do you want to form a Legion Rider Chapter at your post?
Preface – Either you want to start a Legion Riders group at your Post because you enjoy riding motorcycles, you believe it would benefit your Post or both. There are certain fundamental things to realize about the Legion Riders. The Legion Riders are simply an authorized activity group at your local Post. You fall under the guidelines of your local Post and ultimately answer to your Posts membership, their rules and guidelines.
Overview – Forming a Legion Riders group at your Post does not have to be a huge, complicated process. Getting your “plan” to set one up can make the process much easier. Start by getting to know the facts about the Legion Riders. Talk to other Legion Riders groups, and find out what other Posts have experienced after Legion Riders were formed there.
Getting Ready – Your Post must be willing to sponsor a Riders Group. The Post must vote on this. To smooth the way do some homework on the Riders. Point out the positive aspects of Legion Leadership. Having a presentation set up for the membership can help. A few noteworthy facts about the Legion Riders for a presentation are as follows.
- Legion Riders are one of the fastest growing programs under the American Legion since WWII, increasing membership numbers at a phenomenal rate.
- Legion Riders typically bring in some younger Legion members.
- Legion Riders are typically very motivated and volunteer, not only in rider activities but Post activities.
- Since being founded in Garden City, Michigan in 1993 the Legion Riders have contributed millions of dollars to numerous Veteran’s causes and local charities.
- Rest assured that All Legion Riders have to be Legion members to join the Riders.
Getting Started – The Legion Riders meeting runs under a set of Rules that are very commonly known as “Roberts Rules of Order.” It is advisable to get a pocket copy available at most larger bookstores. You should get a copy of “Suggested ALR Bylaw’s Template. This bylaw template is approved by the National Program office of the American Legion Headquarters. These are available online at http://www.legion.org/riders/resources. With help from your local Post leadership and executive committee, it is advisable to review these bylaws. Now it’s time to get this officially started.
- Get the approval of the sponsoring post. A copy of the minutes of any regular post meeting approving the formation of a chapter is your authority to start organizing a new chapter.
- Set up a meeting with your new ALR members to discuss how your program should be governed, and develop a chapter constitution and bylaws for the review and approval of your post’s leadership.
- Have the organizer run the first meeting. Get a person to record the minutes of the first meeting. After going through the bylaw template and approving, including setting meetings days and time (approved by Local Legion officers and membership), elect chapter officers per your approved constitution and report your chapter to Department Headquarters. Riding dates and schedules can be developed later and approved by the membership.
If you have not started a Legion Riders group, many local chapters are willing to help as well as helpful hints on the internet. Below are a few helpful links.
http://www.legion.org/riders American Legion Riders – national
http://online2.msf-usa.org/msf/Default.aspx Motorcycle Safety Foundation
http://michigan.gov/sos/0,4670,7-127-1627_46351_46353—,00.html State of Michigan Motorcycle Laws & Regulations
http://emblem.legion.org/Legion-Riders/departments/11/ Emblem Sales of the American Legion – Riders apparel & items.