Happy 2018 Post 291! It has been a jammed packed year for Post events and business operations. My third term as your Commander has been a busy one without much stopping in 2018. From the hugely successful July 4th fundraiser, Sock Hops to Halloween, and throughout the holidays with our Christmas boat parade nights in the Harbor, Christmas Day Buffet, to ringing in the New Year with our New Year’s Eve Gala, our members have enjoyed Post 291 more than ever.
Thanks to all who brought toys and needed items for the vets over the holidays. We always need to reach out to military families and Vets-In-Need as part of our mission statement, and all our members are very generous in their donations all year round.
With Dennis Fitzpatrick, Operations Manager, the business side of the Post have seen higher sales with more banquet rentals being booked for private parties, life celebrations and weddings. Before a beverage or food is bought or served to you by an employee, it takes over $100,000 dollars each month, in basic overhead, just to keep the doors open at our Post. With the size of membership, our location and marina amenities, running the Post as a business is critical to its future success. We are all volunteers but we also require paid support staff to run operations and to manage future growth. Payroll, maintenance expenses, and food and beverage costs are additional expenses. We have dramatically increased our revenues this year, have no debt and have solid cash reserves.
And, most important, thanks to Tim Sullivan and the SALs crew for keeping a vigilant watch in the Post parking lot this past year and checking membership cards each and every time.
My top four goals for 2018, some to include financial participation of the City of Newport Beach:
1. Make Marina repairs & improvements
2. Establish a Building Fund to rebuild the Post
3. Increase membership of younger members with Mike Schubert, First Vice Commander
4. Working with Yacht Club, SAL's and Auxiliary families to strengthen Veteran programs
January will kick off with Country Night on the 12th, the American Legion Oratorical contest with high school kids competing for scholarships on the 16th at 6:30pm. Our third Casino Night will be held in February, always a big hit with members and their guests. Check the website for all information and events for the Post.
Remember our mission statement of “Veterans First”. If you love your freedom, “Thank A Vet”. “Veterans First”. Attitude is the Altitude of Success at the American Legion Post 291. Let’s all work together to make that happen.