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Legion charity ride raises $551,568 for scholarships

More than 220 American Legion Riders and their passengers rode into Reno, Nev., Thursday afternoon, bringing with them $551,568 raised to help children of fallen servicemembers and disabled veterans attend college. The 12th Annual Legacy Run, sponsored by USAA, took the Riders from Dodge City, Kan., through Colorado and Utah before ending up in

“This is one of the many good things The American Legion does: take care of families,” said American Legion National Commander Charles Schmidt, who rode part of the Legacy Run. “We never forget our fallen. And many of the fallen have children. Somebody has to take care of them. That’s what we do: give them an opportunity.”
Along the six-day ride, Legion Riders solicited donations for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund, which provides college money for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the children of post-9/11 veterans rated 50-percent disabled or higher.

In 12 years, the Legacy Run has raised more than $7.4 million for the scholarship program.

Along the route, the Legion Riders also made stops at veterans cemeteries and memorials to lay wreaths. Legion posts opened their doors to provide meals and present donations to the ride.

More donations to the Legacy Fund will be made during the Legion’s national convention on Aug. 22.

Source: Legion News

Alabama Student Elected President of the 2017 American Legion Boys Nation

A prominent leader emerged from Boys Nation Tuesday night. Darius Thomas, of Phenix City, Ala., was elected President of The American Legion Boys Nation at Marymount University for the 2017 program. During the election, which was run as a mock presidential campaign, Thomas won against the delegate from Florida, Blake Barclay.

“I felt that running for President [of Boys Nation] would be a good way to say thank you to my American Legion post, but I’m a pretty ambitious person and that was also a reason for me running for President,” said Thomas. “I’m so thankful to win.”

Boys Nation, a signature program of the nation’s largest veterans’ service organization, provides an intensive week-long, hands-on education in American politics and the legislative system for a select group of high school students each year.

“None of the things that I’ve done before, in my past, add up to have as much of an effect that Boys State and Boys Nation has had in my life,” said Thomas. “Boys State has helped me find my way forward and Boys Nation has helped me find my purpose. These two things, over the course of one summer, have made this the best span of my life so far and I’m so thankful.”

The incoming senior at Central High School, Thomas plans on attending the University of Alabama and pursuing a career as a politician.

Two representatives from each of the 49 Boys States represent their home state as a senator. The senators caucus at the beginning of the session, organize into committees and conduct hearings on bills, allowing delegates to learn the proper legislative procedures according to the U.S. Senate. Activities include mock party conventions, legislative elections, debates, speeches and visits to Capitol Hill and other historical sites. Delegates will also visit the offices of their state’s respective members of Congress and present bills of their own creation.

Since Boys Nation began in 1946, a number of its graduates have been elected to public office, including presidents, congressmen, state governors and state legislators.

Source: Legion News