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|

February 2023 Post Talk

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 information@legionville.org


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

2023-02-03T07:37:07-06:00Post Talk|

January 2023 Post Talk

Post Talk

Post Talk
North Branch Post #85

January 2023

  • Membership Meeting: Jan. 10th@ 7:00PM
  • Auxiliary Meeting:  No meeting this month
  • SAL Meeting: Jan. 17th @ 7:00PM
  • Legion Riders Meeting:  Jan. 5th @ 7:00PM
  • Coffee Talk with the CVSO: Jan. 17th @ 9:00AM

Rick Hals, Commander

Greetings and wishing all a prosperous and happy New Year! As 2022 comes to and end, I was thinking of all the terrific things took place at Post 85.

One thing that we all tackled was Covid, then we overcame a few problems at midsummer and ended with very good celebration.

The post has new Gaming Manager, Mike Johnson early this fall. I would like to personally thank Glenn Pierce for many years as our  gaming manager.

The Post did some upgrades this year:

  1. The Hall was painted,
  2. We installed a new pull tab booth,
  3. A new mini bar was built for the hall,
  4. A new bar top was built and coming in early March, and
  5. possibly several more projects if we remain busy and see the need.

The Legion’s Awards Dinner is Jan 10th.

Social Hour: (1700hrs) 5PM
Dinner served: (1800hrs) 6PM
Meetings/Awards: (1900hrs) 7PM

It will be catered by the Dave Reider Family, who have done such a fine job for us in past years. The awards and meeting will follow the meal.

The Legion has made a $25,000.00 donation towards the Veterans Memorial to be constructed in Central Park in North Branch.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Jan. 10th.

Ed Chromey, Chaplain, Post/Legion Riders

As we reflect upon all that has happened in the past twelve months, let us never forget that GOD has been present in our lives every moment of our days.

“Jesus Listens” – Sara Young

I hope this prayer for today will help you to have a great New Year.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

Santa Day was a huge success. We entertained over 100 kids and over 25 American Legion Family members helped! They kids were treated to crafts, our special flag punch board for goodie bags filled with treats and a prize, cookies and hot chocolate for everyone, and, of course, a visit with Santa Claus. Thank you to all the volunteers, who had a great time, as well as the kids.

Just a reminder: No Auxiliary meeting will be held in January. Be back in February 14th.

Charlie Hult, SAL Commander

I first want to say that I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with their friends and families and I am looking forward to a wonderful New Year’s 2023.

We have two events coming up in February. First, is the 10th District Sweetheart Rally on February 11th @11:00am. Second is the SAL Omelet Breakfast which will be Sunday February 12th @ 0800-noon. We will have more information coming out on both events later on in January.

I was not able to attend the January meeting because I had had a knee replacement surgery, but I just want to welcome Troy Zambrano who has been a member for a couple of months and looking forward to him being an active member of the SAL. I also want to thank Vice Commander Darren Lemmermann for filling in for me in the January meeting. We usually give out 2 – $500 scholarships and it’s exciting to say this year we are going to be giving out 2- $1000 scholarships to two North Branch High School seniors.

I think going into 2023 will be an exciting year for the SAL as we move forward with trying to increase membership and do more projects within the community.

In closing, I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Years.

Camille Wentz, Riders Director

  • Legion Riders Christmas Party:

The Riders hosted a very successful Christmas party on Friday, December 9th in the Legion Hall. We had at least 40 in attendance and tons of food which was mostly purchased and prepared by all of our Riders. The family we sponsored for Christmas was extremely grateful for all of the gifts we purchased. Because Veterans on the Lake matched our donation, we were able to also present the family with a week-long stay there, once the husband/father returns from deployment.

  • Legion Riders participation in Santa Day:

The legion Riders participated in their first Santa Day program. It was a very fun time to see all the smiles on all the children, and adults as well. It was very well organized and we so enjoyed seeing the Legion Family working together. We had lots of fun and look forward to returning next year.

  • Legion Riders visit to Ecumen:

We visited Ecumen on Sunday, December 11th where we were blessed to visit with 19 veterans and their spouses who live there. The 16 Riders in attendance brought sandwiches, cookies, blankets, and personalized stockings stuffed to the max to each Veteran and spouse. Some of us visited with Veterans in the party room while others delivered goodies to the rooms of Veterans not able to make it to the party room. We sang Christmas Carols (only one Veteran asked for ear plugs) and later continued to distribute little gifts to non-veterans in the common areas. It was a truly moving experience for some of us who hadn’t had the opportunity to do something like this before. We hope to continue this effort in the future.

Randy Koivisto, Sgt at Arms

  • Christmas Gifts

On Friday, December 16th, a crew from Post 85 and our NB VFW post 6424 delivered Christmas gifts to veteran’s residing in our local nursing homes. The gifts were patriotic blankets, whose costs were shared by both posts. Those recipients appreciated the visits just as much, if not more, than the gift.

  • Veterans Memorial

The engineering plans are back from the supplier in Ohio and are being presented to the city for approval. This will be the final step prior to the fundraising campaign.

Our post recently made a donation of $25,000 to the project. The Auxiliary and the SAL will also be presenting a check to help kick start the process.

  • January Awards / Dinner meeting

Our annual awards meeting will start with a spaghetti dinner at 6pm, to be followed by the awards portion of the program. Chef Dave Reiter will be doing the cooking for us once again. There will be help also from the Air Force Jr. ROTC cadets, and our local Boy Scout troop. We have invited the VFW to join our gathering. All members of the Legion Family are invited, and can bring a guest at no charge. After the awards presentation, we will hold our normal post monthly meeting. Guests will be invited to leave (Flee!) just prior to the start of the monthly meeting.

Commanders’ reminder: Wear Legion attire including caps for photo’s before dinner. Catherine Eaton Johnson will be our photographer.

  • Blood Drive

Have you been told lately that you are “full of it”? Well, soon we will have a remedy for you! Our next quarterly blood drive is scheduled for Friday, February 3rd, from 9a.m. to 3 p.m. in our hall. Reservations are required. To reserve a spot you can call 1-800-733-2767, or visit RedCrossBlood.ORG. We could use folks to volunteer for a two hour shift (or more). Contact me at rkoi@midco.net if you would like to sign up.

  • Honor Guard

Past commander Ray Pittman passed away from cancer recently. We also lost long time members Skip Solle, and Russ Ramberg. We provided honors at Skip’s funeral, and will be doing the same for Ray and Russ in the near future. We can always use more members for the honor guard. It’s one of the most important services that we offer. Contact me at rkoi@midco.net to sign up or get more info.

  • Scholarships

Our post has committed to offering 5, $1,500 scholarships, to be presented in May at the High School.

Mike Johnson, Gaming Manager

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As we move into 2023, I would like to point out a couple of changes that have been made to the gaming operation and point out some of the changes that are coming soon.

  • There are now two $2 pull-tab boxes and one $3 pull-tab box behind the bar. The bar pull-tab boxes are open during the day Monday-Saturday, prior to the pull-tab booth opening at 4 PM.
  • The pull-tab booth now offers two $1 boxes, two $2 boxes, one $3 box, and one $5 box.
  • The pull-tab booth is now open seven days a week.
  • The pull-tab booth hours are as follows:
    • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM+
    • Monday – Thursday: 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM+
    • Friday – Saturday: 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM+
  • We now have 12 electronic pull-tab devices. These are available any time during normal business hours.
  • Meat Raffle is conducted on Monday’s and Thursday’s and starts at approximately 4:45 PM. Mondays are $1 tickets with a $20 gift card prize and Thursdays are $2 tickets with a $40 gift card prize. We offer gift cards for prizes from several local businesses including: The Hungry Farmer, The Fuse, Tailgaters, Pizza Pub, North Branch Liquors, Merchant’s Cafe, Kaffe Stuga, Peterson’s Mill, and Kwik Trip. A free drink is given to the person who is one number off (Mondays – higher, Thursdays – Lower) for each spin of the paddlewheel.
  • Four new TV’s have been purchased and will be installed in the near future. Three of them will be installed in the hall so during Thursday night bingo in the hall, you will be able to view the bingo software display no matter where you are sitting. The fourth TV will be installed on the South wall of the bar for better viewing of the bingo software display during Saturday night bar bingo.
  • Along with the new TV’s, we are in the process of getting bids to have the Audio/Video throughout the entire building updated.
  • Currently, Thursday night bingo in the hall is at 6:30 PM and Saturday night bar bingo is at 6:00 PM. In the near future, we plan on making some changes to both of the bingo programs. We are looking at changing some games, adding some exciting features, and possible moving to packets as opposed to selling single sheets that are sold in between each game.

Please follow the North Branch American Legion Post 85’s Facebook page. If bad weather is going to force the pull-tab booth to be closed or bingo/meat raffle to be canceled, it will be posted as soon as possible on our Facebook page.

Michael Johnson, Gambling Manager

Ron Rollins, Adjutant


I hope everyone had a delightful Christmas and New Year.

2023. What will the new year bring us this year?

I know motorcycle season is a short 4-5 months away! Keep thinking Spring! Snowmobilers – ENJOY!

I am starting out this year with 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.

We will be conducting a membership drive this year that I would hope everyone is willing to participate in. The Legion Family member to recruit the most new members will receive a substantial prize (yet to be determined) by the end of the year. 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 – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89393713109?pwd=MGNIY2VFSFJYS3I2R1B4cFY1WHVNQT09 
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: American Legion Boys State which will be held June 11-17, 2023, at St John’s University Campus in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Minnesota American Legion Boys State is a week-long experience of learning about Minnesota government at the local, county and state levels by “doing”. It is a week of intensive study and involvement. The participants will actually organize and participate in the various levels and branches of government in addition to participating in athletics, music, writing for the newspaper or holding leadership positions across all levels of the program. Every boy will participate in the process of city, county and state government. Minnesota Boys State is a program for young men who have just completed their junior year of high school. Highlights of the week include political speakers, mock trials, campaigning, elections, and announcement of the Boys State Governor and State Constitutional Officers.

Unlike a summer or recreational camp, Minnesota Boys State is a week of studying and learning by involvement. However, we do have fun times, too. To illustrate this point, included in this mailing is a schedule of a typical day’s activities so you may see the type of program that is promoted and the pace expected to the citizens. The citizens also have the opportunity for group living. For many, it will be their first exposure to dormitory living and sharing a room. Meals are served cafeteria style. This is quite different from their home environment. This week will be a good preview of college dorm life. The citizens have both an opportunity and a responsibility. The opportunity is one of participating in a program of government with hundreds of other young men from throughout Minnesota. The responsibility is not only spending the week learning as much as he can, but also taking this knowledge and experience back into his school and his community, using it and sharing it with others. If you have any questions concerning Minnesota American Legion Boys State, please contact State Headquarters or your local American Legion Post.

Our staff is an all-volunteer organization comprised of Legionaries, former Boys Stators, teachers, and civic minded citizens from various professions. Combined the staff has decades of experience in instructing the delegates at Boys State and works hard to fulfill the objectives and goals put forth by the American Legion.

Go to our website and find out more about Minnesota Boys State www.mnboysstate.org or contact The American Legion Department of Minnesota at

American Legion Department of Minnesota
20 West 12th Street, Room 300-A
St. Paul, MN 55155

Phone: 651-291-1800

Toll-free: 866-259-9163.

The Legion Auxiliary also does a Girls State:

What is Girls State?

ALA Minnesota Girls State is a diverse group of young women who share a common desire to learn. From small towns to urban areas, the citizens’ diverse backgrounds add spirit to the program. The purposes of the ALA Minnesota Girls State program are to provide Americanism and good citizenship training and to inform our participants about the duties, privileges, rights, and responsibilities of government as practiced in a democratic society.

Each June, the ALA Minnesota Girls State “citizens” study the Minnesota city, county, and state governmental processes. Citizens are divided into two fictional political parties gaining knowledge of the operations of a two-party system. They formulate their cities electing the officials and then proceed on to county and state governmental positions. Activities include campaigning, caucusing, debating, and voting. Parliamentary procedures and also used in the process.

This year ALA Minnesota Girls State is a week long session from Sunday June 11th to Saturday June 17th, 2023 at BETHEL UNIVERSITY in St. Paul, MN. For further information go to https://www.mnala.org/girls-state/

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.

The District Mid-Winter Conference will be in Anoka. This is a one-day conference for the Legion Family having their own meetings. This is a great place to start getting active in the American Legion.

Staff Introduction this month is our new Post Gaming Manager, Mike Johnson.

I was born and raised in Stark, MN and attended North Branch Schools.  My junior and senior years of high school I attended Cambridge Community College through the PSEO program and graduated in the year 2000.  Throughout my childhood I enjoyed playing sports, hunting, fishing, swimming, and snowboarding.

Shortly after graduating high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.  I attended boot camp at MCRD San Diego and stepped on the yellow footprints on April 9th, 2001, one of a handful of days in my life that I will never forget.  After graduating boot camp, I attended my MOS school at Camp Johnson, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  After graduating MOS school in September 2001, I was transferred to my permanent duty station, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.  In January of 2003, my unit was deployed to Northern Kuwait in support of what would later become Operation Iraqi Freedom.  After returning from Iraq, I finished my time on active duty in the Marine Corps back at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, being Honorably Discharged on April 8th, 2005.

I have been a Legion & VFW member for 17 years, and a SAL member for 41 years.

I’m currently self-employed as an Independent Catastrophic Insurance Adjuster for my full-time career.  Storm season for me typically runs from around April until October.

My wife Justina and I have been married for almost 21 years.  We have one son, Declan, who just turned three years old.  We also have two dogs, Serene and Harley, both of which are rescues.  We love to travel, spend time with friends and family, and spend time on the lake, whether it’s fishing or jet skiing.

Thank you Mike and welcome aboard- again. If you will see Mike hustling around the Legion doing all things gambling. Please welcome him.

  • Membership Goals:

As of 14 Dec, North Branch Post #85 was at 74% of goal. We need 57 more renewals to reach goal. Let’s get those in.

  • Troop collections:

I will be collecting items thru January to mail to the 257th MP Company (National Guard based in Monticello) who are currently deployed to the southern border. The following are items I am looking for. If you want to donate something similar, feel free. Anything you can help me provide would be appreciated. This will be sent to those Troops in the name of the NORTH BRANCH AMERICAN LEGION FAMILY. I will be collecting these items for the next 30 days. Thank you in advance for your help.

Items to donate:

Reusable water bottles
Blender bottles
Plastic silverware
Ziploc bags (various sizes)
Reusable Tupperware (various sizes)
Dish soap
Paper plates/bowls
Paper towels
Tin foil
Room air fresheners
Hand sanitizer
Laundry detergent
Stress balls
Sani wipes
Click pens
Small extension cords
Power strips
Basic tools (screwdrivers, utility tools, etc)
Peanut butter
Jelly – various flavors
Foods on the go (granola bars, breakfast bars, trail mix, etc.)
Books (with law enforcement topic or storyline)
Decks of cards
Bingo game
Board or other card games
Outdoor games

Also, handwritten thank you notes are also very welcomed.

Upcoming events

  • Jan1st-NEW YEARS DAY- 2023
  • Jan 14th- 10th District Mid-Winter Conference- Anoka Post 102
  • Feb 4th- Dept. Sweetheart Rally- 10:30am, Osseo, MN
  • Feb 11th- District 10 Sweetheart Rally- North Branch, MN
  • March 17-18- SAL Detachment Spring Conference- Rochester, MN
  • March 18-April 22- Legion Family Bowling Tourney- Sundance Lanes, Dayton, MN
  • April 15th- Dept Appreciation Family Gathering, New Prague, MN
  • June 15-18, 2023 MIDSUMMER DAYS
  • July 12-15th- Department Convention, Willmar Conference Center
  • Oct. 12-15th-Minnesota Legion College- Camp Ripley
  • Oct 26-28th- Dept Fall Conference- River’s Edge Conv. Center, St Cloud, MN

Remember, YOU Are the Legion

2023-01-09T17:17:53-06:00Post Talk|

December 2022 Post Talk

Post Talk

North Branch Post #85

By Ron Rollins, Adjutant

December 2022

  • Membership Meeting: Dec. 13th@ 7:00PM
  • Auxiliary Meeting: Dec. 13th @ 7:00PM
  • SAL Meeting: Dec. 20th @ 7:00PM
  • Legion Riders Meeting: Dec. 1st @ 7:00PM
  • Coffee Talk with the CVSO: Dec. 20th @ 9:00AM

Rick Hals, Commander

Greetings on this very snowy day.

On Dec. the 10th the North Branch American Legion Family will be hosting the annual Santa Claus Day starting at 1pm and going until 4pm. Tell all your family members to stop by, young and old are welcome.

Remember to renew your membership if you have not yet done so.

The next membership meeting is Dec. 13th.

Have great week.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

Merry Christmas. I pray everyone enjoys this holiday season.

Due to many people saving pop tabs, we recently donated 79lbs for Ronald McDonald House. Wow! Thanks to everyone who helped with saving their pop tabs.

Don’t forget our American Legion Family Santa Day on December 10th from 1:00 to 4:00.

Director Camille Wentz

The Riders are excited to have connected with a local family to support over Christmas.  We have been busy shopping for gifts and planning the dinner to honor the family. The dinner will be at the Legion on December 9th where we will present them with the gifts. In addition to that, we plan to present each veteran at Ecumen with a stuffed stocking this holiday season.

The 2023 Christmas in July Ride route has been mapped out and promotional merchandise to sell has been ordered.  We are excited to get a jump start on the ride planning this year.

The Riders wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

Veterans Day dinner had a huge turn out with a packed hall of around 200 people. The SAL did an excellent of keeping things rolling and with the assistance of Boy Scout Troop 411, and the North Branch Air Force JROTC made the task a little easier.

This month I bring to you another program sponsored by the American Legion: The Oratorical Contest for Students.

“A Constitutional Speech Contest”

The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to
think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship. The program has featured numerous politicians and prominent contestants over the years, including former presidential candidate Alan Keyes, national television commentator and talk radio host Lou Dobbs, and Vice-President of the United States Mike Pence.

Young orators earn some of the most generous college scholarships available to high school students. Over $203,500 in scholarships can be awarded each year. The overall national contest winner gets a $25,000 scholarship. Second place takes home $22,500, and third gets $20,000.

Each department (state) winner who is certified into and participates in the national contest’s first round receives a $2,000 scholarship. Those who advance past the first round receive an additional $2,000 scholarship. The American Legion’s National Organization awards the scholarships, which can be used at any college or university in the United States.

High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round
that decides the three top finishers. Speaking subjects must be on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, with some emphasis on the duties and obligations of citizens to our government. Speeches are eight to 10 minutes long; three-to-five minute speeches on an assigned topic also are part of the contest.

Membership Goals:

As of November 2, North Branch was at 63% of our membership goal. As of that date we still needed 81 members to reach our goal. We are
at 140 renewed as of Nov 2nd. Lets get our renewals in.

Don’t forget to send the Adjutant any and all volunteer hours and any donations made to another 501c3, or community organization, so it can be documented on our Consolidated Post Report.

Troop Collections:

I will be collecting items to mail to the 257th MP Company (National Guard based in Monticello) who are currently deployed to the southern border. The following are items I am looking for. If you want to donate something similar, feel free. Anything you can help me provide would be appreciated. This will be sent to those Troops in the name of the NORTH BRANCH AMERICAN LEGION FAMILY. I will be collecting these items for the next 30 days. Thank you in advance for
your help.

Items to Donate:

  • Reusable water bottles
  • Blender bottles
  • Plastic silverware
  • Ziploc bags (various sizes)
  • Reusable Tupperware (various sizes)
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges
  • Paper plates/bowls
  • Paper towels
  • Tin foil
  • Room air fresheners
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Stress balls
  • Sani wipes
  • Flashlights
  • Click pens
  • Small extension cords
  • Power strips
  • Basic tools (screwdrivers, utility tools, etc)
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly – various flavors
  • Foods on the go (granola bars, breakfast bars, trail mix, etc)
  • Books (with law enforcement topic or story-line)
  • Decks of cards
  • Bingo game
  • Board or other card games
  • Outdoor games
  • Also, handwritten thank you notes are also very welcomed.

Upcoming Events:

  • Dec 3rd Pearl Harbor Rally – Spicer Post 145 – Social hour 11am, meal 12pm, Program 1pm.
  • Dec 7th Pearl Harbor Day
  • Dec 10th Santa Day 1-4pm – NB Legion Hall
  • Dec 24th Christmas Eve – Legion is closing early
  • Dec 25th Christmas Day – Legion is CLOSED
  • Dec 31st New Years Eve

“Remember, YOU Are the Legion”

2022-12-06T21:46:17-06:00Post Talk|

November 2022 Post Talk

Post Talk

North Branch Post #85

By Ron Rollins, Adjutant

November 2022

  • Membership Meeting: Nov. 8th @ 7:00PM
  • Auxiliary Meeting: Nov. 8th @ 7PM
  • SAL Meeting: Nov. 15th @ 7:00PM
  • Legion Riders Meeting:  Nov. 3rd @ 7:00PM
  • Coffee Talk with the CVSO: Nov. 15th @ 9:00AM

Rick Hals, Commander

Greetings to all Veterans at Post 85. It has finally come to fruition. The city council last, Tuesday evening gave the ok for the Veterans Memorial to be constructed in the city park. Now we go to work and finish this beautiful memorial.

  • This coming week, on Nov. 4th is a blood drive at the Legion Hall starting at 9:00 A M.
  • Following the blood drive is purse bingo starting with registration at 6pm, followed by the first bingo number being called at 7:00 PM.
  • On Nov. 11th the SAL will be hosting a dinner for all Veterans starting 5:00 PM social hour, and supper will be served starting 6 PM.
  • Remember to sign up your membership for the 2023 year, which can be done either online or by check.
  • Our next Membership meeting is on Nov. 8th  at 7 PM at the upstairs meeting room.

I hope every has a great week coming up, the weather sounds like it’s going to be gorgeous!
Commander Hals

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President

The American Legion Family is once again hosting SANTA DAY!

Last year was a success and a lot of fun, and we are excited to host Santa Day again this year. The date is Dec. 10, 1:00 – 4:00. Treats, games, crafts, plus a visit and taking photos with Santa. We could use some help. If you are interested, please call me at 651-295-7260 or contact Charlie Hult.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Camille Wentz, Legion Riders Director

The Riders have been fortunate enough to sneak a few more group rides in this season and continue to squeeze in as much riding time as possible. A group gathered for a ride on 10/2, 10/4, 10/11, 10/23, and are planning to ride 11/3! The fall colors have been amazing and I can’t believe we are still riding in November!

The Christmas in July Subcommittee held its first meeting to start planning the 2023 Christmas in July Ride and are excited to host another successful event.

Some of the Riders even dressed up for Halloween and had a great time together this last weekend.

Ed Chromey, Chaplain

This is the month we give thanks. Please reflect this month on your life. The wonderful family you have, the friends that are with us every day, the roof over our head, the freedom we maintain, and the GREAT country we live in.

We give thanks to our LORD Jesus Christ for everything we have. HE is the creator of Heaven & Earth.

Our Forefathers drew up the Declaration of Independence based on the principles and teachings we read in the Holy Bible.

While at the dinner table devouring that turkey and mashed potatoes, look around and see all the blessings you received in your life.

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
Col 3:15

GOD Bless you and your families!!

Randy Koivisto, Sgt. At Arms

Veterans Memorial update:

We can celebrate another step forward on our quest to establish a veteran’s memorial in our home town. On Tuesday, October 25th, the city council voted unanimously to approve the memorial project, subject to the submission of engineering plans. That means that they have approved the site in Central Park, and the design that was presented at the meeting. The large veteran turnout most certainly made a statement! Many thanks to all that came to support the project, even though it was tight quarters at the fire hall, and there were many that had to stand through the whole process. The final vote was extremely emotional for some of the council members as they shared what the memorial will mean to them. Please check out the online video. The next step is to crank up the fundraising machine and to put the finishing touches on the design work. We are required by the supplier of the stone to put a 25% down payment to get the material ordered. It will be laser finished in Ohio, then shipped here after the site foundation work is completed. We hope to break ground by the fall of 2023, but more likely the spring of 2024. For those that haven’t seen the design yet, you are invited to stop in at the Empire Insurance office on Main Street in North Branch to view the details.

Finally, if you get the chance, stop by the Empire office and personally thank Joe Scaramell for all of his tireless efforts to bring this project along to date. He isn’t a veteran, but is as dedicated as any to our cause. He has spent countless hours and some of his own dollars to make this happen. He’s pushed aside the mountain of paper on his desk so that we could hold committee meetings during working hours. I’ve even known him to stay late into the evening to make sure some aspect of the project was completed on time. His wife Laura, and daughter Christine, have also been a huge help in moving us along. My hats off to that family!

Red Cross Blood Drive:

We will be hosting a Red Cross blood drive on Friday, November 4th, from 9 -3. I will be there all day, from 8-4 to help with setup, take down, and anything in between. I could use some help. If anyone can spare a couple of hours, it would be most appreciated.

Beef Donation:

The anonymous Almelund beef farmer has once again donated a large quantity of packaged ground beef. We will be distributing some at our monthly meeting, on the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm, and at the Coffee Talk meeting for veterans hosted by our county service officer on the third Tuesday of the month at 9am. We are extremely grateful for his generosity.


Mike Johnson, Gaming Manager

We still have tickets left for Coach Purse Bingo on November 4th, but they are not expected to last long. Get your tickets and come enjoy the excitement.

Viking Sundays: We have football tipboards for Football Sunday’s. Come and enjoy the football games at the Legion with friends and family!

Ron Rollins, Adjutant

Santa Day is coming December 10th

It will be held at the American Legion Hall 1-4PM. Volunteers are needed to make this happen. If you would like to be a part of any event this would be the one!

To volunteer contact Carene Johnson at 651-674-4810, Charlie Hult at 651-7751626, or Michelle Still 651-295-7260.

With these upcoming winter months I will be highlighting one or two American Legion programs that affects us all. These are all programs we can help with and bring to our Post. Today, I bring to you:

The Minnesota Veterans Assistance Fund.

The Minnesota American Legion Foundation is committed to the health and welfare of our Minnesota Veterans and their families. Out of the desire to serve, the Minnesota American Legion Foundation established this program as a form of direct aid to Veterans, deployed service members’ families, and surviving children to help sustain a quality of life so deserved.

The MVAF falls under our Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation (VA&R) pillar. Through MVAF, an American Legion Post can call upon the Minnesota American Legion Foundation for cash assistance to help maintain the basic needs of a Veteran, Deployed Serviceman’s family, or to assist surviving minor children, (applicant), of eligible Veterans.  Non-repayable grants are awarded to eligible applicants over a temporary period when it is determined that they need assistance. The purpose of the grant is to maintain a stable environment for the applicant by helping them meet the costs of shelter, food, utilities, transportation, and medical expenses.

Grant Categories

Basic Needs Maintenance
Basic Needs include expenses such as shelter, utilities, and transportation. Maintenance grants cannot be used for previously incurred debt, except to prevent disconnection of utilities, eviction or foreclosure, and the inability to get to the place of employment.

This grant may be used to assist with healthcare expenses such as medical care, dental care, surgery, hospitalization, medications, and dietary needs. Grocery gift cards may be given to those families who are having difficulty providing nutritious, quality food for their families.  Clothing expense is to ensure the applicant has adequate clothing to protect them during Minnesota’s fall, winter, and spring seasons. Grants for medical issues will require a written statement from a physician outlining the problem, treatment, and estimated costs. Medical treatment must be approved before the services are rendered unless it is a life-threatening emergency.

Veterans, families of deployed service members, and surviving minor children are eligible to apply for the grant.


Veteran eligibility for the MVAF grant is the same as the American Legion’s membership eligibility; a veteran must have served at least one day of active military duty since December 7, 1941, and have been honorably discharged or are still serving active military duty honorably.

Official proof of eligible active duty must accompany the application. Typically, this is a DD Form 214 however, VA Regional Office verification letters and other official government records may be considered if the dates of service and characterization of discharge are included. An American Legion membership card is not acceptable. American Legion membership is not required to be eligible.

Minor Child

Minor children include any biological child of an eligible Veteran that is unmarried and 17 years old or younger. Minor children may also include stepchildren, grandchildren, adopted children, and others under 17 years of age and in legal custody of an eligible Veteran. Birth Certificates and or legal custody, divorce, marriage, and name change papers provide proof of eligibility.

MN Resident

The applicant must be a resident of the state of Minnesota. Proof of residency includes an MN Driver’s License, state ID, or utility bill.
(Other restrictions and requirements may apply)

  • I have looked at our membership roster and noticed that several members have not renewed.
  • You, as a member are important to us. Our Post needs your membership to continue helping with other veteran programs.
  • We need your ideas to change our post for the changing generation of veterans and how we can best serve them.
  • We need your hands to perform functions of a program that you are interested in.

Upcoming events:

  • Nov 4th- Red Cross Blood Drive- NBAL 9am-3pm.
  • Nov 4th- Coach Purse Bingo- 7pm.
  • ELECTION Day- Nov. 8th- Get out and VOTE.
  • Nov 11th Veterans Day!
  • Nov 11th- SAL sponsored Veterans Dinner- Free to all veterans @1700 (5PM).
  • Nov 13th- American Legion Auxiliary 103rd birthday!
  • Nov. 24th- Thanksgiving
  • Dec 13th- Department Pearl Harbor Rally- Royalton Post 137 – Social @10:30am, Meal 11:30, Program 12:30
  • Dec 10th- Santa Day NBAL Hall- VOLINTEERS NEEDED!
  • Dec. 24th Christmas Eve
  • Dec. 25th Christmas Day- ***LEGION CLOSED***
  • Jan 7th, 2023- District Mid-Winter Conference- location TBD.
  • Feb. 11th- District Sweetheart Rally- SAL- North Branch #85

Remember, YOU Are the Legion

2022-10-31T22:20:50-05:00Post Talk|