Mark Nave looked around the room as he stepped to the podium Sunday morning at the SAL NEC Spring Meeting at the Sheraton City Centre Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.
“This crowd looks fine, and you know why. We reached $9 million,” said Nave, the chairman of the SAL Child Welfare Foundation Committee, drawing applause from the NECmen and others in the room.
Last week, the total SAL donations since 1988 topped the $9 million mark, accounting for close to half of the funds raised for the Child Welfare Foundation (CWF).
“Take pride in that, but the work continues,” Nave said. “Yeah, we’re ‘fine at nine,’ but now it’s time to reach ‘the perfect 10.’”
Dennis Boland, a dual member of The American Legion and the SAL and president of the CWF, thanked the SAL for their donations.
“You have taken the duty upon yourself to take care of the children of our nation, and the veterans of our nation. You have that honor of your family, your father’s or your mother’s heritage, for their service in our country. Our country, this is our home. Right now the turmoil is going around … this is still our country, our home, and we take care of it,” Boland said. “… I plead with you to keep it up so we will always have an organization that keeps us at the forefront of all the other service organizations at protecting our veterans and our children,” he added.
Boland highlighted Squadron 154 from the Detachment of Nebraska, whose $100 donation last week pushed the SAL’s contributions to the CWF over the $9 million mark. The squadron will be recognized at the national convention in Milwaukee in August.
Nave reminded those in attendance and watching the proceedings on the SAL Facebook page that donations for this fiscal year are due May 31. And CWF grant applications are being accepted now through June 15.
“What better PR do you have in your community than knowing that an organization in your community is awarded a grant?” Nave said in asking SAL members to encourage organizations in their community to apply for CWF grants.
CWF accepts funding proposals from nonprofits for projects that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual welfare of children. Grants are only given to entities that help U.S. children in a large geographic area; they are not awarded for day-to-day or special operating expenses. Grant applications are available online at cwf-inc.org.
Also on Sunday, approximately $64,000 in donations were presented on behalf of detachments and squadrons across the country, including roughly $48,000 to CWF, approximately $8,000 to Operation Comfort Warriors (OCW), about $7,000 to the National Emergency Fund (NEF), and approximately $1,500 to the Veterans & Children Foundation (VCF).
“It still always amazes me how much money comes in while we’re here,” said SAL National Commander Michael Fox.