On October 11th the American Legion Memorial Highway Post 352 of Blanco, Texas hosted the American Legion 10th District Fall Convention at the Gem of the Hills Community Center. Twelve posts sent delegates to the convention representing the Legion, the Ladies Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion, and Junior Auxiliary. Sydni Kipp, of Blanco High School, sang a most beautiful acapella version of the National Anthem.
Julie Dill, Executive Director of the Blanco Chamber of Commerce, welcomed all delegates on behalf of the local community with an emotional speech on how her observing the Legion and its involvement within our community had so personally effected her. The visitors felt they had a better understanding of why we live in Blanco.
State Representative Patrick Rose was the keynote speaker talking of how the American Legion program Boys State had been a factor in his life and led him to a duty in public service. Mr. Rose also spoke of upcoming legislation that was of interest to veterans. At the close of his talk he took questions from the floor. The delegates seemed to enjoy having a one-on-one with a state representative and asked numerous questions.
Victoria Jones of Blanco High School spoke of her experience at Girls State this past summer and how much she learned about how the government worked and its intricacies.
The Memorial Highway Post Ladies Auxiliary served a very delicious sliced brisket luncheon provided and prepared by Dobi Benson, Masonic Lodge 216 of Blanco.
After lunch, the Legion and Auxiliary split into their separate meetings. American Legion District 10 Commander Walter Ivie presented a demonstration of the American Legion Junior Shooters program. This program allows posts to teach boys and girls the fundamentals of weapon safety and target shooting using low velocity pellet rifles. Army Private Thomas Broyles, of Blanco High School, gave a brief talk about the Army Reserve’s program to allow students to enter the Army Reserve after completing their junior year in high school, complete basic training during the summer, and continue their senior year and graduate. Auxiliary President Madeline Seydler introduced their guest speaker, Connie Page, R.N. She talked about how her group helps returning wounded soldiers and family members with needed medical services at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Unit 352 Auxiliary member Donnea Simon presented Army Private Thomas Broyles with a personal hand-crocheted cap from “Caps for Troops” – a service project started by Ms. Simon. This program has, so far, donated over 450 hand-crocheted caps for servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 1-1/2 years. Both the Legion and Auxiliary then continued their afternoon meetings with District business.
Each delegate received a free gift bag fill with local items provided by Blanco County businesses and organizations. Through the generous donations of items from the community, the Post and Auxiliary were able to raise over $500 with a silent auction. These monies will allow the Post and Auxiliary to continue its programs within the community such as Boys State, Girls State, the Oratorical program and further our involvement in supporting veterans in the community.
None of this would have been possible without the generous donations and hard work that were given by the community. We would also like to thank both Blanco and Johnson City High Schools for sending us such responsible and hard-working student volunteers: Blanco: Yvette Guerrero, Sydni Kipp, Alyssa Warner, Maggie Avila, Victoria Jones, Brian Roche, Michael Simon, and Army Private Thomas Broyles; from Johnson City: Seleste Mills and Kelya Jureczki.
We would also like to thank the following businesses for their continued support: Gem of the Hills Community Center, Blanco Masonic Lodge 216, Blanco Chamber of Commerce, Blanco County News, Blanco High School, LBJ High School, Klepac Nursery, Super S, Home Depot, Tractor Supply, Starbuck’s Coffee, HEP-Bulverde, Uptown Blanco Restaurant, On the Square, Riley’s Restaurant’s, Hill Country Lavender, Miller Creek Lavender, Heron’s Nest, Real Foods, Real Ale Brewery, Kim’s Printing, Blanco Settlement, Johnson City Visitor’s Bureau, Jerry Myane, Oscar Segura, Nancy Purpura, and Post/Unit 352 Convention Committee.