Several departments – including Tennessee, Minnesota, Virginia and Florida – have begun conducting statewide Legacy Runs as fundraising activities supporting The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. In 2012, the South Carolina Statewide Legacy Run was the top fundraising department with about $60,000 in donations raised for the scholarship fund.
The Department of South Carolina American Legion Riders, with the support of Department Commander Gary L. Mitchell, repeated their statewide run in April 2013 and have already raised more than $40,000 in donations for the 2013 effort. National Headquarters encourages all departments to conduct similar runs highlighting and promoting the Legacy Scholarship among members and citizens.
To date, the annual American Legion Legacy Run has generated more than $3 million in donations for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship, including $725,000 in 2012.
In other news:
Assistance in Oklahoma: The American Legion has been distributing National Emergency Fund grants from the tornado that impacted Oklahoma in mid-May. The Legion has stepped in and provided assistance to those veterans impacted by the category F5 tornado. Already, more than 90 grants have been processed, totaling $85,500.
Meanwhile, the Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program has assisted 31 families affected by the tornado. As of May 29, TFA has assisted 31 veterans and their children with $42,000 in grants to assist with temporary housing, food, clothing and other emergency needs.
American Legion Baseball: The Executive Committee of Cleveland County ALWS Baseball, Inc., announced Tuesday the music lineup for the 2013 American Legion World Series. Special guest Ronnie Milsap will perform at the National Commander’s reception on Aug. 14, and country music singer Sara Evans will entertain Banquet of Champions attendees on Aug. 15.
Legion National Oratorical Contest: Tori Beth Black, the 2010 American Legion National Oratorical Contest champion, worked with staff at National Headquarters in Indianapolis May 31-June 2 on the "How to Conduct an Oratorical Contest" video. In the video, Black serves as the host of a series of modules covering every aspect of conducting an oratorical contest, from early preparations and promotions to judging and tabulating.
Membership and DMS program: The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,941,772, which is 97.3 percent of the 2013 goal. To date, there are nine departments who have attained at least 100 percent of their traditional membership goal.
The 2013 membership year began on July 1, 2012. The fourth DMS mailing for the 2013 membership year was completed on Feb. 4. Approximately 1.6 million pieces were mailed at that time. Responses from that mailing are now being processed.
Based on the four DMS mailings this year, we have acquired: 96,422 prospects, 77,999 expires, 174,421 total.
2013 goal – 185,000; percentage of goal – 94.3 percent
Current renewal rate for 2012 DMS members – 50.2 percent (95,112 of 189,685 new 2012 members)
Online renewal activity: 2013 mMembership year online renewals (since July 1): 184,340
Sons of The American Legion: The Sons of The American Legion membership for 2013 currently stands at 335,341 members, or 94.9 percent, as of May 31. At present, the Sons are running 2,715 members ahead of this same date last year.