American Legion selects leaders at convention

American Legion selects leaders at convention
Members of American Legion Posts in Irene and Springfield were elected to the leadership positions for District 7 of the American Legion Department of South Dakota during the Spring District Convention of the District in Wagner on Thursday, March 28.

District 7 consists of 24 Legion Posts located in Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Douglas, Hutchinson and Yankton counties. Welsey Rye of Yankton (member of Irene American Legion Post 193) and James Hornstra (of Springfield American Legion Post 132) were elected to two-year terms as district commander and district vice commander, respectively.

Verlin VanderWal of Corsica American Legion Post 274 was named District 7 Legionnaire of the Year. VanderWal received an award signifying the honor from State Legion Commander Gunner Baatrup, who presented other major awards and addressed convention delegates.


Elected as county commanders for the coming year were Leonard Cimpl of Tabor, Bon Homme County; Jay Youngbluth of Wagner, Charles Mix County; Richard Stensaas of Vermillion, Clay County; Roy King of Armour, Douglas County; Clarence Lehr of Tripp, Hutchinson County; and Don List of Yankton, Yankton County. Elected as county vice commanders were Paul Weidenbach of Lesterville (member of the Scotland Legion Post), Bon Homme County; Norm Cihak of Dante, Charles Mix County; Clinton Meadows of Vermillion, Clay County; Jerry Anderson of Armour, Douglas County; Roger Smith of Tripp, Hutchinson County; and Ernie Jensen of Meckling, Yankton County.

The convention was opened by Wagner Post Commander Greg Mathis and conducted by outgoing District 7 Commander Gary Coleman of Wagner.

Among those attending the convention were past department commanders D.R. "Don" Mason of Platte, Richard Hovorka of Tabor, James T. "Terry" Anderson of Wagner and Vernon J. Sip of Wagner. Also in attendance were Department Vice Commander Merle Stone of Wagner, Department Adjutant Ron Boyd of Watertown, Department Service Officer Warren Aas of Watertown, District 1 Commander Douglas Meyer of Humboldt and South Dakota Veterans Council member Gary Watts of White.

Commander Baatrup presented major awards recognizing the membership achievements of the American Legion posts at Avon, Armour, Scotland, Springfield, Greenwood, Lake Andes, Platte, Wagner, Alsen, Vermillion, Wakonda, Delmont, Menno, Parkston, Tripp, Gayville and Yankton. Additionally, he recognized the individual membership achievement of Gerald Schoenfelder of Tripp who qualified for the first time as a membership go-getter.

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