On hand for passage of SCR-101 in Boise were Legionnaires Tom Mattice and Marv Hagedorn, along with Scott Syme and Bart Davis representing the State of Idaho, American Legion Auxiliary Department Girls State Chairperson Toni Gimple, Department Auxiliary President Judy Gill and Idaho Department Commander Bob Skinner. Photo by Woody Woodman

Legislature passes resolution supporting Legion Family youth programs

On March 31, the Idaho Legislature joined the American Legion Department of Idaho in celebrating the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution SCR-101 that recognizes the importance of American Legion Family Youth Programs statewide.  Co-sponsored by Senator Bart Davis, Senator Marv Hagedorn and Representative Scott Syme, this resolution was adopted by unanimous vote in both Idaho legislative chambers urging awareness of these youth programs and donation support from Idaho corporations, institutions and foundations.

The Idaho American Legion annually conducts Gem Boys State, sponsors Legion baseball, directs Legion oratorical contests, awards Legion scholarships, sponsors Boy and Girl Scout troops and supports other specialized youth programs benefiting young men and women in Idaho. The American Legion Auxiliary annually organizes Syringa Girls State and promotes other specialized youth programs benefiting young women in Idaho. The members of both chambers of the Legislature fully recognize the tireless efforts of Idaho Legionnaires and Legion Auxiliary members in Legion posts across the state of Idaho to volunteer their time and energy to conduct and support these programs to engage more current and future generations of Idaho youth. 

American Legion Department of Idaho Commander Bob Skinner of Idaho Falls joined Idaho Legion Auxiliary President Judy Gill of Meridian in presenting framed commemorative copies of the resolution to the legislative sponsors. Present at the ceremony were Gem Boys State President Tom Mattice of Wendell and Syringa Girls State President Toni Gimpel of Idaho Falls, representing two unique, government-in-action youth development experiences that annually convene in the chambers of the Idaho State Capitol. SCR-101 underscores how the State of Idaho benefits, both socially and economically, through youth better trained in citizenship and government. Many Idaho legislators are Gem Boys State or Syringa Girls State alumni.

SCR-101 declares the second Thursday of January each year as American Legion Youth Programs Day in Idaho. The Idaho American Legion Family is establishing a standing committee as a 501(c)3 entity to raise public awareness and solicit donations from Idaho corporations, foundations, associations, trade groups and individuals interesting in partnering with the Legion and Auxiliary to expand and enhance these important youth programs.

Inquiries regarding these youth programs can be directed to the American Legion Department of Idaho office at (208) 342-7061 or idlegion@mindspring.com.