Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Legion, Auxiliary need more members


December 28, 2017

Lois E. Johnson

From left: Mike Peterson, Levi Skelton, Maddy Gamst, and Commander Kent Jackson.

Moose Lake Community School students Levi Skelton and Maddy Gamst were honored in a ceremony hosted by the Pederson-Maunula Post #379 of the American Legion on Monday, December 18, at the Moose Lake Community Center.

The students were chosen to attend Boys State and Girls State in June, and reported about their experiences.

Skelton said he spent his time at St. John's University and learned about government by serving on a city council, a county board and then serving in the House of Representatives for the state.

"There was a flag ceremony every morning and evening," he reported. "The counselors would write a motivational message on the blackboard every morning."

Gamst said she stayed at Bethel University and she and others were placed into cities.

"I was a senator," she said. "We voted on bills, wrote our own bills and then amended them. We learned how government works by experience rather than read about it out of a book. We got to go and visit the Capitol when they were voting."

"We were pretty jealous when we heard that," said Skelton.

He spoke of his impressions.

"I found it pretty interesting that everyone played a role," he said. "There were a couple of bills that were controversial and the discussion got heated. We had to run campaigns, too."

Gamst also spoke of the controversies.

"The House members couldn't agree," she said.

During the question and answer period, Skelton said he has no plans to enter politics. "It's a hard job," he said. "I'm not going to get into politics. I plan to attend the University of Minnesota and study product design."

Gamst is undecided where she will attend college.

"I'm looking at several schools," she said. "I was impressed with Bethel and am considering going to school there. I am going to study biochemistry."

Mike Peterson, who served on the committee to choose the students for Boys and Girls State, concluded, "I am so proud of you guys. This helps to let everyone know what a good program this is."

Kent Jackson, commander of the post, explained the program to honor the students was held in December because, due to various circumstances, the annual Veterans Day dinner was not held.

He also said the post lost two very active members with the passing of Bill and Lou Hall.

Bill had served as adjutant and Lou served on the Legion auxiliary.

Jackson explained that the American Legion meets the third Monday of the month and members are needed. The Legion sponsors programs, such as Boys State and Girls State, and ceremonies, such as Memorial Day services. Proceeds from poppy sales are used to sponsor the Veterans Day dinner, he added.

"If we don't get more members, we can't do these programs," Jackson concluded.

Sue Paulson also pleaded for more members. "I am the president, secretary and treasurer of the auxiliary," she said. "Our next meeting will be Wednesday, April 18, 7 p.m. in Barnum. The meeting after that is May 12. We invite people to come and get involved."


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