Lamar Hosts this Year’s State American Legion Convention, June 19-22


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The City of Lamar was chosen to host this year’s 2014 Colorado American Legion Convention, and that convention will be underway this Thursday, June 19 through June 22, in and around Lamar beginning with a Thursday morning golf tournament at Spreading Antlers Golf Course.  Almost a year ago, Denise Carder, then Lamar Chamber of Commerce President and Shawna Hodge, Executive Director of Lamar Partnerships, Incorporated, made a presentation on behalf of the city to state American Legion dignitaries during their 2013 convention in Ft. Collins, CO.  Lamar and Montrose were the final two communities being considered by the American Legion representatives.

Carder said, “We expect to see about 400-500 representatives come to Lamar for those three days.  Hodge added that those numbers were just the memberships and did not include family members who might also make the trip.

Carder said she was approached with the idea by Ben Acre of Walsh, an American Legion member, about the idea of Lamar becoming host city for 2014.  Options on how best to showcase Lamar were discussed, as Front Range cities usually can carry the most votes.  Hodge said, “We focused on the strengths of our rural and agricultural background, stressing our historical culture more than how many different restaurants we have.”

A series of convention meetings have been scheduled for the Lamar Elks and Lamar Eagles lodges, as well as the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn and the Lamar Welcome Center.  A BBQ is planned for Thursday evening at the Prowers County Fairgrounds, a horseshoe and dart tournament have been planned through the remainder of the week.  The convention will be capped with a cocktail reception on Saturday at the Elks Lodge, followed by a testimonial banquet and various speakers.  Presentations will also be made for Legionnaire of the Year, All Time High Membership Awards, winners of the District Race to the Top and Installation of Officers.  A combined memorial service will be held Sunday morning at the Cow Palace Inn just prior to adjournment of the 2014 convention.

By Russ Baldwin

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