Important Message from the Commander

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1 JUNE 2020
MEMORANDUM FOR American Legion, Post 643 Members, Auxiliaries, Sons, Staff, and Patrons.

SUBJECT: Election results, state of the Club, financial status, and the reopening concept of operations

Election Results:
In accordance with the American Legion Department of Minnesota bylaws (Article 5, Section 1) in response to our inability to conduct a traditional election during this COVID-19 crisis, the Executive Board elected officers to serve in next year’s term.

I want to thank the Executive Board for placing faith in me as the new Commander of the Dan Patch American Legion. This is both an honor and a challenge I look forward to undertaking in these uncertain times for our Club, our community, and our nation.

I also welcome the appointment of our duly elected officers to serve in the following posts effective 1 June 2020:

• 1st Vice Commander: Chris Zollman
• 2nd Vice Commander: Bob Coughlen
• Finance Officer: Steve Julkowski
• Adjutant (appointed): Steve Julkowski
• Chaplain: Mic Gutoske
• Service Officer: Ken Schrupp
• Sergeant at Arms: Jim Weber
• Historian: Jim Stack
• Trustee: Dave DeRee
• Trustee: Bob Sparby
• Past Commander: Nile Plapp

State of the Club:
Just as the Club was undergoing one of the best annual performances of our history, on 17 March 2020, The Minnesota Governor issued an executive order that forced our closure in response to the COVID-19 threat. I cannot thank our leaders and our staff enough for creating this success model and for making our Club a community staple in the City of Savage.<br>
Unfortunately, our momentum was hindered by nearly 80 days and counting of mandated closure. Governor Tim Walz has not issued enough detailed guidance as to when we can anticipate a re-opening, but we continue to monitor the situation regularly.

While we await a decision from the Governor’s office, we have been working diligently to create a safe and inviting environment for our patrons to include:

I. Complete kitchen and food preparation area sanitation and maintenance
II. Flooring replacement (carpet) in main dining area and bar
III. Bar renovations, sanitation, and maintenance
IV. Food and beverage storage sanitation and maintenance
V. Table and seating surface refinishing, sanitation, and maintenance
VI. Ceiling and HVAC system sanitation and maintenance
VII. Complete restroom area sanitation and maintenance
VIII. Seating rearranged in respect to CDC social distancing guidelines

We achieved these accomplishments through the generous and invaluable contributions of our Volunteers; there are not enough thanks myself nor the Executive Board can convey to account for their efforts.\

Financial Status:
As a 501(c)(19) non-profit Veterans support organization, our primary mission is to support the needs of our Veterans, their Families, and our Community. This support comes directly from the revenues we generate from Club operations. In respect to transparency, I want to declare that our financial status and ability to meet our primary mission is under serious pressure.In an attempt to alleviate food stock and generate additional revenue, we conducted a limited drive-up/carryout program until 10 April 2020. The Executive Board decided to cease operations after the depletion of sufficient food stock and we proceeded to furlough the remainder of the Staff.

As our expenses have slowed, but not ceased entirely, we have worked tirelessly to secure financial resources to curb the effects of the closure and we are close to finding a short-term financing solution. However, we are still in need of the Community’s support.

We will launch a fundraising campaign in support of our organization’s mission, while offering various incentives to drive our fundraising goals. We will announce more information on this campaign soon.

Reopening Concept of Operations:
Leaders across our organization developed a comprehensive plan to reopen our Club as soon as possible with respect to the health, safety, and confidence of our Patrons. The Club will conduct a three-phase operation in support of the reopening on a date yet to be announced.

Phase I – Re-Orientation
• Leaders will re-train Staff on health, safety, and sanitation best practices
• Leaders will acquire and train Staff on use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if and when applicable
• Leaders will develop a comprehensive plan to address health and safety concerns in respect to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases

Phase II – Re-Alignment
• Operating hours will be adjusted to account for additional time required to clean and sanitize club appropriately
• All promotions (Happy Hour, etc.) are suspended until further notice
• Menu items are being re-evaluated and adjusted in respect to health and safety concerns with preparation and service

Phase III – Re-Deployment
• Leadership and the Executive Board will evaluate operations bi-weekly and adjust where appropriate

Our Staff, Leaders, Executive Board, Auxiliaries, Sons, and most importantly our Patrons have made tremendous sacrifice throughout these trying times. I want you all to know I care deeply about our mission and about our people. We will drive on and accomplish that mission. Again, I feel honored to have the opportunity to lead our organization out of this crisis and back into success, but I cannot do it alone. I need everyone in this fight and I look forward to serving with you in 2020.