Admit it: at the last Coffee Call at your local American Legion post, you were a little bit envious when you saw the American Legion Riders and their camaraderie - whether they were talking about what a great time they had on their last ride to raise money for a local charity, or discussing the latest gadget they put on their bike, or even the last repair they had to do. If you feel as if you have missed out on this opportunity for esprit de corps because you don't ride a bike, here is your opportunity.
Lee Johnson and others from American Legion Post 116 in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., have successfully developed and maintained, since July 2013, the American Legion Cruisers (ALC) as a post program whose membership consists of members of The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion. According to Lee: "Why do I think we need the ALC program?”
1. Having car shows and entering parades with our cars gets our name out in the community and helps us find members. (The first car show Post 116 had, 28 out of 30 entries were eligible to be members of the American Legion Family.)
2. The ALC is a great source of revenue for the post. (Over the past 10 years Post 116 has had two car shows a year, with an average of 50 cars and $1,500 profit per show.)
The original intent of the ALC was to use the common interests in classic vehicles to promote the aims and objectives of the American Legion Family, enhance the public’s perception of classic cars, and promote driver safety and awareness. Additional benefits of the ALC quickly appeared, including increased membership, increased visibility of the Legion through the car shows, and additional donations to the post also due to the car shows. The American Legion Department of North Carolina officially recognized the ALC as a department program in 2018.
How do I start an ALC chapter at my post?
*Find five members who are eligible (a member in good standing with The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary or Sons of The American Legion)
*Own a classic vehicle (20 years or older) personally or through marriage
*Get the Post Executive Committee to approve the ALC post chapter
*Fill out a one-page document with officers and POC information
For more information on starting an American Legion Cruisers chapter, stop by the Cruisers booth at the national convention in Charlotte, N.C., or contact Johnson at email@example.com for sample documents.