NECman: What costs haven’t gone up in recent years?

By Bill Barbknecht

Spring is on its way. It has been a very good December, January and early February for travel. Donna and I have attended many mid-winter conferences and department rallies. They were all well-attended. Thank you all for that.

The state Senate and House are now meeting in St. Paul. Please contact your senators and representatives. We need tax relief on our buildings, as well as tax relief on charitable gambling.

Bill Barbknecht mugshot
Bill Barbknecht

A dues increase is coming July 1. National HQ is raising its share of dues $5. The Department of Minnesota is expected to pass a $3 dues increase at the Department Convention. Some districts will be asking for a $1 or $2 increase at their district conventions.

There is an old saying: “It’s not the price you pay. It’s the price you paid to belong.”

Most post dues will be about $50 a year, which equals out to be 14 cents a day. Think of the things we do as an American Legion Family for our veterans, schools, cities as well as all our youth programs. To me, that makes it all worthwhile.

Tell me what hasn’t gone up the past three or four years?

The Washington Conference will be Feb. 24-28 in the nation’s capital. Minnesota will have about 25 American Legion Family members in attendance. Blake Schoolmeester of Willmar will speak at the ANAVICUS breakfast Monday, Feb. 26, with about 400-500 in attendance. He received a scholarship last year and will talk about how it has helped with his college and career in life.

March is birthday month for the American Legion Family. I hope your post is doing something special for its members. Register your boys and girls ages 10-12 for the Legionville Camp this summer. Register your high school juniors for Boys State and Girls State.

And, of course, register your baseball teams for American Legion Baseball and Fastpitch Softball.

“Be The One” to do Buddy Checks. Go see those members you haven’t seen in quite a while, whether they have renewed their membership.

Speaking of renewals, all posts should exceed last year’s membership by April 1. Go knock physically on those doors; do not rely on email or texts.  Personal invitations over coffee or a beverage of your choice are the best way to make feel members needed welcomed missed and included.

Donna and I look forward to seeing you on March 2 in Montgomery for the Appreciation Rally, beginning at 4 p.m.

Bill Barbknecht of Underwood Post 489 is the Department of Minnesota’s National Executive Committeeman.