Legacy Run 2013 plans moving forward

A group of four American Legion Riders last week completed an actual ride of the 2013 Legacy Run from Indianapolis to Houston. The actual run, leading up to the 95th convention, will start in Indy on Aug. 18 and conclude in Texas on Aug. 22.

Also, United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has signed on as title sponsor for the Legacy Run. Registration is now open and the registration forms are on The American Legion website

All map books, patches and other registration material will be mailed to all registered riders, passengers and supporters on or about Aug. 1. We cannot guarantee that T-shirts, map books and patches will be delivered in time for the Legacy Run for those who register late, so be prompt and register early.

In other news:

Education: Representatives of the National Committee on Education (NCOE) had an exhibit at the annual conference of the National Association of Secondary School Principals in Washington, D.C., Feb. 28 to March 2. There were 1,200 teachers, counselors and principals from about 600 secondary schools across the nation. NCOE representatives had the opportunity to share information about Legion scholarships, youth programs and flag education through contact with over half to nearly two-thirds of those schools by distributing packets of literature and offering flag stickers.

Legion Baseball: On March 5, American Legion Baseball used social media to highlight electronic availability of the 2013 American Legion Baseball Rule Book to more than 2,700 Facebook followers by providing the web link to the Legion web page hosting the document. Hard copies of the 2013 Rule Book will be distributed to department baseball chairmen and coaches no later than March 8. The American Legion Baseball program has 1,385 teams registered to date to participate this season.

American Legion Junior Shooting Sports Program: ACY staff is mailing target sets to those teams and individuals who have qualified for the second round in both the sporter and precision categories of the 2013 American Legion Junior Shooting Sports National Tournament. These targets will be returned by April 1, at which time national team champions will be declared, and the top 15 individuals in each of the categories will be invited to the American Legion 23rd Junior Air Rifle National Championships at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in August.

National Emergency Fund: National Headquarters processed 27 claims from Legion Family members over the last two weeks. Eleven grants went to New York and 16 went to members in New Jersey. Total payout from the fund was $23,600. Donations for the same period totaled $4,299.

American Legion Extension Institute: The Online American Legion Extension Institute (ALEI) was officially launched last April. As of March 7, a total of 2,424 licenses have been purchased for a fee of $4.95 for current American Legion and Sons of The American Legion members and $9.95 for non-members.

Leadership Education And Development: The Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) series of training sessions have been a big success. So far this year 16 departments have scheduled LEAD training. Departments that recently completed training events include Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and North Dakota. Several other departments are working on developing venues and dates. A LEAD training event includes, at the minimum, eight hours training selected from the LEAD course booklet. Any combination of 24 offered classes may be selected, making up eight hours of instruction. Once completed, a course pin will be presented to each Legion Family member.

If interested in participating, contact Internal Affairs Assistant Director David Elmore at delmore@legion.org or Membership Deputy Director Matt Herndon at mherndon@legion.org, or call (317) 630-1330.

Membership and DMS Program

The current 2013 traditional membership total is 1,831,556, which is 91.7 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. 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:

DMS Acquires: Prospects 91,142, Expires 70,336, Total 161,478

2013 Goal – 185,000; percentage of goal: 87.28.

Current Renewal Rate for 2012 DMS Members – 46.41 percent (88,010 of 189,685 new 2012 members)

On-Line Renewal Activity – 2013 Membership Year On-Line Renewals (since July 1) – 172,459

Legion’s 94th Birthday: In commemoration of the event, The American Legion Amateur Radio Club (TALARC) will operate a Special Event Station March 15 and 16, offering any station that contacts the headquarters station a color certificate. TALARC now has 1,200 members, a number of which will operate from their posts for the birthday event.

Operation Comfort Warriors: OCW donated $6,500 worth of sports and photography equipment at Fort Jackson (Columbia, S.C.).