American Legion Veterans Memorial Post #347
Lady Lake, FL

Legion Pages       Link to Sons       Link to Auxiliary       Link to Riders

Office (352) 750-2099
9AM - 4PM, Mon - Fri

Lounge (352) 750-0639
12PM - closing

News - Last Updated 7/1/2020

Top Stories

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Post #347 Re-Opening is Cut Back on June 26, 2020 Due to FL State Order

     Due to an order from the State of Florida, all bars, including Post #347's must shut down again starting June 26, 2020.  Bars were just re-opened 2 weeks ago, but because bars in the state have been cited as contributing to the recent rise in covid-19 cases, they are being shut down again to try and curtail case growth.

The Post will still be open for some activities with some rather strict rules and guidelines.  Under this revised Phase 1 of re-opening food service will be very limited and entertainment in the lounge will be minimal.  The lounge will operate under 50% capacity but with no alcohol sales, everyone must sign-in, and members are allowed only 1 cohabitant guest (ie, spouse).  Masks will be worn by all workers and are suggested for members and guests while they are not eating or drinking.

     Further Phases of re-opening will be announced as officials learn more about the behaviors of members, guests, and workers, and as state and federal guidelines for bars evolve.

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Post #347 Elects Al Varrone as the 2020-21 Commander


Commander Al Varrone
     Al Varrone, who led American Legion Post 347 from 2017 to 2019, won another term as Post Commander at the June 26th election.  Varrone defeated current Commander Bob Kiley and Ellen Tierney in the election of the Post's officers. He’ll take over the Post on Wednesday, July 1st. First Vice Commander Joan Suelter was re-elected to her office, defeating T.C. Biddle.

    
Also elected Friday were Historian Phil Crouthamel and board members Fred Jary, Joe Holdreith, Guy Knaak, and Bob Suelter. Second Vice Commander Dave Musser, Third Vice Commander Dan Martin, Finance Officer Ken DeMello, Chaplain Lon Hertel, and Sergeant-at-Arms George Zablocki were all unopposed for their offices.

Read the full article from The Daily Sun.

1st Vice Commander Joan Suelter 

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Post #347 is Re-Opening with Restrictions on June 12, 2020

     Post #347 was abruptly shut down for all member activity on March 14, 2020.  Now, starting Friday June 14, 2020 it will re-open with some rather strict rules and guidelines.  Under Phase 1 of re-opening there will be NO food served yet and NO entertainment in the lounge yet.  The lounge will operate under 50% capacity, everyone must sign-in, and members are allowed only 1 cohabitant guest.  Masks will be worn by all workers and are suggested for members and guests while they are not eating or drinking.  You must be seated while drinking.

     Further Phases of re-opening will be announced as officials learn more about the behaviors of members, guests, and workers, and as state and federal guidelines for bars evolve.

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Honor Flight Mission 47 on Sept 18, 2019 was a Roaring Success!

     Honor Flight Mission 47 on Sept 18, 2019 kicked off the Villages Honor Flight’s fall schedule. Fifty eight local Veterans visited the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War memorials, along with Arlington National Cemetery and other sites in our nation's Capitol. More than 100 friends and family members turned out to greet the Veterans and their guides upon their return to American Legion Post #347 on Rolling Acres Road late that same evening.

     Before the veterans arrived, Dawn DiNome and the Flashback Band entertained the crowd with a collection of nostalgic songs, and the Villages Twirlers and Drum Corps performed, some with flaming batons. The Villages Cheerleaders also performed to a crowd-pleasing melody of patriotic songs.

     See the full article from The Daily Sun newspaper HERE, or download a pdf copy HERE.

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Post #347 Family Traditional Memorial Day Commemoration

     Traditional Memorial Day ceremonies were held at Lady Lake Cemetery, officiated by Post #347.  Wreaths were placed by Cathy Trout, Auxiliary; Bob Kiley, Legion; and John Gorsuch, Sons.  Lady Lake Scout Troop #244 placed flags at the graves of the over 110 Veterans buried there., and they also had a Troop Flag bearer.  Honored guests included: Jim Richards, Lady Lake Mayor; Ruth Kussard, and Cindy Brown from Congressman Daniel Webster's office.

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Flags for Fallen Veterans Placed Flags for 2019 Memorial Day Week

     Over 140,000 flags were placed in front of grave markers at the Florida National Cemetery on May 26, 2019 by hundreds of volunteers from the area.  Many of those volunteers came from Post #347 membership.  Of course, it's volunteers at Post #347 who take care of these meaningful flags; refurbishing them each year, storing them, and trucking them to/from Bushnell.

     Those placing the flags are asked to measure 1 foot from the center of each headstone and plant the flag carefully so as not to break the mast or the top piece.  Then they stand and salute, thanking the Veteran for their service to our country.  There were so many volunteers, and it was so well coordinated by the Flags for Fallen Veterans organization, each area captain, and the volunteers handling the 1,500 or so plastic totes, that the process of flag placement actually takes about 2 hours.  Retrieval usually goes even quicker, and not as many volunteers are required, but still on June 1, they all need to be honorably collected and carefully stored so as not to suffer any damage or mold during the ensuing year.  See this beautiful view of some of the flags.

     Watch this stirring VIDEO to get a sense of the event and those who participated.  The Villages-News.com also wrote up a nice ARTICLE about the event.

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Post #347 Holds Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Lady Lake Cemetery


Commander Al Varrone Placing Commemorative Wreath
     On December 17, 2018 Post #347 hosted a ceremony for Wreaths Across America at Lady Lake Cemetery.  The wreaths were provided at minimal charge by a non-profit organization in Maine.  They are trucked all over the country in early December to be placed at Veteran headstones.  The Lady Lake ceremony included over 110 headstone wreaths as well as wreaths honoring the military branches and POW/MIAs.  The Post honor guard presented the colors and the Legion Riders made a loud and impressive ceremonial entrance.  Lady Lake Scout Troop #244 place flags at the Veteran headstones the week prior to the wreaths arriving.  

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The Queen of Hearts Drawing Continues to Be Very Popular

     The Queen of Hearts drawing continues to be a VERY popular event every Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Post #347.  The hall and the lounge are both at capacity nearly every week.  A delicious locally prepared meal at an affordable price is also offered each Tuesday; see the menu HERE.
     Only Post #347 members are allowed entry for the forseable future, due to the popularity.  The doors open at 4:00 PM, but be sure to arrive early so you don't get shut-out.  In case you do arrive after the capacity is reached, be sure to checkin at the door so your name is recorded as 'being there' and if you win you don't get penalized for not 'being there'.  All parking is controlled by Lady Lake police and trained crowd control volunteers from The Sons.
     The drawing takes place at 7:00 PM.

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Post #347 Installs Officers for 2018-2019

     On August 11, 2018 an Officer Installation was held in the hall for all Post family groups.  Tables were setup for with white linen tablecloths for the large group of Officers and guests.  Representatives from the Department of Florida, District 6, and nearby Posts were in attendance for the festivities.  A delicious meal was served prior to the installation ceremony.

     Each group of Officers was escorted to the front of the room by the Sgt-at-Arms and installed separately; The Legion, The Auxiliary, The Sons, and The Riders.  Each Officer was read the responsibilities and duties for their position.  The groups were then each conveyed their new office by the Installation Officer.

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Post #347 Honor Guard Records Extensive Year in 2017-2018

       The Veterans Memorial Post #347 Honor Guard traveled over 98,000 miles during 2017-2018 providing Honor Guard services for community events, burial details for our veterans who have moved-on to the Post Everlasting, and providing Flag Core for all sorts of events in and around the Villages.  With 63 members, our Honor Guard are well know in the area.  Great job and well done to Commander of the Guard, Joan Suelter.

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Senator Marco Rubio visits Post #347 on Memorial Day


Commander Al Varrone and Senator Marco Rubio
     Memorial Day, May 30, 2018, started out with a rainy beginning.  Legion Staff decided the best place to hold our ceremony was inside the Post Hall.  The event went great and everyone stayed dry.  Lunch was provided to the membership and we had a very special guest, Senator Marko Rubio.  He spent time with the Post Executive Board members and then conducted a question & answer session with members and guest of the Post.

     It was a memorable Memorial day indeed.

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Band Of Brothers Hosting Vietnam Memorial Wall

     Band Of Brothers representatives spoke about their hosting of the Travelling Vietnam Memorial Wall on November 2-4, 2018.  The 600-plus members of the Band of Brothers and the Town of Lady Lake hosted the Traveling Wall Memorial at the Rolling Acres Sports Complex.  The exhibit, a 3/5-scale replica of the Wall in Washington, D.C., contains the names of every man and woman – more than 58,000 – who died while serving their country in the Vietnam War.

     We salute the Band of Brothers and the Town of Lady Lake for hosting the Travelling Wall so that those who can’t make it to Washington, D.C., can experience it and understand the magnitude of the loss this country suffered in the name of protecting the freedoms we all hold so dearly.

Click HERE for more information about the Travelling Wall Memorial.

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Candidates for the 2018-19 Dept of Florida Historian Position Campaigned at Post #347


http://www.florida-legion.com/HistorianDeptFl.JPG

     Two candidates for the 2018 Dept of Florida Historian Position campaigned at Post #347 at the February 2018 Monthly Meeting. 

     Gerald Kaufman, current Dept of Florida Historian, and Doug Deierlein, Past Western Area District Commander, each presented their cases to be the 2018 Dept of Florida Historian.


http://www.florida-legion.com/HistorianDeierlein.JPG

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'Vote in Honor of a Veteran', Presented by 'Lake County Votes'

     Nanci Cornwell from Lake County Votes invited Post #347 members to participate in Lake County Florida's Vote in Honor of a Veteran.  The Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office is pleased to provide our voters with the Vote in Honor of a Veteran program.  The intent of this program is to encourage voter participation, as well as remind citizens about the contributions our veterans have made.

     If you are a veteran and would like to share your story and why you think it is
important to vote, please let us know. We would like to include you in our outreach activities.

Click HERE for the brochure, or HERE for more information from their website.

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Commander Honors Long-Time Honor Guard Member Vivian Abalon

     Commander Varrone presents certificate to Vivian Abalon, WWII Veteran and Honor Guard member of long standing.  The Commander commented that Ms. Abalon has been the Official POEM reader for over twenty years at all the Military Honor Burial Details that our Post #347 provided in our area.  Honor Guard Captain Joan Suelter stated, "We are really going to miss Vivian on our Honor Guard Squad."

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Re-Creation, "America's Ambassadors to Hospitalized Veterans", Performs at Post #347

     Re-Creation, "America's Ambassadors to Hospitalized Veterans", presented two performances of their traveling show to Post #347's volunteers.  It was a great show, with great variety, and their music covered all genres.  Their many custume changes brought back fond memories to all in attendance of the 'Good Old Days'.

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2017-18 National American Legion Commander Denise Rohan Visits Post #347

     Post #347 was very excited to Host our 2017-18 National American Legion Commander Denise Rohan on January 25, 2018.  Commander Rohan spoke to a full hall about her initiatives and priorities during 2017-18.  Post #347 Commander Al Varrone presented National Commander Rohan with a $2,000 donation from Post #347 for the National Endowment Fund.

     This marks the 17th time a National Commander has visited our Post, and we are very fortunate to have that kind of attention from our senior leadership!

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Commander Varrone Welcomes Visitors from Madeira Beach Post #273

     On January 13, 2018, Commander Varrone welcomed visitors from Madeira Beach Legion Post #273.  Our Post provided lunch for our guests and everyone had a great time.

     Madeira Beach is the second largest Post in the American Legion; between our two Posts we have
over 10,000 Legion members!

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Al Porter visited Post #347 to Seek Support for National Executive Committeeman Position


Past Department of Florida American Legion Commander, Al Porter
     Past Department of Florida American Legion Commander, Al Porter, visited Post #347 to announce his running for National Executive Committeemen in the July 2018 National Elections.  Post #347 received a nomination, a second, and a complete membership endorsement in support of Commander Porter in his campaign for the National NEC position.

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Rib Night!

     The Tuesday after Thanksgiving saw a full house for Rib Night.  Great job on the Christmas Decorations!

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Rib Night, Continued!

      Johnny Ray entertaining the Full House in the Hall for Tuesday Rib Night.

     Olive, our 99 year old Tuesday Night Party Girl, kept everyone on their toes singing to polka song, "Who the Hell is Alice".

      Our Olive Singing "Who the Hell is Alice"

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Post #347 Honored WW-2 Veterans with a Turkey Dinner

     On October 11, 2017 Post #347 hosted a small group of WW-2 veterans with a full-course turkey dinner.

     The Veterans are part of the approximately 20 WW-2 Veterans who reside at Sumter Place in The Villages.

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Saturday Breakfast for the 2017-18 Season


Volunteers Get Everything Prepared
     Saturday Breakfast is back (in 2017-2018).  During the Fall-Spring seasons a great breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes (blueberry or regular), sausage and/or bacon, biscuits w/sausage gravy, OJ and coffee.  All for one great price of only $6 per person (please, no sharing).  Breakfast was held the 2nd Saturday of each month from October to May.  Thanks to the volunteers who worked so hard to make these breakfast events so well-run and popular.

     Saturday Breakfast served over 400 meals and collected several gallons of precious blood for our Veterans and Community.  The Life South Bloodmobile staff and The Post's Blood Drive Coordinator, Danny Adams, all did a great job.  When a guest donated blood, The Post treated them to a complimentary breakfast.

Scout Troop #244 Helped Serve and Clean-Up

Life South BloodMobile

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City of Leesburg Built a Vietnam Wall and You Could Be Eligible


Leesburg Vietnam War Memorial

     Are you a Vietnam Veteran?  The City of Leesburg has built a Vietnam Wall in 2017 to go with their other war memorials.  If you live in Lake, Marion, Sumter, or The Villages you are eligible.  

New names will be added to the Memorial twice a year. In addition there will be 10,500 bricks on the floor of the Memorial to honor any person you would like to honor.  Bricks can be ordered at any time.

As of June 2019 they are honoring 9,113 veterans on the memorial wall.

Click HERE for more information.


Leesburg Korean War Memorial

Leesburg World War 2 Memorial

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2017 American Legion National Convention

     Post #347 was well represented at the 2017 American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis by Past Commander Tim Tierney, 1st Vice Commander Ellen Tierney, and Honor Guard Commander, Joan Suelter.

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65 Year Membership Certificates of Appreciation Presented by Commander Varrone


George Fluger

     Commander Al Varrone presented a Certificate of Appreciation and a plaque to Mr. George Fluger and Mr.James H Lantelme in recognition of their 65 Years as members of The American Legion and Post #347.


James Lantelme

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Post #347 Held a Members Appreciation Luncheon on July 4, 2017

     1st Vice Commander Ellen Tierney and our every present Door Guardian Robert, greated our members and their guest at the Post for the 2017 Members Appreciation Luncheon. 

     Commander Al Varrone, Joyce Varrone, and Carol Pirone-Udell served up a delicious meal to all current members of Post #347 on July 4th.  Thanks to all our Members.

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New Officers Elected to American Legion Post #347 Positions - Take Office July 1, 2017

     New Officers take over their American Legion Post #347 positions July 1st, 2017.   Commander Al Varrone, the 2016-17 Post 1st Vice Commander, took over the Post Commander reigns from Tim Tierney who had been serving as Post commander for three of the last four terms.  Incoming Commander Varrone stated that he was honored to serve the Veterans of Post #347, "The Largest Post in the World".  Post #347 has over 6000 members. 

     Commander Varrone said that running a Post this large will be a learning experience that he is excited to begin.  He also stated that he was very appreciative of all the assistance Commander Tierney has provided to get him ready to take on this position.  Our Post is run by Veterans who are willing to volunteer their time and efforts to make sure we have one of the best Posts in Florida.


2017-2019 Post Commander Al Varrone

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Post #347 Members Participate in 19th Annual Sumter County Sheriff's Golf Tournament

     The Post was well represented at the 19th Annual Sumter County Sheriff's Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 3, 2017, at Tierra Del Sol golf course in The Villages.  Commander Tim Tierney, Adjunct Mike Siedel, Member at Large Ron Monat, and Historian Mike Horn are all pictured with Sheriff Bill Farmer.  

     The 19th Annual Sheriff Bill Farmer Golf Tournament-procedes contributed to the Youth of Sumter County sports, scholarships, community projects, and more.  See Sumter County Sheriff website for more information.

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Saturday April 27, 2017 Night at the Races Event was a Huge Success

     Saturday Night at the Races was the highlight for the April 27, 2017 weekend at Post #347.  Over 190 tickets sold for the event and a great time was had by all who came out.  Volunteers provided all the Race Fans with Hot Dogs and Chips to help them keep their energy up.  

     Members of our Post, Sons, and Auxiliary were on-hand to help with the fun Night at the Races, including Julie, Edna, JC, and Ellen.

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