By: Pat Smith, Department Adjutant – Article Published in Sept 2014
WOW! What a convention. The people of Charlotte, NC rolled out the red carpet for our national convention held in that beautiful city. The hospitality was great. Everyone was friendly and appreciative of the 10,000 Legion, Auxiliary and SAL members in town for the 96th annual convention. The weather even cooperated with no rain and lower than normal temperatures. The parade route was lined with thousands waving American Flags.
Of course a convention means business. Colorado was front and center when it came to achievements. The highlight was the election of our own Mike Moss as National Commander of the Sons of the American Legion. Our Department Adjutant Pat Smith was honored to nominate Mike for this high office. Our own Past National Commander Tom Bock was honored to install the complete slate of 2014-2015 national officers for the SAL. Mike will inspire the SAL and lead them to new heights. Congratulation Mike!
The Colorado Auxiliary was also honored to have our Past Department President Karen Boehler elected as National Chaplain for the Auxiliary. Karen had to compete for the office but came away the winner. Karen is a deacon in her Luther church in Ft Collins. She lives her faith on a daily basis in her personal life. She will bring that same level of dedication to the Auxiliary. She will inspire, comfort and console with compassion. She will do well. Congratulations Karen.
Colorado Rocks! That has been the mantra of our Department Commander Carol Kennedy this year. She proved it to the delegates to the convention. Carol was on stage to receive several membership awards for our achievements. Colorado was the only Department to achieve all membership target dates and the only Department to achieve 100% of our goal by the May target date. Several other departments achieved their 100% goal but they were too late. We won. Carol received a beautiful shadow box plaque for that achievement. The absolute top award was given to Carol personally. She won the Department Commander of the Year. This is like being named the MVP for the Super Bowl. Carol is an NFL addict so this award was very fitting for her.
Commander Kennedy also received two additional awards for our efforts. The General Henri Gouraud Trophy was awarded to the department that first exceeds it assigned goal. Colorado was first. The second award was the O. L. Bodenhamer Trophy, which is awarded to the department designated to lead the parade. We won this trophy. To our knowledge it is the first time Colorado has ever won either one of these trophies. Colorado Rocks!!!
We submitted 5 resolutions for consideration at the convention. All 5 were passed by the delegates. Those resolutions were published in an earlier edition of the Observer.
Colorado took home two more honors from the National American Legion Press Association. This is the organization that promotes and encourages active participation by our department and posts in the field of public relations. They annually judge post and department newsletters and websites. Department Adjutant Pat Smith won the “Best Guest Editorial” for his editorial on the construction of the Denver VA hospital entitled, “Build the Damn Thing.” Darrell Myers, editor of the Colorado American Legion Observer, won first place for the best Department publication. Congratulations Pat and Darrell!
It was a great convention. Now is the time to buckle down and repeat all of those achievements next year. We will be starting our fall conferences soon and more information about the convention will be available there. Check our website for the dates of the conference in your area.