In lieu of the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, several districts have asked the department to advise them concerning the upcoming District Spring Conferences. We have consulted with Department Commander James Kessler and we are in agreement that it is the decision of the district on how to proceed. As of now, your department staff intends to support and attend the conferences as scheduled. Your department staff offers the following guidelines for those districts choosing to go forward with conferences:
- If anyone is sick, please stay home
- Cover mouths with upper arm or a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Avoid contact with eyes, nose, and mouths with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with sick individuals
- We are encouraging participants to make meetings “handshake-free” – “fist-bumps” or “elbow-bumps” are the new norm
- Provide hand sanitizer and/or disinfectant wipes for attendees
- We recommend hand washing as much as possible with soap – CDC recommends you wash for at least 20 seconds
All reports and materials provided by the department will be available online for those who choose not to attend.
2020 Department Convention (CANCELLED): By unanimous vote of the Department Executive Committee on May 2, the 2020 Department Convention, the commission and committee meetings preceding that convention, the Department Executive Committee meeting following that convention and the Color Guard competition during that convention have all been cancelled. The Holiday Inn will cancel all room reservations associated with the convention. There is no need for individuals to call and cancel rooms. As a result of the cancellation of the convention, there will not be an election of Department officers. Also normally a vote of the convention delegates would be taken to determine the site for the 2020 convention. The resolution cancelling the convention specified that the Department Officers, both elected and appointed, would carry over for the 2020-2021 year. The Department Executive Committee also determined that the 2022 convention would be held at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines with suggested dates of July 7-10, 2022. Additionally all personnel appointed to the Department commissions and committees will carry over for the 2020-2021 year. Membership contests for the 2020 membership year will conclude on June 20, 2020.The resolution brought before the committee may be found here.
Spring District Conference Cancellations or Postponements: The Coronavirus outbreak is causing numerous changes in the spring events in the Legion family. We will be publishing periodic updates of those changes as they occur and will pass along any guidance that is appropriate as our posts, counties and districts wrestle with these changes. While concern for the health of our members and communities must remain paramount, it is also important that we operate according to the Constitution and By-Laws from the Post up through the Department. This part of the year sees elections as well as other necessary business to be conducted by the districts and posts. We trust that those elections and that business will continue to be done in accordance with the By-Laws and the appropriate sections of Iowa law that govern nonprofit corporations. Department Judge-Advocate Dinkla prepared a short summary of the Iowa law that governs how nonprofit corporations conduct their business. We will include that in a future update.
- 1st District has confirmed cancellation
- 2nd District – Saturday, May 16, 2020 via Zoom Conference (Contact District Leadership for details)
- 3rd District has confirmed cancellation
- 4th District – Saturday, April 18, 2020 via Conference Call at 1:00 PM (Contact District Leadership for details)
- 5th District has postponed until further notice
- 6th District has postponed until further notice
- 7th District has confirmed cancellation
- 8th District has postponed until further notice
- 9th District has postponed until further notice
- SAL will meet Sunday, April 26, 2020 at 1:30 PM via Zoom Conference
Baseball: The American Legion of Iowa Baseball Committee discussed the direct impact COVID-19 has on the 2020 season on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The committee made the decision to cancel the 2020 season after careful consideration and input from coaches. We understand this is a very difficult decision, however, given the uncertainties and variables with our current pandemic, the safety of all involved with the program was paramount. The Department of Iowa will be working diligently to secure the refund of insurance and registration fees paid for all teams involved this year. There is no need for teams, coaches, or posts to formally request this from the Department. Eligible players are encouraged to apply for the Baseball Scholarship from the Department of Iowa. First place is awarded $2000 and the runner up $500.
Boys State: The American Legion of Iowa Boys State Board of Directors met on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 to discuss the direct impact COVID-19 has on the upcoming session. After careful consideration of the information available and the uncertain future as to the longevity of this pandemic, The American Legion of Iowa Boys State Board of Directors decided to cancel the 2020 Boys State Session and its correlative activities such as District Orientations. The decision to cancel was difficult, but the safety of all participants involved from delegates to counselors was of utmost priority. Please read the full response from the Board of Directors in the attached letter here which includes immediate actions that will be taken place for posts and delegates.
Bowling: The bowling tournament has been cancelled for this year.
Headquarters Office Access: Both the Headquarters Office and the Department Service Office are closed to outside access until further notice. The employees will be available only by telephone, email or text messaging as most will be working from home. Access to the Headquarters office is available only under absolute need. Please be cooperative under these conditions.
National Convention: 2020 National Convention scheduled for August 28 – September 3, 2020 has officially been cancelled by the The American Legion National Office. Read more here.
Emblem Sales: Due to Indiana government regulations related to the COVID-19 virus, American Legion Emblem Sales will temporarily be operating with limited staff beginning Wednesday, March 25. During this time, the Emblem Sales call center will be closed, but customers can email firstname.lastname@example.org, and available staff will respond as quickly as possible. Orders may be placed online at https://emblem.legion.org, but shipping delays can be expected during this time. American Legion Emblem Sales apologizes for this inconvenience and appreciates the understanding of American Legion Family customers during this difficult time.
Iowa Commission of Veteran Affairs: The Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs meeting scheduled for April 1 at the Iowa Veterans Home has been postponed. The Commission hopes to reschedule the meeting for the first week in May.
2020 American Legion Regional Tournaments and 2020 American Legion World Series canceled: With the unpredictability of the current worldwide COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the manner in which the virus spreads, its duration and the resulting public health regulations and restrictions across the nation, The American Legion is facing an improbable situation. The Americanism Commission, in consultation with National Commander James William “Bill” Oxford, announces cancellation of all 2020 American Legion Baseball national tournaments, inclusive of all eight 2020 Regional Tournaments and the 2020 American Legion World Series. The awarding of American Legion Baseball scholarships and Samsung American Legion Scholarships for 2020 have also been completely suspended (Samsung American Legion Scholarships awarded in years prior to 2020 will continue to be paid out to students upon their requests to receive their funds).
Awarding American Legion Baseball and Samsung American Legion Scholarships suspended for 2020: Currently, there are 32 American Legion Boys State and 9 American Legion Auxiliary Girls State programs who have found it necessary to cancel their 2020 programs due to health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with several more having indicated that cancellation is probable. It is through the Boys State and Girls State programs that youth are afforded eligibility to apply for Samsung American Legion Scholarships. Many, many Boys State and Girl State delegates did not pursue their applications for 2020 Samsung American Legion Scholarships as a result of the scores of Boys State and Girls State program cancellations.