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July 2023 Post Talk

2023-07-01T08:20:20-05:00Post Talk|

June 2023 Post Talk

2023-07-01T08:19:12-05:00Post Talk|

May 2023 Post Talk

2023-07-01T08:17:50-05:00Post Talk|

April 2023 Post Talk

Post Talk

North Branch Post #85

April 2023

  • Membership Meeting: April 11th @ 7:00PM
  • Auxiliary Meeting: April 11th @ 7:00PM
  • SAL Meeting: April 18th @ 7:00PM
  • Legion Riders Meeting: April 6th @ 7:00PM
  • Coffee Talk with the CVSO: April 18th @ 9:00AM

Rick Hals, Commander

Greetings to all. The midsummer prep is moving along quite well. We have received some large donations which will help Post 85 to put on a nice parade. There will be karaoke in the club room on April 14th starting at 7P M. Remember that, if you read this article and mention it at the bar you will receive 1 free drink.

Nominations for the upcoming elections will start this month, so please think about throwing your name in for any officer position that would work for you.

Remember to send your membership dues in if you have not done so already. The next membership meeting is April 11th at 7:00pm in the upstairs meeting room.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

The Auxiliary is hosting its annual Mother’s Day/Memorial Banquet for auxiliary members on May 3rd at 6:00 pm. We have invited a few neighboring units and our District President, Lorinda Kies, will be joining us. Our members and guests enjoy our program and meal. The meal is provided and we exchange small “white elephant” gifts. (Limit $15). Questions? Call Michelle at 651-295-7260

Camille Wentz, Legion Riders Director

The Riders continue to plan for summer events and are looking ahead to a busy and fun riding season. Our Christmas in July Rideis gaining momentum and we have collected a lot of donations so far. This past weekend many of us attended and worked at the American Legion Riders booth at the Donnie Smith Show. We were able to promote the North Branch American Legion and our Christmas in July Ride. It was a great networking opportunity.

The Riders have been busy with work in the Legion Hall including hanging the TV in the meeting room and facilitating the purchase and install of the new Legion emblems above the restrooms in the Hall. Special thanks to our Assistant Director and Road Captain Andy Specht for his work on this.

I would also like to thank the North Branch American Legion for the Meritorious Service Award I received in January. It was such an honor to be recognized and very unexpected.

Randy Koivisto, Sgt at Arms

  • Veterans Memorial Update
    • We have met with a representative of the City’s engineering firm, WSB, along with city officials, to go over our plans for the memorial. We are currently waiting for their response. The site selection is confirmed, now we just need them to approve our plans and assist with some last minute details, after which we will transition into the fundraising campaign.
  • Color Guard
    •  I will be holding a meeting with the new SAL color guard members on every Wednesday in April to help prepare for our upcoming Memorial Day events. We’ve decided that it may be more harmful than beneficial to put them through basic training. We recently stripped and cleaned the M-1 rifles in preparation for our Memorial Day events.
  • Scholarship Committee
    • The scholarship committee met recently and we chose the 5 recipients of our $1,500 Scholarships. There are many deserving students and it’s tough to select from such a great group of candidates. They are to be presented on May 10th in the high school auditorium.
  • Air Force Jr. ROTC Program
    • We will be presenting awards to two outstanding cadets at the High School on May 24th
  • Boys State
    • Sad to say, but there weren’t any North Branch boys interested in participating in the Boys State program once again this year.
  • Cemetery Headstone Project:
    • Once again it will be time in April to visit 10 local cemeteries to treat the head and foot stones as needed, and last year we also asked permission to straighten up some that were in danger of falling over in select cemeteries. There are many that need attention, but currently we are only doing the ones that are in urgent need. The post has purchased a large amount of the chemical D/2 that is working miracles on those old crud infested stones from the civil war and more recent eras.

Members of Post 85 recently visited local veteran, Willis Stewert, at the Ecumen of North Branch to help him celebrate his 100th birthday.

Bob Egan, SAL 1st Vice Commander

The SAL held our yearly member appreciation pizza dinner followed by our regular meeting on March 21st. I had the honor of presenting continuous membership tacks to the following members.

  • 5 years
    • Mitchell Egan
    • Keith Towle
    • Harry Fleming (not present)
  • 15 years
    • Chris Fedun
  • 25 years
    • Jim Boatman
  • 40 years
    • Tom (Tilly) Linder

Congratulations once again to these members on their milestones and thank you to all our members for their continued membership.

Mike Johnson, Gaming Manager

In March we had a Booty Chaser Bingo winner of almost $12,000! Congratulations to the big winner! Booty Chaser Bingo is the linked bingo played on the Electronic Pull tab tablets. Bars and restaurants across the state of Minnesota are all linked to the same game. It is becoming more and more popular across the state, which leads to bigger jackpots and jackpots hitting more often. Booty Chaser Bingo offers a regular game prize for every game that is played, along with three progressive jackpots that are based on the ball count.

The Major Jackpot starts at $10,000 and has grown all the way up to over $80,000 before being hit. With the game becoming so popular, that Major Jackpot is hitting on average about once a week somewhere in the state of Minnesota. Wouldn’t it be fun to hit that Major Jackpot here at Post 85?

I am currently putting the finishing touches on the new bingo programs for our Thursday and Saturday nights here at Post 85. Pending any setbacks, the new programs should be implemented during the month of April. The last thing to report for this month is that the gambling permit for the SAL Squadron 85 has been approved by the city and has been sent into the state. Once the state approves it, we can move forward with planning our gambling events for Midsummer. For the most part, things will be very similar to what has been conducted in the past, but there may be some minor changes to keep things interesting.

Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

April’s Employee/Member introduction:

Hi, my name is Sheri Specht. I belong to the North Branch American Legion Auxiliary and a Legion Riders member. I am currently the Secretary for the Riders.

I live in Sunrise Township with my husband Andy and our two dogs, Trigger and Sinatra, and our cat, Twitch.

I work at a credit union in St. Paul in the investments area. I have been there for 17 years and love the work I do!

I have two grown children, Nicholas and Caitlin, and one grandson, Mikko, (who is four). We will be welcoming another grandbaby this October! In my spare time I love to be outside soaking up the sun, swimming with my grandson, or watching/feeding the birds!

I love the newfound family that I have found here at the Legion. I have made many friends since joining this group, and I hope to make more. You can never have too many friends!!


We have elections coming up within the next couple of months. If you have the urge to serve please ask questions about the position that interests you
now before nominations this month. We really need all our positions filled.

  • Leadership Positions:
    • Legion:
      • Commander
      • 1st Vice Cmdr
      • 2nd Vice Cmdr
      • Chaplain
      • Sgt. At Arms
      • Historian
      • Judge Advocate
      • Service Officer
    • Auxiliary:
      • President
      • 1st Vice President
      • 2nd Vice President
      • Secretary**
      • Treasurer
      • Chaplain
      • Sgt. At Arms
      • Historian
    • SAL:
      •  Commander
      • 1st Vice Cmdr
      • 2nd Vice Cmdr
      • Treasurer
      • Sgt. At Arms
      • Chaplain
      • Historian
    • Legion Riders:
      • Director
      • Asst. Director
      • Membership Director
      • Road Captain
      • Secretary**
      • Treasurer
      • Sgt. At Arms
      • Chaplain
      • Historian

**Normally the Adjutant (Secretary) are appointed positions by the top leader. Check with your own entity if you are interested in that position. At Post #85 it is appointed in the Legion, but the others may be elected.

CONGRATULATIONS to all our membership award winners this year!! Also, a congratulations to all our special award winners for your contributions to the American Legion and our community!

Volunteer Opportunity!

We are looking for volunteers for Midsummer events. We could sure use some more help. Even a couple of hours on any day would be very helpful. Set-up, Clean up, helping the Auxiliary cooking in the park and/or at the dance, security or many other duties that need to be covered to pull off this celebration. If you have any time to share please contact Commander Rick Hals, or Club manager, Carene Johnson to see where you can fit in.

Upcoming events:

  • April 1st – Online Chaplain training 12-1PM (register at kladelsman@gmail.org)
  • April 1st – Dist. Membership Rally sponsored by 10th Dist ALR- Fridley.
  • June 1st – Dist ALR Mtg/Elections St Michael #567
  • Jun 2-3rd – District Convention/Elections- St Michael #567
  • June 10th – Believet Ride- Lino Lakes #566
  • June 14th-18th – MIDSUMMER DAYS
  • June 23-24th – SAL Detachment Conference- Anoka Squadron #102
  • July 8th – Christmas in July Ride- North Branch Chapter #85
  • July 26th – Legacy Ride Kickoff Party- North Branch #85
  • July 27-30th – Legacy Run leaving from North Branch – Statewide.
  • October 12-15th – Legion College- Camp Ripley
  • October 26-28th – Department Fall Conference- St. Cloud

Remember, YOU Are the Legion

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

Post #85

North Branch, Mn.

2023-03-31T14:13:16-05:00Post Talk|

March 2023 Post Talk

Post Talk

North Branch Post #85
By Ron Rollins, Adjutant
March 2023

  • Membership Meeting: March 14th @ 7:00PM
  • Auxiliary Meeting: May 14th @ 7:00PM
  • SAL Meeting: March 21st @ 6:00PM
  • Legion Riders Meeting: March 2nd @ 7:00PM
  • Coffee Talk with the CVSO: March 21st @ 9:AM

Rick Hals, Post Commander

Greetings to all.

The last time l wrote I mentioned the cold weather and tonight it’s the rain, one never knows about Minnesota!

I have 3 dates for upcoming events that I want to share.

> On the 10th of March is the cheap date party.
> The following day March 11th is the Corn Beef and Cabbage preparation in morning starting at 8 am, the supper will begin at 5 pm. If anyone can help either in the am or pm please come, it is fun and good conversation.
> The last thing I have to mention is the floor cleaning and waxing, this will be starting on March 5th {yeah, I know its Sunday but the hall scheduling and to be able to wax it properly takes 4 to 5 days for it to dry completely). If at all possible please come and help.
I hope to see you all at the next membership meeting on the 14th of March.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

I want to share a big thank to the Post for the Meritorious Service Award presented to me at our February meeting. It ishumbling to be acknowledged for service that is an honor for me to provide to our veterans, military and community.

Thank you for the award.

Camille Wentz, Legion Riders Director

The Riders have been busy planning the Christmas in July Ride and are making great progress. We created a sponsorship program that is being led by Assistant Director and Road Captain Andy Specht and Rider Kirk Laszcwski.

With this program we have already raised approximately 1/3 of our total from last year’s ride, which is very exciting! Our Membership Chairman Austin Doll has been busy planning our group road guard class on April 30th. We have 11 of our Riders planning to do the class to be Certified Road Guards. After our Riders complete the class, a group from the Lino Lakes American Legion Post 566 will be completing the class with the same instructor and location. We have also begun work on the Legacy Ride Kick-off Party and the Midsummer Kiddie Parade. Come visit the Riders booth at the Donnie Smith Show, March 25-26!

Camille Wentz, Chapter Director

Charlie Hult, SAL Commander

SAL** February was a busy month for the SAL February 11th we held the 10th District Sweetheart dinner at the North Branch Legion for the Legion Family, which was sponsored by the SAL. The gathering drew approximately 45 members from throughout the district. We enjoyed a great meal that
was prepared for us by retired Stacy Firefighter, and local caterer, Tony Matkati. Then the following day, February 12th, we had the Winter Fest Omelet breakfast where we served around 110 people. I want to say thank you to all the SAL and other Legion Family members that helped make both of these events a huge success. When one of our entities look good, we all look good. THANK YOU!

Charlie Hult
Commander SAL

Randy Koivisto, Sgt. At Arms:

Recently, Post 85 1st Vice Commander and Membership Director, Mark Johnson, presented Past National Chaplain Michas Ohnstad with his 75 years of service pin award. Many other post 85 members joined in to celebrate the occasion.

And Post 85 members recently visited Ecumen to honor WWII veteran Willis Stewert as he celebrated is 100th birthday.

Respectfully submitted,
Randy Koivisto

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

Troop donations have been completed for the 257
th MP Company and the box has been sent to the unit in California.

Upcoming events:

  • March 11th – Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner @ 5PM until gone
  • March 12th – Daylight Savings Time begins
  • March 17th – St Patrick’s Day
  • March 25-26th – Donnie Smith Bike Show- St Paul River Centre
  • March 17th -18th in Rochester
  • March 30th – Veteran’s Day on the Hill- St. Paul Capital
  • April 20-23- American Legion College- Camp Ripley
  • June 10th – 2023 Believet Motorcycle Run at Lino Lakes Post 566
  • June 15-18th – Midsummer Weekend
  • June 23-24th SAL Detachment Convention- Anoka.
  • July 12th – 15th – 2023 Department Convention in Redwood Falls.
  • Oct. 26-28th – Department Fall Conference River’s Edge Convention Center- St Cloud

Today our employee/member Introduction is:

Auxiliary member Bobbie Elmstrand

I want to introduce you to auxiliary member Bobbie Elmstrand. I commend her for her selfless service to our Auxiliary Unit and more. Bobbie is a thirty year member of our unit and is known by almost everyone. She is known so well for her help in the unit and community.

Bobbie is a past president of the unit and is our Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman. She remembers and recognizes our veterans at the Ecumen and Encore assisted living facilities. For several years she has planned parties for Veterans Day and Christmas at the facilities with cards, lunches and gifts. She also remembers them at other holidays with a little treat or gift.

You will see Bobbie every Thursday Night at Bingo serving concessions. I can’t forget to acknowledge her for decades of working during Midsummer, especially at the chuckwagon. She is also very active in the community by serving with the North Branch Lions.

Finally, do you notice the stars and flags marking the graves of veterans in cemeteries? Yep, Bobbie and her family set them up at 6 cemeteries every year ahead of Memorial Day.

Bobbie is a great asset and I hope you will reach out to her and thank her for her contributions.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

As a personal note, I first met Bobbie as a freshman in high school as she spent many, many years working at the North Branch Schools. She was a big influence to me as she was so kind and friendly to the students (don’t get me wrong, stern when she needed to be!) Thank you Bobbie, for your service to our Unit and Community!.

Ron Rollins

We are training our members. As improvements progress on the hall and meeting room with the addition of several big screen televisions to improve Bingo nights and hall rentals we are also planning on improving our Legion Training capability. We will be starting small, but planning has yet to begin.

Training members with equip them with the tools to improve everyone’s understanding of the operational needs and importance of our positions of leadership. We have a fantastic pool of untapped leaders in our POST that don’t yet know the improvement they will make in someone’s life until they step up and take on a new roll.

With that being said, I am excited to see that we have interest like never before in the excitement of knowing more about the programs and leadership of the American Legion. Three Legion members and one SAL member will be attending Legion College at Camp Ripley next month.

As a bonus, these members with get the opportunity to meet this year’s National Commander, Vincent J. “Jim” Troiola from the Department of New York.

I would expect Mike Johnson, Kurt Roettjer, Andy Specht and myself will bring back lots of information to generate more interest in learning about the American Legion.

Remember, YOU Are the Legion

Ron Rollins, Adjutant
Post #85
North Branch, Mn.

2023-03-31T11:03:27-05:00Post Talk|