The American Legion, Department of New Jersey's Centennial Committee Chairman Chuck Robbins specifically asked that I serve as the NJ SAL Liaison to Department's Centennial Committee. My appointment is for the lifetime of the committee. Needless to say, I humbly accepted the opportunity to serve as your NJ SAL state representative.
The purpose of this Committee is to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of The American Legion's founding back in 1919. Minneapolis, home of the 1st American Legion National Convention in 1919, will serve as host city of the 100th National Convention from August 24-30, 2018. Centennial events and activities will be conducted at the national, department and post levels through the 101st National Convention in Indianapolis during the dates of August 23-29, 2019, and the 15 month celebration will end on Veterans Day 2019.
The Department of New Jersey has several events planned across the state to commemorate this historical milestone! In addition, several fundraising events will be planned to help raise funds to offset the costs of the celebration.
For starters, the Department has commissioned a Centennial Challenge Coin (see picture below) that celebrates the 100th Anniversary of The American Legion. Coins are $10.00 each and can be purchased by contacting Legionnaire Chuck Robbins (732) 921-8872. To date, coin sales have profited $13,891.50. Note: All Department Centennial fundraising efforts will support Department's Centennial celebration in 2018.
Centennial Challenge Coin
Back on Saturday, September 17, 2016, the Centennial Committee held a Motorcycle Poker-Run / Pig Roast BBQ at American Legion Post #279 - Lincoln Park, Morris County. This was a fundraising event to support the Department's Centennial Celebration. The event was well attended, including NJ SAL Detachment Commander Robert J. Bascou; SAL comrades James A. Noble, PDC, PNVC; Amel Balega, Jr., PDC; Detachment Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Anthony Liberatore; Detachment Assistant Sergeant-at-Arms Gregory Shaffer; and myself. A financial report on the event is still being finalized. As soon as the report is released, I will inform you of the outcome.
Over the course of the next two (2) years, there will be two (2) more Centennial fundraising events in New Jersey--one (1) in the southern portion of the state, and one (1) in the central region of the state. Please stay tuned for more details.
The Centennial Committee is currently planning for a "100th Anniversary Grand Gala Celebration" for sometime in November 2018. The location and exact date/time will be forthcoming.
Over the next two years, the Department Centennial Committee would like to see every Post/Squadron in our Department/Detachment submit a brief history of key events and accomplishments that have taken place since your charter was established. This not only includes our actual 100 year Posts/Squadrons, but all Posts/Squadrons. You can submit your squadron history with any pictures you may have to NJ SAL Liaison Jeff Hicks (see my contact information below). We want to know who you are, what you’ve done, any famous members, landmarks with Legion/SAL namesakes, etc., all this as well as your vision for the next 100 years.
The following “4-Step” Guide can be used to tell the story of your Post’s/Squadron's legacy and vision for the next century;
1. GET ORGANIZED: Form a Centennial Committee and assign responsibilities.
2. USE THE TOOLS: visit National’s Centennial website @ www.centennial.legion.org for all the information you need to get started.
3. SHARE THE LEGACY: Early involvement with local media outlets, schools, churches, businesses and civic groups is a great way to build a buzz about the centennial in your community.
4. ADVANCE THE VISION: Create and share a vision for our next century.
Once we’re confident we have all the information we need to correctly tell both our Department’s/Detachment's history as well as many of National’s historic accomplishments, the Department Centennial Committee’s vision is to put together either a magazine for release during our 100th year anniversary or incorporate our Department’s/Detachment's 100 year history into the 2019 Department Convention Ad book. So, as you can see, your help is needed….we cannot do this alone!
Should you have any questions about the Department Centennial Celebration OR would like to submit your squadron's history, please contact me.
Thank you for your attention and for your unwavering support!
For God & Country,
Jeffrey E. Hicks
NJ SAL Liaison
Department Centennial Committee
The American Legion,
Department of New Jersey
h) (609) 388-4881
c) (609) 206-6583