Greetings DAV of Minnesota. Where did the summer and fall go? The winter season is upon us and I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season. Please enjoy the time with your friends and families. Since convention, 2015 has been an exceptionally busy and successful year. DAV of Minnesota had a great fall conference at Lake Elmo. Thank you to all who attended. It’s always a great opportunity to spend time with friends and catch up. But more important is taking advantage of the opportunity to get up to date on current events within the veterans community and taking this information back to your chapters to enable each chapter to better support your unique veterans community. We had 21 chapters in attendance. I hope to see members of the other chapters at our next Department Convention in Saint Cloud Of special note, the Department and Foundation received over $18,000 in contributions while distributing $42,000 to chapters in attendance for those chapters to enhance local community awareness and public relations within their community. The distribution was made using the unanticipated revenue received by the DAV MN as a result of the settlement agreement between the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and Savers. I am proud to report our DAV Outdoors program is thriving. Thank you to the Chapters who have individually supported hunts or fishing trips. You are making a difference. We expect 500 veterans to participate this year. Our Donor Connect Program continues to provide much needed items to disabled veterans and their families. It is sad to see Gerry Falkowski go. Thank you for your efforts in operating this program! We will miss you. Newly hired HQ staff Dave Wentzel has taken over the Donor Connect program. If you need to reach him, his email is [email protected] and phone 651-291-1212. We welcome Dave Wentzel and look forward to see how he will continue to move forward with this program. In terms of membership, DAV of Minnesota is 2nd in the nation needing only 31 members to meet our goal. We are 1st in our Division and Bemidji Chapter 7 is leading all Chapters already achieving over 102% of their goal. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Stephen Whitehead for being elected as National 4th Junior Vice Commander. We are fortunate to have him as our Department Adjutant and now look forward to see how this will become a synergistic opportunity to not only help disabled veterans of Minnesota but also to help the Veterans of our great nation. Keep in mind the DAV mid-winter Legislative Conference in Washington DC is coming up quickly. I encourage all of you to attend if you are able. This event is intended to allow us to lobby our legislators at the National level. By the way, our Department has already submitted our local legislative goals in conjunction with the Minnesota Commanders’ Task Force. We are starting to develop plans for the March Minnesota Vets on the Hill event. In closing, I would be remiss not to mention our intent to move forward together with our DAV of Minnesota Auxiliary. Please continue to support our partnership through joint ventures and including them as a resource in your chapter events. Please have a safe and happy Holiday Season and thank you again for helping to improve the quality of life of our disabled veterans and their family members. I can’t stress it enough. You can and do make a difference.