|6/17/2022 12:55:00 PM|
Second generation Legion member leads MidSummer parade
by DENISE MARTINThis year the North Branch American Legion Post is upping its high school scholarships to five, for $2,500 a piece. The Post is only able to do this, and many other charitable good deeds, through strong community support; so here’s hoping for big turnout and fine weather during this week’s MidSummer Days. The live music, carnival, purse bingo and kiddie events are back just like before covid-19.
North Branch’s Legion Post is nearing a century of throwing this party which has become a regional hit, and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Many volunteers pitch in to make MidSummer Days a reality.
Sunday’s Parade Grand Marshal Glenn Pierce, has been helping with parade line-up and overseeing logistics for 16 years. Pierce has been in the North Branch Legion itself over 30 years.
His father, Dale a past Commander introduced him to the organization.
After serving in the Air Force a total of six years, with four of those in England, Glenn came home and went into selling property. He said he ‘did alright’ over 25 years in real estate and was able to retire relatively young, coinciding with the last real estate market crash.
“I did well enough to be able to have some time to do things and travel,” he explained. It wasn’t a tough decision. His workday had become mostly dealing with banks and moving properties into foreclosure and the personal satisfaction just wasn’t there anymore.
His leap into Legion activities has meant serving as adjutant, on the color guard, as charitable gambling manager (which he still does) and with help from wife Sherri, he oversees the designer purse bingo. “I wouldn’t know a good purse from a piece of junk,” he admits. He counts on Sherri’s stamp of approval in acquiring these high end prizes. The Pierce family consists of a son and two daughters living in Anoka, Cambridge and the southern U.S.
While the North Branch Legion has a membership headcount at 237 members, there’s always a need for worker bees. Glenn said the color guard is often joined by VFW members for sufficient presence at funeral services and events.
It costs $40 annually to join the Legion.
The organization supports baseball and softball teams, and puts on special/holiday events, and its programs benefit the community in many ways. The Legion also advocates for veterans and protects benefits and rights that they are due. Plus, “This is a great bunch of guys,” says the Grand Marshal.