American Legion Post 342 Brings St. Charles National Attention

Press Release                                                   Contact: Vanessa Bell-LaSota
                                                                                        St Charles Veterans Center
                                                                                                                Community Liaison
American Legion Post 342 Brings St. Charles National Attention   
     The August 2019 issue of American Legion Magazine features our local St. Charles American Legion Post 342 in their Centennial column. The magazine chose to excerpt an entry from 1930, found on the “History “page of our post submission to the National Centennial blog. The blog is one portion of the requirements given for a post to qualify for the National Post Excellence Award.
     To complete qualifications, Post 342 submitted stories and photos from their scrapbooks which date back to 1919. Post 342 assembled photographs, news clip excerpts and scrapbook entries that accounted for nearly every decade of the Centennial. In addition, they assembled an account of events of the past year noting at least one community or veteran activity for every month of the past year accompanied by photos. For their robust, superlative entry, Post 342 was recently honored with American Legion Post Excellence Award. St. Charles Post 342 was the only American Legion Post in Illinois to qualify for the award.
The National American Legion organization is celebrating its Centennial this year, and, coincidentally, so is Post 342. In 1919, the first Post Commander was Gordon Abbott. Upon completing the Henry Rockwell Baker Community Center & WWI Memorial in 1926, E.J. Baker invited Post 342 to meet at the “Community House”. Today, on the second floor of the building one can view the brass plaque above the door of Superintendent of Parks & Recreation, Holly Cabel’s office, announcing “American Legion Post 342”. (attached)
      Vanessa Bell-LaSota, Community Liaison spearheaded the project with Post 342 Adjutant Robert Altergott. Assistance was provided by Alison Costanzo, Executive Director of the St. Charles History Museum, The History Museum maintains the original 100-year old Post 342 Scrapbook. It was featured along with many other artifacts on-loan from the Museum at the Post 342 Centennial Celebration & Dinner at Baker Center on April 5th.
The community is invited to see the Post Excellence Award and other artifacts of interest by dropping in at the St. Charles Veterans Center, 311 N. 2nd Street, Unit 109, on any Wednesday morning from 8am-10am or on Saturdays from 7-10am. Coffee and donuts are served along with fellowship from your area veterans. For more information contact the Center at:;; on Facebook at St Charles Veterans Posts (@stcvets) and 630-377-9845, or call Vanessa 630-402-1919
                    1919 Post 342 Scrapbook from St. Charles History Museum Collection
From left, Post 342 Adjutant Robert Altergott, Community Liaison Vanessa Bell-LaSota,
Post Commander Greg McKinney.
American Legion Magazine column features Post 342
American Legion Post 342 meeting room in 1926
 Page from 1919 Scrapbook