Veterans Reception Center

 Message from the Commander, American Legion Post #403, Van Meter, Iowa  -- June 9th, 2020:
 
Fellow Veterans, Legion & Auxiliary members, and citizens of the greater Van Meter community,

I am reaching out to let everyone know that the Executive Committee of American Legion Post 403 has decided to reopen the Veteran’s Reception Center (VRC) in Van Meter on Saturday, June 13th.  This decision was made after reviewing State of Iowa applicable law, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines, and other appropriate regulatory agencies prescribing guidelines for public gatherings and social events during the COVID19 pandemic.  The Executive Committee took the information under careful consideration, and concluded that as long as all appropriate health and safety measures were implemented, we could safely reopen the VRC to continue the vital support provided to veterans and the community at-large.  Following are key points of the VRC re-opening:

1.     Re-opening date - The VRC will be available to support Veteran Celebrations of Life or other events beginning on Saturday, June 13th. 

     a.     June events – Currently scheduled events will be supported as planned.  Additional events will not be supported unless they are Veteran Celebrations of Life.  Bingo will not be held.

     b.     July events – Currently scheduled events will be supported.  If COVID19 cases in Iowa remain stable, two to three more events in addition to Celebrations of Life may be scheduled.  Bingo will not be held.

     c.     August – Sept 7th (Labor Day) – Currently scheduled events will be supported. If COVID19 cases in Iowa remain stable, two to three more events in addition to Celebrations of Life may be scheduled.  Bingo will not be held.

     d.     Sept 8th thru late 2020 – We will consider wider support of events depending on the status of COVID19 cases in Iowa.  Bingo may be held in late Sept through Nov, but this decision has not yet been made.

2.     Reopening of the Bar – The Post 403 Lounge will reopen on Friday, July 10th.

3.     Added Cleaning protocols – We are in the process of developing an enhanced cleaning & sanitization plan in consultation with professionals to include Hillyard commercial cleaning and others.  Post 403 is buying more cleaning materials, sanitizing equipment, hand sanitizer, etc. and we should have much more product on-hand by mid-July.  In the interim, we will mitigate risk by limiting the number of events, the size of events supported, and through enforcement of safety protocols.

4.     Social Distancing & Health Awareness– This is the #1 measure to ensure the safety of guests.   We will ensure proper Social Distancing is maintained at all events, and have monitors to enforce as required.

5.     Signage & facility Set-up– We have reconfigured the VRC to less than 50% capacity in all areas with at least 6 ft. between tables.  We will post signage to remind all guests of requirements for washing hands, social distancing, etc.

We cannot project when large capacity venues at the VRC may return, but it will most likely not be until well into 2021.  If there is a new outbreak or a significant increase in cases in the Des Moines area, we may need to scale back.  As long as the situation remains stable, we will operate the VRC safely while enforcing added health and safety guidelines to allow for support of our veterans and the local community.  Post 403 will follow the highest standards of safety, cleanliness, and service for our Members and all guests of the VRC.  We remain committed to the priority of supporting all veterans, their families, and the community, and we will demonstrate this support by ensuring the safety and health of all guests at the Veteran’s Reception Center as we safely reopen. 

Sincerely,
Vince Junker
Post Commander
American Legion Post 403
Van Meter, Iowa  50261