person: Myra Rintamaki, Auxiliary President, cell: 206-235-0348
Lunch donations appreciated: lunch meats, cheese, rolls, individual bags of chips.
We ran short of time at the District School of Instruction so we were unable to cover Buddy Poppies. Ruth Herren and Ron Haley had prepared the following outline to go over with the attendees. They are all excellent points but make sure you follow Item 6 and order your Buddy Poppies far in advance of when you will need them. Every year some Post is scrambling to find extra Poppies so be prepared and place your order early.
- Identify volunteers
- Hold a meeting to explain purpose of Buddy Poppy Campaign.
- Plan on 200 for each volunteer.
- Choose distribution dates: Memorial Day is popular but you can distribute this flower throughout the year.
- Order form to purchase. (Order from Department of Washington)
Auxiliaries can also order.
- Order about 3 months before the first distribution date.
- Get permission from business owners, ferry docks etc. but stay in your own territory.
- Print off some brochures.
- Two weeks in advance put in the local paper.
- Volunteer should smile and be enthusiastic. Wear VFW caps, shirts, jackets etc.
- Remember we are not selling but distributing. Give every person in the family a Buddy Poppy.
- DON’T BLOCK DOORS TO STORES AND FOLLOW THEIR RULES.
- Have a few other things on hand for the kids like key chains, old pins , rulers, pencils, make corsages, wreaths etc. (Use your imagination.)
- Have a membership application on hand for both the VFW and the Ladies Auxiliary.
District Post Chairman
District Auxiliary Chairman
The Chief Petty Officer Selectee Class 121 has extended an invitation to anyone who wishes to attend the 14th Annual September 11th Remembrance Day Ceremony on base. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to email@example.com or 425-304-3357. The ceremony is from 0745 to 0830.
If you didn’t make it (and you probably didn’t since I found out about it after the last newsletter went out), Gold Bar hosted a picnic for Monroe, Snohomish, and Sultan Posts. A bunch of us crashed their function and it was great. Next year I’ll make sure you have proper notice.
School of Instruction is done; Post Commanders have everything they need to achieve their White Hats. If you need or want any assistance, contact us, we will assist you any way we can. We are here to help.
Summer is coming to an end. Now is the time to work on the Programs that we need to keep us a viable Organization. Post Commanders should keep track of their progress for the activities and events of their Post.
I attended many functions put on by various Posts and enjoyed myself at each of them, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to attending more as the year progresses.
I will be attending as many Post meetings as I am able this year and am looking forward to meeting new members that have joined us.
Same time and place unless indicated below. See the listing from the links on left sidebar.
Edmonds Post #8870
Meeting Place: American Legion Post 66
117 6th Avenue S.
Edmonds, WA. 98020
If you change the date or time of your meeting, please let both District and Department know of the change.