By Daniel Brunty The Winston County Journal
The Friends of Legion State Park held their Annual Picnic at Legion Lodge and the pavilion area of the park on June 14.
This year’s picnic was held to honor the 75th anniversary of the Legion Lodge, which was built in 1937, as well as to recognize veterans in honor of Flag Day.
The event kicked off in front of the Legion Lodge with a welcome from Park Manager Tim Flake, followed by a prayer from Rev. Ernest Flake.
Next was an introduction by FLSP President Frances Ball. Ball then recognized all local elected officials that were in attendance and thanked them for their support of their organization.
Ball them took the time to recognize all the members of FLSP that were in attendance as well, and thanked them for their continued support of the park.
Speedy Calvert was up next to introduce Tim Flake, who read a history of the Legion Lodge to the crowd. Flake told a few facts about the lodge, such as it being the oldest permanent facility in the Mississippi Parks system, it being designated as a Mississippi landmark, and its uses over the years.
Calvert then asked for the crowd to recognize all the veterans who were present with a round of applause. This was followed with the introduction of the newly installed flagpole and flag that was purchased by the FLSP for the lodge. The flag and flagpole were one of the many projects that the FLSP are in the process of completing.
County Veteran Officer Terry Kelley, who spoke of the importance of the flag and what it means to this country, performed the raising of the flag. Once the flag was raised, the veterans gathered around the flagpole to honor the flag and all it represents to them.
The lodge also has a large flag on the rear of the building, which was given by Congressman Greg Harper and Mr. Michael Cravens. The people responsible for acquiring this flag were Mr. and Mrs. Henry Brandt.
Once the ceremony was completed, the crowd was asked to move to the pavilion area to have the picnic portion of the service. The FLSP also took this time to have a membership drive for their club, in which anyone present could sign up to become and member of the FLSP, as well as giving current members the opportunity to renew their memberships.
Ball was pleased with how the membership drive went. “We had several to pay their membership yesterday and joined us,” Ball said. “We had some who renewed their membership. That was the main point of the picnic, to see if we could get some new members.”
The picnic consisted of a hamburger dinner as well as other entrees. After the picnic, Ball was also pleased with how the overall event went. “I think it was a success and everyone enjoyed it,” Ball said. “It turned out to be a very nice evening. We had approximately 50 people to show up. We thought that was pretty good.”
The Friends of Legion State Park is not only looking for new members, they are asking for any support that the public can offer, including donations or just showing interest in the park. If you would like more information about Legion State Park or the Friends of Legion State Park, you may contact 662-773-3712.