["Support Your Service Organizations." Anoka Union 28 Aug. 1920: Print.]
I don’t know who had the original idea, but it certainly was successful.
To the uninitiated, I am referring to the first annual American Legion Post 102 picnic Sunday at George Green Park, Anoka, an affair that hosted about 300 kids of Legion members to races, prizes, a fish pond, pony rides, food, pop and a dance.
About 150 adults were there to supervise, conduct contests and hand out prizes and refreshments and there were those who came to watch and picnic. Some of the “oldsters” were enticed to the dance floor to match speed with the smaller set and there must have been many lamenting the woe of sore muscles the following day. In between contests and dances, the group consumed 1100 hot dogs and 800 cups of soft drinks. The picnic was provided free to Legion Post 102 members and memberships were checked. Versatile Lou Erickson, membership chairman, swiftly grabbed off 16 memberships before twilight.
This of course is only one of the functions of the American Legion. Some of the other active functions include: a $500 scholarship; first in the state to initiate a duck shoot and dinner for paraplegics; sponsor Legion baseball and boxing; participate in a district oratorical contest for students; send delegates to Boys state and Boys County to learn more about how our government operates; they put up the American flag for business places on days the flag should be flown; conduct Americanism program and are active in a child welfare program.
The Legion further provides hospital beds, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs to anyone needing this equipment, whether they are members or not. They also provide monthly entertainment to the elderly residents of both nursing homes and present awards to outstanding students at high school graduation. There is a sharp military honor guard for funerals of members and they serve during community affairs.
In addition to other functions, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars constantly push for legislation for the benefit of the veteran.
The Anoka Post has been blessed with many fine Commanders.