The 99th Annual South Dakota American Legion Convention was held at the Watertown Ramkota and Convention Center June 15-18. Tim and Donna Jurgens, Charles and Karen Layher, Dennis Adelman, and Bill Schumacher represented Birch-Miller Post 9 of Milbank. Gary Lindemann and Aaron Smith represented the Big Stone Legion. Sue Christensen, Gloria Arndt, and Faye Athey represented the Big Stone Auxiliary.
A highlight of the convention was the presentation of an award to Valley Queen Cheese Factory of Milbank for employing a large number of veterans. Jurgen’s presented the award to Lance Johnson of Valley Queen.
Hugh Holmes from Mitchell Post 18 was elected Department Commander for 2017-2018. Elvira Moen of Watertown was elected Department Auxiliary President. Karen Layher was elected as the South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary Department Chaplain for 2017-2018.
The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, and Sons of the American Legion held a joint banquet. The keynote speaker was National Commander Charles Schmidt from the Department of Oregon.
Saturday’s presenters included The Honorable Governor of the State of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard, and South Dakota Representative Kristi Noem. Schmidt also led Legionnaires on a Walk for Veterans.
The Go-Getters reception and smorgasbord was held Saturday evening, hosted by Watertown Post 17. Following the banquet, the annual Fun Auction was held. The auction raised nearly $8000 and the proceeds will be donated to the South Dakota American Legion Foundation.
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