Commander’s Corner for January-February 2018

LOUNGE REMODELING: The Lounge will be closed during the first two weeks of January for remodeling the bar and back wall and installation of new LED lighting requiring new ceiling tile and insulation. Legion volunteers performed the tear out of the old bar and shelving in preparation for the construction of our new bar.

VETERANS HONOR-QUE: The Sons delivered an outstanding 2nd annual Honor-Que on November 3-4 at Legion Park. It kicked off with a BBQ & Beer Dance on Friday highlighted by the Dave Glover Band. Saturday was the BBQ competition augmented by a civil war camp, Khoury League kickball tournament, music by the Sofa Kings and a Budweiser Clydesdale.  The Auxiliary provided some very good food items. The event was a huge success and plans are already under way for next year’s event.

QUEEN OF HEARTS: Post 581 draws for the Queen of Hearts every Thursday @ 7:30PM. The bar is open from 2:00 to 10:00PM and the Auxiliary has an ever-expanding menu of hot food for sale. The current pot is over $21,000. This is a great time to visit with your old friends or make new ones. Come join us every Thursday for the drawing @ 7:30pm. There is a second drawing for two $50 payouts @ 8:00pm. If that isn’t enough, we also have a 50/50 raffle that is averaging well over $300. 

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY: Gene Henckler and John Conrad put together another outstanding program for Veterans Day. The guest speaker was Carla Corzine, a Gold Star Mother of Lance Corporal Kenneth Corzine. We had a decent turnout but we should be able to fill the Hall to capacity with veterans. Please plan to join us next November 11th.

HONOR GUARD:  The Honor Guard participated in the Columbia Christmas Parade and posted the colors during the Illinois Bicentennial kickoff ceremony at City Hall. Ray Bense performed double duty by helping to post the colors and then participating as a member of the Kaskaskia Trail Chorus. Mark your calendar for Honor Guard Bingo on New Year’s Day beginning at 1:00pm and for Honor Guard barbeque on February 10 from 11-4.

LEGION DUES: I reported in November that our membership renewal level was 78% against a goal of 100%. Several of you responded by renewing your membership and we now stand at 89%. Some of you reported that you did not receive renewal notices from the Legion last August. If you did not receive your notice, please call us at 281-5556 or email at

FISH FRY: The third Friday of every month is our Fish Fry date. We want as many members as possible to join us for a very good fish dinner and cold drinks. We offer cod, catfish and shrimp with numerous sides and desserts. Please encourage your friends, neighbors and nearby relatives to join you.

WEBSITE UPDATE: Webmaster Cameron Cook has modernized our website. The old site has been disabled. The new site is located on the web @ htpps:// There is a direct link on the homepage to our newly energized Facebook page. Our managers, supported by several volunteers, are making good use of Facebook to publicize Hall events. By “liking” and “sharing” these entries, your friends will also be able to see more information about our Post. I encourage you to check it out. Let us know what you want to see on the website by contacting the office by phone (618-281-5556) or email (

AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL: I announced last month that our Post is partnering with Columbia High School to field a new American Legion baseball team.  They have designed their uniforms, signed up players and have already set up approximately one-half of their June schedule. I met with the coaches, players and parents in early December and came away very impressed with the preparation work already completed. They plan to play ten (10) home games at the Columbia High School baseball field.

ALFRED SMITH: A sad note to report. Alfred worked quietly and effectively as one of our custodians for twenty-seven years. He rode his bike to work from his home in Dupo all year long including cold and snowy weather. He died November 23 after a short battle with cancer. Alfred was 62 years old and will be missed.