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American Legion to hold early bird dinner

The American Legion Post #287 in Cedar Springs is proud to welcome the state commanders and Presidents to our Post home for the annual early Bird dinner. The dinner is held the second week in January to show our appreciation to the members of our Post, Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion who have paid their dues by Veterans Day of the previous fall. It is our tradition to invite the leaders of our state to attend this event. It is also our tradition to give them each a set of Red Flannels. In the past it was given to prepare them for the Upper Peninsula trip, which usually follows directly after our dinner, in an attempt to keep them warm during the cold and often snowy conditions of the UP in January.

Steve Strigow

This year the American Legion Commander for the State of Michigan is Steve Strigow. He was elected and installed as Commander at the 2018 annual summer convention held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, June 21-24. Steve is from the Amel Schwartz Post #149 in Holly, Michigan, and has been a Legion member for 31 years.  He has worked tirelessly for the cause of veterans in this state, holding many offices and chairmanships along the way. On the National level, Steve is a graduate of the National American Legion College of 2015 and currently serves on the National Aerospace Committee. Commander Strigow is a Marine Corps veteran, serving in the Viet Nam Era from 1969-1971. He and his wife Mae are from Holly, Michigan. He is retired from the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. At our dinner, Commander Strigow will be speaking about his special project, The Michigan American Legion Foundation, and bringing updates on Legion activities this year. His theme this year is “Communicate to Succeed.”  We welcome Steve to our Post.

Deborah Williamson

The American Legion Auxiliary President for 2018-2019 is Deborah Williamson. She was also elected at the State Convention this summer. She and her family are from the Rockford area. She is a member of the Furniture City American Legion Auxiliary Unit #258 in Grand Rapids. She has held many offices and chairmanships in her 64 years of membership in the Auxiliary, including Unit and District President. She is following in the footsteps of her mother, Past Department President, Dorothy Volkers. Her involvement in Girls State includes 13 years on the Girls State Committee and 5 years as Chairman. Her special project this year is Community Builders and her theme is “Serving our Veterans from Sea to Shining Sea.” She recently retired after 24 years at Michaels Store Inc. She and her husband Alan have 4 children, 16 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.  

Gary Lamunyon

The Sons of The American Legion Detachment of Michigan is proud to bring Gary Lamunyon to our Post as Commander for the State of Michigan, 2018-2019. He is a member of the Lynn C. Weeman Post #514 Sons of the American Legion Squadron in Ida, Michigan. He has been Squadron Commander, 2nd District commander and Zone Commander. His special project is Legion Boys Baseball. All three of Gary’s sons played Legion Ball and Gary coached for a number of years, giving him firsthand experience with the positive effect this program has for young men and their families. Gary’s theme is “I am my Comrade’s Caddy.” He and his wife Patricia have been married for 50 years.  They live in Temperance, Michigan; have 3 sons and 5 grandchildren. We’re looking forward to spending time with Gary and Pat.

Taylor Houghton

Our Auxiliary Honorary Junior President this year is Taylor Houghton. She graduated last June from Lakeland High School. She works part time while taking college classes online. She is from the chief Pontiac Unit in Clarkston, Michigan. Her special project is the Friendship Circle and her theme is “Butterflies.” She will fill us in on all the details of her year.  

The dinner will be held Saturday night, January 12, at the Post at 80 S. Main St., Cedar Springs.

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