Post Talk

North Branch Post #85

February 2023

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

Rick Hals, Commander

Greetings to everyone on this COLD night. I am happy to say everything is going real well at the Legion.

Carene has started to book bands and the music for under the tent at Midsummer.

The Legion will be putting our annual corn beef and cabbage dinner on March 11th so please set aside some time on that day to help prepare and serve the dinner. This is always a fan favorite!

We have lined up Dave Nelson to help with cleaning and waxing. We will talk more at the meeting about the cleaning.

The SAL will be hosting the 10th District Sweetheart Rally on Saturday Feb. 11th @11:00 and then turning around and hosting their omelet breakfast on Feb.12th, please try to attend and support them.

Mark Johnson, the membership chairman has asked me to mention that if you have not renewed please do so.

The next membership meeting is Feb.14th, please try to attend.

Ed Chromey, Chaplain, Post/Legion Riders

The month of February is a time for legion members to reflect on several past events in our country’s history.

The first Sunday of the month is designated as Four Chaplains Sunday. We take time on this Sunday to remember the four chaplains of the USAT Dorchester who made the supreme sacrifice by giving their life vests and other apparel to their fellow soldiers while they stayed aboard the ship as it sank standing hand in hand praying.

Secondly, we remember two great leaders of our country. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. These men helped bring our country through some dark times in our country’s history to help us in our fight for freedom for all.

We also take time to celebrate with our sweethearts on Valentine’s day.

This also is the month that the Christian season of Easter begins, when we take time to remember the Son of God who made the ultimate sacrifice so that all can have the opportunity to have freedom from being eternally separated from God.

Finally, at the end of the shortest month of the year we start to breathe a sigh of relief as the days become longer and the temperature slowly starts to climb upward.

So, let us all take some time this month to thank our God, the creator of the universe, and those men and women who have fought for and are continuing to keep us free so we can reflect back on these events of great importance in our country’s history.

Mike Johnson, Gaming Manager

I want to start by saying THANK YOU to all of the customers who support the Charitable Gambling here at American Legion Post 85 – North Branch. Without your continued support, we would not be able to do what we do for the local communities and for our own Post. In the future, and with the help of the newly formed PR committee here at Post 85, it is my goal to show what we are doing for our local communities with the net receipts from the Charitable Gambling here at Post 85. I will use photos, correspondence, and data, to show just how much of a difference we are making, because of all of YOU!

We will be conducting $10 Sports Tipboards for the Super Bowl on 2/12/23. They are currently available in the booth or behind the bar and will be available up until kickoff.

The new TV’s have been installed in the hall for Bingo and are operational. You can now view the bingo software during bingo from anywhere in the hall.

I am currently working on the new bingo programs and my goal is to start them by the end of March at the latest. We will continue to have bingo sessions Thursday and Saturday nights.

Look for some new pulltab games in the pulltab booth and behind the bar later in February. Multiplier games, 301 games, and a $2 window game where you have the chance to open multiple windows on one ticket.

It’s hard to believe that it was -13 degrees this morning, but we are already discussing and making plans for Midsummer. The SAL will be conducting most of the gaming that takes place outside under the tent during Midsummer like in past years. We may be adding a second large Bingo event under the tent on Thursday night, to go along with the designer purse Bingo that is typically Friday night. Look for an update once things are finalized.

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

Membership Contest

I have recruitment on the mind. It is my goal to find at least 10 new members this year. I would like everyone to think with that goal in mind- or even a larger goal.

As an incentive The Legion will be conducting a membership drive contest this year that I would hope everyone is willing to participate in. The Legion Family member to recruit the most new members by the end of the calendar year will receive a $200.00 gift card.

This recruitment can be for either the Legion, Auxiliary, or the Sons of American Legion or any combination therein. Make sure your name is on the bottom of the application when it’s turned in. A running tally will be recorded and at the end of the calendar year we will name a winner. Ready- GO!


The Department Commander, Jennifer Havlick is inviting anyone wishing to be a part of the 8th-10th District Monthly Zoom on the second Wednesday of the month starting at 7PM. The entire Legion Family is invited.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 893 9371 3109
Passcode: 810810

If you have any further questions: Contact Adjutant Ron Rollins 651-775-6985 before the date of the call and I will make contact with the Department Adjutant for any clarification.


This month I bring to you another program sponsored by the American Legion: Legionville

Legionville is a program of the Minnesota Department of The American Legion through a nonprofit educational corporation. Titled Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center, Inc.,  its primary function is to train Minnesota boys and girls in the procedures of school-safety patrol work at intersections and in bus patrol work.

The idea of the School Patrol originated with Sister Carmela of the Cathedral School in St. Paul on Feb. 21, 1921 when the first patrolmen were stationed at the intersection of Kellogg Boulevard and Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. Adopted citywide by the City of St. Paul in 1922 as a part of the program of the School System and the St. Paul Police Department, it was also adopted as a statewide program by the Minnesota Highway Patrol.

Earle Brown, the first chief of the Minnesota Highway Patrol, felt that a uniform program of training and support should be created in the State and came to the Minnesota American Legion in 1935 requesting such assistance. In 1936, under a cooperative program, The American Legion started a statewide training program held at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds in Brainerd, with two years at Camp Ripley, using these facilities until 1956. The Training Center was staffed by members of the Minnesota Highway Patrol, qualified Legionnaires and support staff.

In 1948, the Minnesota American Legion set up a committee to raise funds to construct a permanent training center for the School Patrol. The Parker family, in 1954, donated the original 560-acre site on North Long Lake. The caretaker house used to be the old farmhouse, and the old barn was once the old milk house and was converted into an educational building. The area called Parkerville consists of many family cottages along the lake right next to Legionville. The generous Parker family, many of whom were Legionnaires in Brainered, also donated the Boy Scouts camp on the other side of North Long Lake.

A later addition of land raised the total to 610 acres with 1,500 feet of shoreline beach. The property contained some buildings, including a large barn which was converted to an all-purpose unit of classrooms, office, canteen, first aid room, a large theater and a recreational area on the second floor. A modern dining hall, seven dormitories, caretaker’s house and two cabins for staff have been built creating the modern Legionville School Safety Patrol Training Center, Inc.

From the first program in 1936 of two weeks and 157 patrolmen, the enrollment has progressed to more than 1,000 each season with the training center having a session capacity of 168. All sessions are now co-ed.

Each youngster, between the ages of 8-13, attends and is sponsored by an organization in his or her hometown. The typical patroller is a student entering fourth, fifth, or sixth grade. The patrollers are selected to represent their schools at Legionville by the School Patrol advisor of their school and local personnel. Teams of patrollers are encouraged to attend together to enhance their training and knowledge.

Legionville is a function of The American Legion, Department of Minnesota. However, the local Posts and Auxiliary Units contribute heavily to the program and handle many of the details making each year a smooth operation across the state. In addition to sending patrollers to the Training Center, many Posts and Auxiliary Units make direct contributions to Legionville for maintaining the Center and adding needed equipment. This enables the weekly fee to the Center to remain at a low level.

Legionville is also the location where the Legion Family holds their annual Romp in September. It is also open to off-season camping. Contact Legionville for more information at:

Make all communications to:
c/o The American Legion
20 W. 12th Street, Room 300A
St. Paul, MN 55155-2000
Telephone: 651-291-1800

Legionville Camp is at:
9544 Legionville Road
Brainerd, MN 56401

Mailing address prior to camp opening:
Legionville Camp
20 W. 12th St., Room 300A
St. Paul, MN 55155-2000
You can reach us by email at


Start thinking of summer conventions and conferences. I will be listing them beginning next month. I will be attending the District and Department Convention this year. Dates and times will be posted soon. Come and join me in learning more about the American Legion.

If you wish to be a delegate, attend your meetings and request to be nominated as a delegate-that makes you a voting member for our Post.


This month our Employee/Member introduction is Bob Egan, SAL 1st Vice-Commander

Hello, I’m Bob Egan.

I have been a resident of North Branch since 1974. The 1st part of my life was spent at different Air bases such as San Antonio TX, Monterey CA, and Yokota Air Force Base, Fussa Japan.

I’m married to my wife Rene’e and have a daughter, Michaela, who just graduated from Oklahoma State University and a son, Mitchell, also an SAL member, who is a sophomore in high school.

One of my hobbies is to buy vintage snowmobiles, ride them,  and enter them into vintage snowmobile shows.

I have been the 1st Vice Commander of the Sons of The American Legion Squadron #85 for the last 5 years. I have many members of my family who are veterans. It was my stepfather Rick Hals, who is the Commander of this post, that urged me to join the SAL. Some of the highlights that have happened since I have joined the squadron are that we had our highest membership on record in 2020 in which the squadron received an award. We were invited to be a part of the 10th district snowmobile rally in 2019 to gather up memberships and we’re then asked to be involved with the 2020 and the final 50th snowmobile rally in 2021. The squadron will also be hosting the 10th District Sweetheart Rally at the Hall Saturday February 11 with our omelet breakfast to follow the next day Sunday February 12 also at the Hall.

The squadron has also made a donation to the new veterans memorial and we are excited to see it built.

We are always looking for new members so if you know any males who have father’s or grandfather’s that are/were veterans please invite them to join our squadron.


Remember Veterans, If you have the need to go to the Hospital (Community Care), remember to call the VA when you get there or to first get authorization for Community Care.

Call: 800-424-4018 and get a pre-authorization number for your records and the hospital you go to.

If you want the VA to pay for a trip in an ambulance they need to be notified within 72 HOURS. Remember to obtain the name of the person you talked to and an authorization number.

Remember, YOU Are the Legion