I have been a member of Post 2177 in Fenton for many years. When I became a member, we had a Post Home along side the Meramec River in the Chrysler Plant area and worked for many years serving in programs that included workers at the plant.
We were subject to inconvenience when the river was at flood levels and took part in the flood plain buyout when it occurred. Members decided to invest the proceeds of that sale in local CDs and use the income for annual programs of the group. At the time CDs paid pretty well.
When I was the Adjutant of Post 2177, several growing of age events happened. The income from the safe investment began coming down, reducing our extra funds. The age of the members and those able to do the programs and manage the Post caused a slow down in activities and it seemed to be an exercise in futility.
It was then I developed a statement to try to cope with the problem. On May 8 we met and started discussion on the details of how to surrender our charter and surprisingly much of what I had written will be undertaken in the coming weeks. I thought I would let readers know how I was able to help in this solving of a sticky problem.
My statement of years ago was as follows:
"What is it to be? I offer some ideas on how to proceed. If we are to stay active, perhaps we should not reinvest all the CD at maturity, but keep a portion in our checking account to use for constructive things according to VFW standards, thus giving us a reason to exist. Or if we decide to surrender our charter, this would call for detailed planning for timing purposes and would include the offer of life memberships to those not currently Life Members and give them an opportunity to transfer to a Post of their choice along with a per capita share of the member which would be calculated on the day of the vote to surrender the Charter, perhaps keeping a sizable fund for a good old fashioned party and divide it by our membership somehow.
We could then write a check to the new Post chosen by those transfers. If not we could make donations to other charities.
For those who do not choose to transfer, their share, could be sent to a viable charity, perhaps the Veterans Service Officers Fund or whomever we decide to make charitible gifts to.
To transfer a membership, a member would go to a Post meeting that you select and present his membership to the Quartermaster and request a transfer in. Perhaps in our coming discussions, much of these details could be worked out as in taking this action, these are some of the details that would have to be decided and handled before the action is taken. Our CD would have to be converted to cash to make funds when the time comes.
This is just a suggestion who we might meet a problem which is coming up sometime."
Our first discussion was well handled, and our members know know pretty much what to expect as necessary coming meetings were planned. My son, District Adjutant Chris Weber, was very helpful at the May 8, 2012, meeting. Our Post members thanked him for his efforts.
So time marches on and the time for our surrender of this charter of long standing looks promising.
When I helped form the Missouri Farm Bureau Life insurance Company, we issued Endowment at Age 85 Charter policies. Little did I know at the time that I would cash in my charter policy at 85, then found that since much of the premiums had been paid by income from the company, much of my proceeds would be taxable when cashed in. Members will not be taxed in our VFW case.