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11 January 2015

 

Dear Fellow Veterans and Members of Post 331,

 

This is my 2014 year-end report to you on the status of our Post. I would like to welcome our members who have joined our Post this past year. I hope you have and will continue to be involved in our Post’s activities. That is the best way to enjoy the comradeship of our fraternity of veterans and get to know our members. I hope that this coming year is good to you and your families. This report covers our activities, events, donations, and a final salute to our departed comrades-in-arms.

 

Activities:

  • In January, Coast Guard Training Center representatives visited the Post.
  • Jim Fleischmann coordinated with the US Coast Guard Training Center in Wildwood for our Post to fund three coast guard cadre and their families to travel home for the Christmas holidays. The money to support these activities was raised through business and individual donations, as well as donations received for “Poppies”. Poppies were offered at the Avalon ACME and at the Stone Harbor Arts & Crafts Fair in August and yielded $1300 to Legion and auxiliary treasuries.
  • Bob Ashman, a Stone Harbor Museum trustee and Legionnaire coordinated the use of the Post’s facility in July for the showing of the Museum’s Centennial DVD. The showing was a great success with over 100 people attending the showing. The success of the showing was insured by our new audiovisual system (video, surround sound, and microphones) installed in the Post’s meeting room by Jim Fleischman, Kevin Coyle, and Carter Winterbottom (S.A.L. member).
  • In July, Ed Orzeck and Carter Winterbottom (S.A.L) were appointed co-managers of the Canteen (Mole Hole). The Canteen regular hours are every evening 4:30- 6:30PM.
  • In September, through the efforts of Tom McCullough and other members of the Post and its Auxiliary, the Post hosted John Fallon’s three-day 36th Combat Engineer Regiment reunion. John is a long-standing member of Post 331. The reunion culminated with a dinner provided by the Post on 13 September. See the November 2014 edition of your New Jersey Legionnaire (page 15) for the story.
  • Early in the summer, members of the Post escorted John Fallon to New York City, where he was presented the French Legion of Honor medal by the French Consulate General for his service during WWII. John donated the citation and medal to the Post 331’s military museum so it can be viewed by our members and visitors.

Your Post supported Stone Harbor’s dedication of its 9-11 Memorial this September with its rifle salute led by Bill Lehman and Taps bugle call provided by Debbie West.

 We also supported Stone Harbor’s summer-long Centennial celebration.

  • On the June 7th weekend, the Stone Harbor Garden Club included our Post as part of their “Open House” Tours. Bill Lehman arranged for the Tuckerton Seaport to provide a demonstration of 19th Century lifesaving techniques (mini Lyle Gun/Breeches Buoy drill). Additionally, representatives of the Lighthouse Keepers Association attended in period dress. The demonstration was attended by 25-30 people. 60 people came through building as part of the Open House tour.
  • Stone Harbor Centennial: Saturday, 6 September members of our Post participated in the non-walking Centennial Parade. Veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam rode in vehicles provided by Burke Motors.

 Vicki Lachman, our adjutant, has greatly increased the flow of Veterans Administration and other veteran’s information to our members. Most of this information is being disseminated via broadcast emails. She is also in the process of developing a new website for our Post. In addition, she has organized the Cape May Veteran’s Healthcare Committee to improve access and coordination of healthcare for veterans across the continuum of care.

 Harry Clayton interviewed and selected four individuals to go to Boys State; two boys attended.

 Sherry Lee Govoni is managing coloring contest for the Cape May County Legion. This year an image of our historic building was selected for the contest.

Auxiliary made $700.00 donation for installation of new Ladies room in Post. Kevin Coyle and Tom McCullough installed.

Stone Harbor Property Owners Association (SHPOA) on November 14, 2014 announced the presentation of the Vintage House of Stone Harbor plaque for American Legion Post 331 to our commander, Harry Clayton, by Bob Ashman of the Stone Harbor Museum Vintage House committee and a member of Post 331.

Events:

  • On March 12th, Post 331 veterans spoke to Stone Harbor 3rd grade students.
  • In March, the Post conducted a funeral service for Donald Dorsheimer at the Veterans Cemetery.
  • On May 13, Post and Auxiliary members supported the South Jersey Regional Veterans Resource and Opportunity Fair 9-2pm at Naval Air Station Wildwood Museum.
  • In May and June, the Post conducted the annual Memorial and Flag Day ceremonies and provided an Open house and food for the community. Additionally, a color guard was provided for service at the Yacht Club of Stone Harbor for Memorial Day.
  • In July, the Post supported the annual [Philadelphia] Flyers on the Isle tryouts. The Post received a donation for their support.
  • August 16 S.A.L. orchestrated its first annual Seafood Festival, complete with local band.
  • August 30 Annual Pancake Breakfast had over 100 people attending.
  • September 21 Auxiliary Annual Spaghetti Supper at Yacht Club of Stone Harbor.
  • September 26 Post participated in the annual Run for the Fallen to honor NJ fallen warriors.
  • September 27-28 was the annual Post 331 Fishing Tournament led by S.A.L. member Carter Winterbottom. 40 fishermen participated in the event.
  • October 11 S.A.L. sponsored the annual Chicken and Pork Barbeque
  • October 18-19 Bill Lehman and Dick Pike, with the assistance of Auxiliary members, supported the annual NJ Lighthouse Challenge. Over 1,200 people visited the building to get their attendance cards stamped. Many took tours of the building and purchased memorabilia.
  • November 11 Veterans Day remembrance at the Post with food and drink. Winners of 50/50 raffle announced. Kevin Coyle managed the 50/50 raffle this year; this is the Post’s major fund raiser with sales conducted from June through October by Post members and at major community events, such as the Stone Harbor Arts & Crafts Fair in August.
  • December 6 Post Christmas dinner-dance at Stone Harbor Yacht Club.
  • December 7 Tom McCullough organized a social to recognize all WWII veterans in the area.

 Major Donations:

  • Honor Flight (Sending WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veterans to Washington, DC war memorials)
  • 7 Mile Island School Award in May.
  • Donation toward purchase of van for disabled vets. (Sponsored by Burke Motors in May)
  • Donation to Veterans Haven South in Ancora and Vinland Memorial Veterans home.
  • Sending selected lower enlisted Coast Guard cadre & families home for Christmas.

 

Membership

Your Post has almost 300 registered members. Marty Lukacs volunteered to maintain the Post’s membership records and dues accountability. If you have questions about your membership or dues or if you want to have a membership application sent to an eligible friend, please contact Marty at mlukacs@optonline.net. National generally sends out membership renewal notices in July. Why not make the Legion a family affair? Mothers, wives, daughters, and widows of legionnaires and female veterans are eligible to be members of the Legion Auxiliary. Contact Cookie Laughran at cookieavalon1@verizon.net. All male descendants, adopted sons and stepsons of members of legionnaires are eligible to be members of the Sons of the American Legion. Contact Ed Taylor atepat63@yahoo.com

 

Calendar of Events (attached)

 Taps

Mary Fallon (wife of John Fallon)

Judson Ellis

Edward T. Gallagher

Joe Troisi

 

Member Outreach / Contact Information

Your Post has developed an aggressive program to keep our members informed. In addition to our membership meetings the second Monday of every month at 7PM (except for February and March), we are now sending out information emails (broadcast emails or “blasts”) for information of immediate interest and announcements. As mentioned, we are also in the process of improving our website http://www.stephencludlampost331.org Recently, we have been attempting to update our membership database by calling each of our members. Specifically, we realize that members move and/or change their email and or phone numbers. In order that we can continuously keep you informed, we request that you take the time to report any changes to us. If you have not been contacted, it is because we do not have your current contact information on file. Please update us by placing information in the box at the end of this letter and put in the enclosed addressed envelope and return this to us.

Commander’s Appeal

I know that many of you are out of town members, but you still can support your Post. Please come to our meetings when you are in town and find out what is going on at the Post, enjoy the comradeship of your fellow members, and find out how you can become involved. Be an active part of our Post and help us to support our Veterans’ and community programs. One way you can help is by bringing in new members. I challenge all of you to bring in just one new member, a fellow veteran for 2015. I also am asking you to be generous and make a donation to help us continue the upkeep of our Post, no matter the amount. If you can’t make the meetings or help with our projects, please help us with a donation.

 

Fraternally,

Harry W. Clayton
Commander, Post 331