A challenge begets a challenge

American Legion College alumni are engaged in a challenge within a challenge.

To promote the second annual American Legion 100 Miles for Hope, Legion College classes are competing against one another to see which class will have the most participants complete the challenge. The winning class will receive a prize at national convention.

It was an idea spawned by Past National Commander Denise Rohan.

“Last year, we had an alumni challenge and it also benefited the Veterans & Children Foundation,” said Terri Clinton, vice president of the Legion College alumni group and a past department commander in Colorado. “This year, we thought it would be a good idea to piggyback on something that was already in place. Of course, 100 Miles for Hope was pretty popular last year. PNC Rohan reached out to both Abe (Abrahamson, the group president) and me and asked if we would come up with a class challenge promoting 100 Miles for Hope. Of course, we rallied to the cause.”

American Legion National Commander James “Bill” Oxford expressed his gratitude to the Legion College alumni.

“This is a fabulous way to get more members involved in 100 Miles for Hope,” Oxford said. “It not only benefits every individual’s fitness and wellness, but these participants go a long way in helping our disabled military veterans and families in need. I look forward to other creative challenges pop up. Department vs. department. Post vs. post. All in the name of who we are — The American Legion, veterans strengthening America.”

All registration fees, merchandise purchases and donations related to the 100 Miles challenge go toward the V&CF. There are two options to register; learn more about how to get started, purchase commemorative gear and more on the special web page.

The foundation provides critical funding to accredited American Legion service officers who assist all disabled veterans, free of charge, with getting their VA benefits. The V&CF also dishes out grants for qualified military families with minor children at home that are facing financial hardships.

The Legion College challenge represents something new from the 2020 event.

“Legion College alumni are so competitive,” Clinton said. “The alumni are leaders or up-and-coming leaders of the organization. It just seems like it is an appropriate place to issue such a challenge. The alumni tend to be pretty competitive when it to comes to their graduating class.”

Clinton plans to continue her fitness routine and complete her 100 activities for the challenge by walking regularly.

“Last year, of course, was a COVID year and I spent my days sitting at my desk at home,” she recalled. “I started by doing a short walk at lunch and then doing a longer evening walk. My goal was to get 10,000 steps at least six days out of the week.”

Clinton says some participants only signed up after seeing the challenge announced on the group’s Facebook page.

“There are comments all over the Facebook page,” she said. “There are a lot of first-time participants. That is what has been so encouraging.”