News Scenes from the Appreciation Rally at La Crescent Post 595 Posted March 8, 2021March 8, 2021 Tim Engstrom Click on any image to enlarge or bring up a left-to-right gallery. Past National Vice Commander Al Davis reports on the Convention Corporation on Saturday, March 6, at the Department Executive Committee at La Crescent Post 595, as Past National Commander Dan Ludwig, right, watches and 8th District Membership Director operates a Zoom meeting for members to participate statewide. Minnesota Commander Mark Dvorak of New Prague Post 45 speaks Saturday, March 6, at the Department Executive Committee at La Crescent Post 595. Some members of the Department Executive Committee attended the meeting in person while others attended via Zoom on Saturday, March 6, at La Crescent Post 595. Past National Commander Dan Ludwig speaks Saturday, March 6, at the DEC meeting at La Crescent Post 595. “God, it’s good to be here. It’s been a year,” he said. Minnesota Sons of the American Legion Commander Dave Vulcan, Minnesota American Legion Commander Mark Dvorak and Minnesota American Legion Auxiliary President Mary Hendrickson stand together prior to the start of the Appreciation Rally on Saturday, March 6, at La Crescent Post 595, which is also the La Crescent Area Event Center. Department Membership Director Sy Fix gestures as he welcomes people to the Appreciation Rally on Saturday, March 6. He is a member of La Crescent Post 595, which hosted the rally. Its Post is also the La Crescent Area Event Center, and The American Legion gets to use the facilities at no cost. La Crescent Post 595 Commander Greg Lucas welcomes the audience of 114 to his community. La Crescent Unit 595 President Michelle Weaver greets people in attendance the Appreciation Rally on Saturday, March 6. Sons of The American Legion Squadron 595 Commander Christopher Taulbee points as he welcomes people to the Appreciation Rally in La Crescent. The rallies motivate membership efforts for the American Legion Family. Department Vice Commander for Districts 1 & 3 Pat Logan gestures as he speaks to American Legion Family members who attended the Appreciation Rally at La Crescent Post 595. Shawn Davis of Minneapolis-Richfield Post 435 takes photos on Saturday, March 6, at the Appreciation Rally in La Crescent. Third District Commander Linda Dvorak laughs as her husband, Minnesota Commander Mark Dvorak, cracks a joke at the podium on Saturday, March 6, at the Appreciation Rally. Department of Minnesota Commander Mark Dvorak describes being near the end of serving two years. The Department did not hold a convention in 2020 and extended officer positions a second year. National Executive Committee Man Bill Barbknecht gifts a bottle of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey to Minnesota American Legion Riders Director Paul Hassing on Saturday, March 6, in La Crescent. First District Honorary Junior President Taylor McElroy of Le Roy is applauded by the banquet attendees. Minnesota Honorary Juniors President Emily Seuss is surprised by the $667 raised by the room for her project to help veterans in care of the Minneapolis and St. Cloud VA hospitals. She told the audience she was $345 short of her $2,000 fundraising goal. Emptying his hat is SAL Detachment of Minnesota Membership Director Tim Weaver, 7th District Vice Commander Garylee Davenport and Past SAL Detachment Commander Shawn Davis. Walking away after emptying his cap is SAL 4th District Commander John Weiss. Bartender Aaron Ruff is recognized by Legion Family members in the banquet room as the newest member of the Sons of The American Legion, signed up by Randy Olson, membership director of the 2nd District. La Crescent Post 595 is part of the nonprofit La Crescent Area Event Center, and the bar is operated under the name Swing Bridge Pub. Sons of The American Legion Detachment Commander David Vulcan addresses the attendees of the Appreciation Rally on Saturday, March 6. District 8 Membership Director Jennifer Havlick operates the Zoom video conference so members across the state can participate in the Appreciation Rally in La Crescent. Adams Post 146 Dennis Lewison shakes hands with Minnesota Commander Mark Dvorak after donating $200 from the Post to the Commander’s Project. The Commander Dvorak’s Project raises funds to build a new dock at Legionville School Safety Patrol Camp and raises funds for Wounded Warriors Guide Service. From left are Department Membership Director Sy Fix, Department Vice Commander for Districts 8 & 10 Bob Locker, Department Vice Commander for District 1 & 3 Pat Logan and Department Commander Mark Dvorak. Locker is holding a certificate for 2019-2020 Department Vice Commander of the Year. Logan is the 2020-21 Department Vice Commander of the Year. He also holds certificates for 2020-21 Pearl Harbor Award and the 2020-21 Appreciation Award. District Vice Commanders of the Year for 2020-21 were also recognized at the Appreciation Rally on March 6. From left are 1st District Vice Commander Mary Hanson, 3rd District Vice Commander Kelley Adelsman, 4th District Commander Joe Jansen (holding a certificate for Vice Commander Dave Dahl), 5th District Commander Wade Larson (holding a certificate for Vice Commander Michael Wybierala), 6th District Commander Paul Edwards (holding a certificate for Vice Commander Kenneth Johnstone), 7th District Vice Commander Garylee Davenport, 8th District Vice Commander Carl Hendrickson and 10th District Vice Commander William Gordon. Also earning Vice Commander of the Year were Roxanne Zoet of the 2nd District and Wayne Krantz of the 9th District. Sixth District Membership Director Mike Costello of Little Falls Post 46 awards the Kaisersatt Derby to 6th District Commander Paul Edwards. It is a 12-week competition from August to October. The Sons of The American Legion announced that Gary Weaver of La Crescent Post 595 was the 2021 Legionnaire of the Year. In addition to being a past commander and adjutant for Post 595, Weaver has served as 1st District commander and many other District-level positions. He currently is the 1st District historian. Don Harvey of the Don D. Harvey Duo sings and plays guitar March 6 at the Appreciation Rally at La Crescent Post 595 inside the La Crescent Area Event Center as Sam Pfaff plays the conga drums.