Post 555 receives Post Excellence Award

PELHAM – Members of American Legion Matthew Blount Post 555 gathered with their friends and family on Thursday, Nov. 2, for the post’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner where their accomplishments over the past year were also recognized.

During the dinner, Donna Stacey, American Legion’s Commander for Alabama, presented Post 555 with the Post Excellence Award. The award is given by the Legion’s national office to posts that have grown their membership over the past year and fulfill the Legion’s missions of mentoring the youth, promoting patriotism, helping veterans and sponsoring community programs.

“This is a young post and they have a lot of energy and enthusiasm,” Stacey said. “They’re one of the best posts in the state.”

Post Commander Tom McDaniel said the award is a testament to the dedication of the post’s members.

“I can’t say enough about these people,” he said. “They go above and beyond. This speaks to the dedication of our members.”

The post also received a commendation from Gov. Kay Ivey for the second year in a row. The commendation recognized the post’s efforts to promote citizenship and patriotism in Alabama.

Second Vice Commander Anita Bennett was recognized individually for the work she does to help veterans in the community either personally or through an organization. She received the Seven Seals Award from Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, which promotes cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees.

Through the Legion, Bennett chairs an annual Veteran’s Day program at Pelham’s Texas Roadhouse and is the head of the post’s VA Caravan program that donates 150 Christmas bags to VA patients.

“I’m just humbled,” she said. “There are so many people in this post who fulfill the requirements for this award easily. We’re a team.”

Post member Chuck Kiser also announced that the post will donate more than $1,200 to Blue Star Salute, which hosts an annual Memorial Day Commemoration at the Alabama National Cemetery and The American Village, Montevallo. The post’s donation is up from $555 last year.