Funds help secure mission of American Legion 364 into future - November 12 2014

WINNECONNE, WI - Ryan Gonzalez served his country in the U.S. Navy, and through his local American Legion post, the Winneconne dentist is serving his community in yet another way.

"I can say without a doubt, Post 364 is the most active post I've ever been associated with," Gonzalez says. "The post's members are passionate about supporting our fellow veterans, children and families in the Winneconne community through so many activities - they are truly one-of-a-kind."

Photo caption: Children work on knot-tying during the BullsEye for Youth event in Winneconne. The event is one of the ways the American Legion No. 364 Giles Luce Post reaches out to youth in the community. Photo courtesy of Mary Lou Schroeder

The American Legion No. 364 Giles Luce Post, and its Auxiliary unit, support the community in myriad ways, from military funeral honor guards, American Legion baseball, the BullsEye for Youth event and outdoor recreation education, to scholarships and sponsorships for Badger Boys and Girls State participants.

With the future in mind, the post has created a new way for the community to support these efforts with two funds established with the Winneconne Area Community Foundation.

The Youth Fund provides support for the post's youth programming, such as outdoor education and outreach, and the BullsEye for Youth event and Sportsmen Banquet. The Legacy Fund supports the post's general operating costs, including maintenance of the American Legion Hall, charitable activities and scholarships.

"We do not solicit donations, but people have come forward to donate in the past. The community has been tremendous in their support for us," says James Wolf, the post's youth events director. "These new funds will allow people a way to do that and get the tax benefits, as well as the peace of mind that our dollars are invested well for the future."

The post is on very stable financial ground, Gonzalez says. "The members thought it was prudent to put a plan in place so that future members can continue to carry out our mission of supporting the Winneconne community," he says.

The post's activities touch many facets of the community. Members provide honor guards for 12 to 15 funerals each year, and participate in parades, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and graduation ceremonies, and outreach in the schools.

The post also maintains the American Legion Hall, which is unique among American Legions, many of which do not have their own building. The facility can be rented for use by the community. Outreach and music events like the monthly polka jam help keep older members active, says Wolf.

The biggest area of programming comes in the form of support for youth experiences like American Legion baseball, the high school trap shooting team, the 4-H Club shooting group and the BullsEye for Youth event and Sportsmen Banquet. These activities expose young people to outdoor activities and life skills like safety, CPR, fitness, hunting and fishing.

"What's great about this kind of youth outreach is that these kids don't have to be into any particular sport or have special skills," says Wolf. "What we're teaching them is about safety and outdoor interests that they may put into use for the rest of their lives."

Supporting the Youth Fund and the Legacy Fund is easy. Simply mail a check written out to the fund name to:

Winneconne Area Community Foundation
P.O Box 476
Winneconne, WI 54986-0476

Or, call the Foundation at 920-426-3993 for help making your donation. Online donations can be made, as well. Follow these links:

American Legion No. 364 Giles Luce Post Youth Fund:

American Legion No. 364 Giles Luce Post Legacy Fund:

The Winneconne Area Community Foundation serves the residents of Winneconne and the surrounding area as a charitable giving partner, with the mission of attracting and distributing funds to nonprofit organizations in efforts that enhance the quality of life.

Donors can make a lasting gift to the community while enjoying maximum tax benefits from the Foundation's affiliation with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon.

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