Post 233 to celebrate 100 years of the Natl. American Legion

Post 233 to celebrate 100 years of the Natl. American Legion

The national American Legion is turning 100 and Lake Orion American Legion Post 233 will commemorate the centennial milestone during a celebration on March 16.
From 4-7 p.m. that day, members of the American Legion, the Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion and their spouses/significant others are invited to Post 233, 164 S. Broadway St. in downtown Lake Orion for a chicken dinner, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.
“The American Legion of Lake Orion is excited to share both the legacy and the vision of our organization,” said Post 233 Commander John Ranville, who has been post commander for six years. “We’ve done a lot of good, and intend keep doing it for a second century.”
While this is the centennial celebration of the national American Legion, Lake Orion Post 233 will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2021. At which time, the post will hold a larger community event, Ranville said.
“Then we’re going to have a big deal to celebrate,” Ranville said.
Post 233 was chartered on April 27, 1921 when they were recognized by the national charter.
The Post, orginally named Charleton-Polan, was named after Verne Emmet Polan and Newell Thomas Charleton, said Dennis Miller, Post 233’s finance and communications officer.
Polan was born in April 1897 on the Charles Parkhurst Farm and died Oct. 4, 1918 and served on the battleship Iowa during World War I. Charleton, born in Lake Orion in 1894, served in France during World War I and died Feb. 13, 1919, Miller said.
Post 233 currently has 170 members, plus 300 in the affiliated American Legion Auxiliary and Sons of The American Legion. The member are active in the community, participating in Memorial Day ceremonies, Veterans Day ceremonies and a veteran from the post is named Honored Veteran of the Year and leads Lake Orion parades.
The post supports several programs: Boys State, Girls State, adopts 12 families for Christmas, sponsors Lake Orion Youth Baseball and Scout Pack 233.
They’ve also donated $1,000 each of the past two years to The Daisy Project of Michigan, which supports recreational activities for families with special needs, including the all-inclusive playground at Friendship Park.
The American Legion was formed by combat troops of the American Expeditionary Forces in Paris, France on March 15-17, 1919 and was federally chartered in the United States on Sept. 16, 1919.
It quickly became an influential force at the national, state and local levels, dedicated to serving veterans, a strong national defense, youth and patriotism, according to information from the national American Legion.
Both Ranville and Miller feel it’s necessary to share the history of The American Legion and the legacy of its veterans.
“A lot of this is to bring attention to the general public on how the American Legion got started and what we do,” Ranville said. “If a veteran needs assistance, then we assist them, of course.”
Today, The American Legion has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits and claims and other concerns.
There are more than 13,000 posts around the world and more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran members.
For more information, visit https://centennial.legion.org/michigan/post233, or Post 233’s Facebook page. – By Jim Newell