Good evening American Legion Family;
These last few months Team Illinois has been working hard at membership. All divisions have held retention drives, revitalizations, called and checked on their members, or had some sort of membership drive. Our family caravan in January was successful and we had great attendance at the stops. We collected 319 memberships of which 30 were brand new members and awarded 8 new goal units. One unit in particular went up to 145%!
I was a just notified from our National membership team, that from March 20, 2022 through April 20, 2022, National Headquarters will be tracking the number of rejoined members for each department. The Department that has the most rejoins per capita during our “Spring Campaign” will be recognized at the 2022 National Convention in Milwaukee. Additionally, the national membership division chairman will be sending out a “We Miss You” email to former members with email addresses on file on Monday, March 21st to help kick things off!
I continue to get visit forms from District and Division Presidents, but want to remind you to continue sending them. You have until May 1 to get the forms to me to be entered into the drawing for a free ticket to the Past Presidents Parley/Gold Star Dinner at Department Convention on Thursday night.
Also, I want to remind you that as your post/unit/squadron work together as a Family at events, to take a few photos, write a paragraph about the event and send it to me. There is a new National Award about working together as a family, and no one does it better than the Department of Illinois. Let’s show all those other departments what it means to be an American Legion Family. Please have those to me by May 31st.
This morning was a 75% cutoff which we have surpassed! Thank you very much. This means the traveling pin needs to be redistributed and the winners stand thus:
4th Division gets to keep their pins as a top division-89.01%
1st Division-7th District Bonnie Sheirok gets to keep her pin as top district in the department at 96.46%
2nd Division-13th District Jerri Akins 91.99%
3rd Division-14th District Dona Kenney 89.22%
4th Division-18th District Annette Rowe gets to keep hers-91.65%
5th Division-2nd District Mike Murphree gets to keep hers-91.64%
If you won in December, but did not win again today, please return your traveling sewing machine pin to me so I can redistribute them.
The Sergeant at Arms and her Assistants are passing out the updated totals for your records, but here are a few highlights.
• The Number 2,3, 4, & 5 places in the department are all separated by less than one hundredth of a point
• At the beginning of this conference, we stood at 86.09% with 83 goal units. Today we collected 239 membership which includes 54 new members. After our membership collection today, we now sit at 87.20% which is an increase of 1.11% with 88 goal units.
Please continue to reach out to your units and see if they need help doing a phone-a-then or revitalization. If so and you need help, please let me know.
Now, for one final piece of business. If I could have Commander Wayne, Senior Vice Commander Lomac, President Patti, and Vice President Janet, and Commander Jeff please join me. At our Fall Board meeting in August, we had a friendly wager as a family. The wager was $25 to the winners project of choice to the organization that had the highest number of new members by the opening of Patriotic Conference.
Let’s begin with Commander Wayne vs. President Patti & Senior Vice Commander Lomac vs. Auxiliary Vice President Janet Bacon. The commanders have both chosen The American Legion Illinois Relief Fund to help our veterans here in Illinois when experiencing an emergency or disaster. President Patti and Vice President Janet have chosen the Creative Arts Festival, which is President Patti’s special project for the year. I spoke with Dee Dalton in Department office this morning, and The American Legion has a total of 2178 new members and the Auxiliary had a total of 862. This means the Illinois Relief Fund will be $50 richer. Sorry, ladies.
Detachment Commander Jeff and I also had a $25 wager but both of ours will benefit the Child Welfare Foundation. I spoke with Dee Dalton in the Department office this morning, and The Sons of The American Legion have a total of 1177 members and the Auxiliary has a total of 862.
Thank you for your continued work on membership, but remember that we are not done yet. We do still have a wager with Indiana for the department with the highest percentage by April 1st. As many of you know, I have an extra vested interest in Illinois winning this wager, and the fact that President Patti does not want to wear Purdue colors doesn’t hurt either. So please help us make those Hoosiers wear Illini Orange!