Registration ongoing for 2013 Legacy Run

The American Legion Riders aim to raise $450,000 for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship by the last day of the national convention in August.

Internal Affairs staff members have begun route planning and other preparations for the 2013 American Legion Legacy Run, the primary fundraiser for the scholarship fund. Registration is now open here. Online registration will continue until Aug. 9.

Important dates:

• Aug. 17 – Assembly and final registration, American Legion Post 64, Indianapolis.

• Aug. 18 - 22 - The American Legion Legacy Run (5 days)

• Aug. 22 - 24 – ALR activities and events hosted by American Legion Post 554, League City, Texas.

• Aug. 25 - The 95th Annual National Convention Parade

• Aug. 26 - 29 – The American Legion National Convention

The route plan is tentative, but will likely include the following stops and activities, pending consultations with the commanders of the departments of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas. Staff and selected volunteers will conduct a "cage" run (by rental car) March 2-10 to confirm post visitations, refueling locations, and to negotiate hotel and lodging terms favorable to our participants.

Aug. 18 – Departure from Indianapolis, lunch in the Effingham American Legion in Effingham, Ill., and overnight stop near St. Louis.

Aug. 19 – Depart St. Louis hotels, lunch in/near Springfield, Mo., and an early afternoon stop in Branson, Mo., for sightseeing and relaxation.

Aug. 20 – Depart Branson, lunch near Little Rock, Ark., and overnight stop near Texarkana, Texas.

Aug. 21 – Depart Texarkana, lunch to be determined, overnight stop in Killeen American Legion near Fort Hood, Texas.

Aug. 22 – Depart, lunch near Brenham, Texas, and arrive in League City American Legion Post 554, southeast of Houston.

Total distance is expected to be 1,400 miles over five days.

In other news:

Operation Comfort Warriors: OCW received eight assistance requests last week, including two from California and one each from Massachusetts, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, New Mexico and Washington. With the assistance of volunteers from Post 233 in Oak Grove, Ky., OCW purchased two couches for the Fort Campbell WTB.

OCW is working with the Department of New York and Fort Drum to determine wants and needs for its wounded warriors. OCW also is working with volunteers from the Chula Vista post in California to provide backpacks, hats and water bottles for an event at Camp Pendleton on Feb. 27.

Electronic gifts and other items have been purchased for a wounded warrior dinner hosted by the Alethea Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 21. More on OCW here.

Boy Scouts of America: On Feb. 6, Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced it would delay its decision on whether to change policy of not allowing openly gay Scouts or Scout leaders. The Executive Council of BSA, which consists of 1,400 members nationwide who each represent their respective local council, will vote at BSA’s national meetings on May 22. If it is voted that this policy will be changed, the decision of whether or not to allow openly gay Scouts or Scout leaders would then be left to each chartering organization. In the case of the Legion, this would mean each Legion post, SAL squadron, etc., that charters a Scout unit.

American Legion Baseball: ACY Deputy Director Mike Buss and Assistant Director James Quinlan will be visiting Shelby, N.C., from Feb. 19- 21 to begin coordinating onsite logistics in preparation of the 2013 American Legion World Series in August.

Leadership Education And Development: Fifteen copies of the Leadership Education and Development; Course Descriptions and Outlines brochure have been mailed to each department adjutant in the continental United States. This version was updated the end of January 2013. Please use this revised version over the one distributed at the Fall NEC meetings.

If interested in participating, contact Internal Affairs Assistant Director David Elmore or Membership Deputy Director Matt Herndon, or call 317.630.1330.

Membership and DMS Program

The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,765,045, which is 88.4 percent of the 2013 goal. The 2013 Membership Year began on July 1, 2012. This report reflects responses being tracked for the new membership year. The fourth DMS mailing for the 2013 Membership Year was completed on Feb. 1. About 1.6 million pieces were mailed at that time. Responses from that mailing will start coming in soon and will be reflected in future reports. Based on the four DMS mailings this year, we have acquired:

• DMS acquires: prospects: 84,023; expires: 49,799; total: 134,020

• 2013 Goal - 210,000; percentage of goal: 63.8 percent

• Current Renewal Rate for 2012 DMS Members: 43.88 percent (83,210 of 189,685 new 2012 members)

• On-Line Renewal Activity: 2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since July 1): 164,119

Sons of The American Legion: The Sons of The American Legion membership for 2013 currently stands at 249,442 members or 70.6 percent as of Feb. 7. The Sons are running 946 members behind of this same date last year.