Members of American Legion Post 191 welcomed National Commander Dan Dellinger to Webster City on Monday.
The Legion Post hosted a meeting with members of the City Council of Webster City to discuss Legion programs on Monday afternoon. American Legion State Programs Director Kathy Nees said the Post is a resource for those visiting elected officials.
"There are a lot of things that the American Legion does behind the scenes," Nees said. "Whether it be out at the cemetery, honors for their comrades, there are so many things that the American Legion does."
American Legion National Commander Dan Dillinger, right, discusses the organization’s Disaster Relief Program on Monday afternoon at Post 191 in Webster City. Dillinger and other speakers talked about Legion programs with members of the City Council of Webster City and local Legionnaires in attendance.
Nees then introduced Dellinger, who thanked visitors for coming in the cold weather.
"It shows with the attendance here what it means to the community that Webster City has a viable and active Legion Post," Dellinger said.
He named the National Emergency Fund as his project for the year. The fund, founded in 1989 after Hurricane Hugo struck Florida, provides direct financial assistance to American Legion family members and Posts. Since it was created, the National Emergency Fund has provided over $7.5 million, according to Dellinger.
This year, Dellinger said his goal is to raise $1 million for the fund, which is less than 50 cents per American Legion member.
"We all know it's not whether or not there's going to be another natural disaster, but when and where," Dellinger said. "That's why we have to prepared and ready to make sure that our veterans and our families are going to be taken care of."
Nees said each member of the American Legion is eligible for up to $1,500 immediately following a disaster if they have been displaced out of their home for at least 24 hours.
Nees also highlighted the Legion's Temporary Financial Assistance Program for veterans that have dependant children in their home. Recipients don't have to be members of the American Legion, but must be eligible for membership. Nees said the program can help veterans if they have trouble making rent or bills. Recipients can receive funds privately. Funds can be dispersed in less than a week, and she said veterans in need should contact the Legion Post.
The American Legion also offers a rewards program for flag purchases. Individuals, businesses or government entities can purchase American-made flags through the American Legion at a relatively cheap cost. Buyers can credit their local Legion Post that then receive one percent of the sales.
Nees also introduced Department Commander for the American Legion of Iowa Jim Demarest. He said he hopes to make Post 191 bigger and better.
"Remember you have a Post here in Webster City and I'm sure they'll be willing to do whatever you want them to do.
Webster City Mayor Doug Getter thanked the Legion members for hosting him and several council members at the meeting.
"We appreciate you being a part of Webster City and also being residents of our community," Getter said.
Dellinger and other Legion members will be busy today preparing for an open house at the Post from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Legion invites all veterans to come to the post to learn more about it over refreshments.