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Veterans Memorial Post 347

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S.A.L. Commander - Danny Roe

WOW’ It is hard to believe my first year as Commander is almost finished. We have accomplished a lot this past year and I will have more on that next month.

            I am pleased to announce Our Post Family Golf Tournament was a great success. It was held May 11th at Stonecrest Golf Course. Thanks to Stonecrest and all the volunteers that weathered the heat and made this a Great and Fun tournament. The Stonecrest people were fantastic to work with and they would love to have us back next year. Thanks to all the Sponsors and especially the golfers, because without you we could never have achieved the success we did. I am pleased to announce we will be presenting a check at the Convention in June for $20,000 for the Florida Children and Youth Fund. Lastly, thanks to the Department/Detachment for their support of our Children and Youth Golf Tournament.

I am very pleased to announce that we have surpassed 1000 members in Squadron 347. As of this writing we have 1057 members. A big round of applause to Doug White and his hard work to achieve this milestone.  As you probably know, we will be starting our Early Bird membership drive in July. I challenge you to be among the first to get your 2025 card when it becomes available on July 1st.

I again congratulate our continuing Officers.  Commander Danny Roe, 1st Vice Commander Doug White, 2nd Vice Commander Walter “Bud” Bowyer, Chaplin Ben Kisielica, Historian Gary Blanchard, Finance Officer Bill Grieco, Sgt At Arms Tony Watkins, and (2) Members at Large, Dave Callies and Bob Girou. Adjutant Bob O’Neal and Judge Advocate Vic Prezioso were appointed at our membership meeting on Wednesday May 15th. We are all excited to get started on the new fiscal year beginning July 1st. I am looking forward to the many accomplishments we will make in the coming year.

Save the Date: Halloween Party Saturday, October 26th, Entertainment: Del Phis

                           Valentines Party Saturday, February 8th, Entertainment Jersey Frank

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.     

JUNE 2024 

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Thanks to everyone that supported our Family Open House on Friday April 26th.  I hope everyone enjoyed the many activities the VA provided and the food and fellowship.

 It is still not too late to get your membership renewed for the 2024 year. Just drop off your $30 at the Legion office Monday – Friday 9:00 to 4:00.

            We are getting excited as Our Post Family Golf Tournament is fast approaching. It will be held May 11th at Stone Crest Golf Course. It will be a Shotgun Start Scramble starting at 8:15 AM. We will have lunch and prizes at Post 347 in the Hall immediately after the tournament. I am happy to report that all golf team slots have been sold. We are taking names for a backup list. The cost is $85 per person. All profits go to American Legion Children and Youth charities.  See Website for flyer or contact Danny Roe at 317-508-6465 or Bob O’Neal at 352-350-4932. You can also email sons347@gmail.com with any questions. We are also selling raffle tickets for an Odyssey Ai-One Jailbird Putter ($349) on Tuesday nights in the lobby, $5 a ticket or 3 for $10. I am happy to report that we are supported this year as the Department/Detachment Children and Youth Golf Tournament.

             Nominations for the coming year officers were officially closed at our last membership meeting. I would like to thank our Election Committee of Bob O’Neal, Vic Prezioso, and George Worton for their efforts this year. This year all offices were unopposed, so I congratulate our continuing Officers.  Commander Danny Roe, 1st Vice Commander Doug White, 2nd Vice Commander Walter “Bud” Bowyer, Chaplin Ben Kisielica, Historian Gary Blanchard, Finance Officer Bill Grieco, Sgt At Arms Tony Watkins, and (2) Members at Large, Dave Callies and Bob Girou. Adjutant Bob O’neal and Judge Advocate Vic Prezioso will be appointed at our next membership meeting on Wednesday May 15th

Save the Date: Halloween Party Saturday, October 26th, Entertainment: Del Phis

                           Valentines Party Saturday, February 8th, Entertainment Jersey Frank

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.      

MAY 2024

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Thanks to all who have renewed their membership so far this year. Doug White has been working diligently, and we are happy to inform you that our membership has passed a milestone.  Last count was 1028 members.  A big hand to Doug for his hard work.  It is still not too late to get your membership renewed for the 2024 year. Just drop off your $30 at the Legion office Monday – Friday 9:00 to 4:00.

We will be having an Open House at the Post on Saturday, April 27th to celebrate National American Legion Family Day. Details are not set yet, so keep an eye on the Web site and video monitors at the post for more information. I am working on getting a Blood Mobile for that day as well.

            Our Post Family Golf Tournament will be held May 11th at Stone Crest Golf Course. It will be a Shotgun Start Scramble starting at 8:15 AM. We will have lunch and prizes at Post 347 in the Hall immediately after the tournament. I am happy to report that all golf team slots have been sold. We are taking names for a backup list. The cost is $85 per person. All profits go to American Legion Children and Youth charities.  See Website for flyer or contact Danny Roe at 317-508-6465 or Bob O’Neal at 352-350-4932. You can also email sons347@gmail.com with any questions. We are still looking for support by purchasing a tee box sign. If you would like to honor a loved one or simply support our cause, a sign is a great way to do that. See Flyer for details. If mailing, please make checks payable to Squadron 347 and mail to PO Box 1534, Lady Lake, FL 32158. (Attn: Children and Youth Golf Tournament) Flyers are available in  the office during regular business hours or Tuesday nights during Queen of Hearts drawing from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM in the Lobby. We are also selling raffle tickets for an Odyssey Ai-One Jailbird Putter ($349) on Tuesday nights in the lobby. $5 a ticket or 3 for $10. I am happy to report that we are supported this year as the Department/Detachment Children and Youth Golf Tournament.

            Don’t forget it is election time again.  If you are interested in getting more involved and running for an Officer position, please send an email to our Election Committee of Bob O’Neal, Vic Prezioso, and George Worton at sons347fl@gmail.com. Offices open for election are, Commander, 1st Vice Commander, 2nd Vice Commander, Chaplin, Historian, Finance Officer, Sgt At Arms, and (2) Members at Large. The nomination window will close during our next membership meeting on April 17th.

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.   

APRIL 2024   

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Thanks to all who attended our Valentine Dance held February 17th in the Hall. Fun was had by everyone in attendance and Mary Jo Vitale did a fantastic job entertaining. We were able to raise $1500 to add to our regular budget for Special Olympics.  That, added to our July 4th fund raiser, should put our donation well over $7000 this year. A big round of applause to everyone involved.

Membership! Very Important! At this time, if you have not renewed your membership, you will not be admitted into the Post without a 2024 membership card. You will also not be able to buy Queen of Hearts tickets and the pot is growing fast. Doug White, our First Vice Commander, is working hard to get your renewals processed.  Just drop off your $30 at the Legion office Monday – Friday 9:00 to 4:00.

            Our Post Family Golf Tournament will be held May 11th at Stone Crest Golf Course. It will be a Shotgun Start Scramble starting at 8:15 AM. We will have lunch and prizes at Post 347 in the Hall immediately after the tournament. Signups have now started and will end April 26th or after the roster is full. Cost is $85 per person. All profits go to American Legion Children and Youth charities.  See Website for flyer or contact Danny Roe at 317-508-6465 or Bob O’Neal at 352-350-4932. You can also email sons347@gmail.com with any questions. Signups are available in the office during regular business hours. If mailing, please make checks payable to Squadron 347 and mail to PO Box 1534, Lady Lake, FL 32158. (Attn: Children and Youth Golf Tournament) Since we are supported this year as the Department/Detachment Children and Youth Golf Tournament, please get your team signups turned in early before we sell out.

            Don’t forget it is election time again.  If you are interested in getting more involved and running for an Officer position, please send an email to our Election Committee of Bob O’Neal, Vic Prezioso, and George Worton. Send an email to sons347fl@gmail.com. Offices open for election are, Commander, 1st Vice Commander, 2nd Vice Commander, Chaplin, Historian, Finance, Sgt At Arms, and (2) Members at Large

Remember the Post and Parking lot will be closed Monday March 25th thru Friday March 29th for parking lot resurfacing. No admittance for any reason during this time.

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information. 

MARCH 2024          

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First, I would like to begin by thanking our members who donated their time to help clean the kitchen over the holidays while the kitchen was closed. A big Thank You to Chuck Loomis, Bob Girou, George Worton, John Gorsuch, Bob O’Neal, Ben (Toyota) Kisielica and Dave Alford. We left the kitchen much better than we found it. Thanks again and Job well done.

Our Valentine Dance is fast approaching. It will be held February 17th in the hall. Doors open at 4:00PM. Dinner of ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and dessert at 5:00 PM. Entertainment by Mary Jo Vitale starts at 6:00 PM.  Tickets for the Dance and a Lottery Board are on sale on Tuesdays in the Lobby starting at 4:00 PM. You can also get your tickets in the office during regular business hours. $25 per person. Please come out and help us in supporting Special Olympics.

Membership! Very Important! At this time if you have not renewed your membership, you will not be admitted into the Post without a 2024 membership card. You will also not be able to buy Queen of Hearts tickets and the pot is growing fast. Doug White, our First Vice Commander, is working hard to get your renewals processed.  Just drop off your $30 at the Legion office Monday – Friday 9:00 to 4:00.

            Our Post Family Golf Tournament will be held May 11th at Stone Crest Golf Course. It will be a Shotgun Start Scramble starting at 8:15 AM. We will have lunch and prizes at Post 347 in the Hall immediately after the tournament. Signups have now started and will end April 26th or after the roster is full. Cost is $85 per person. All profits go to American Legion Children and Youth charities.  See Website for flyer or contact Danny Roe at 317-508-6465 or Bob O’Neal at 352-350-4932. You can also email sons347@gmail.com with any questions. Signups are available in the office during regular business hours. If mailing, please make checks payable to Squadron 347 and mail to PO Box 1534, Lady Lake, FL 32158. (Attn: Children and Youth Golf Tournament) Since we are supported this year as the Department/Detachment Children and Youth Golf Tournament, please get your team signups turned in early before we sell out.

            Don’t forget it is almost election time again.  If you are interested in getting more involved and running for an office, we will announce our 2024 election committee at our February 21st Membership meeting starting at 6:00 PM in the Hall. They will then begin taking nominations. More info to come in an email.

Remember the Post and Parking lot will be closed Monday March 25th thru Friday March 29th for parking lot resurfacing. No admittance for any reason during this time.

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.    

FEBRUARY 2024       

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WOW!!!  Hard to believe we have just begun a new year.  Time has flown by and we have accomplished a lot in the past year. Most recently, we presented a check to the Gainesville Fisher House for $7,000. This is one of my favorite charities we support and thanks to everyone that made the trip with us. We also placed wreaths on veteran graves for “Wreaths Across America” on Saturday December 16th at the Lady Lake Cemetery. Sorry we were unable to have the official ceremony due to the threat of severe weather, but we were able to place the wreaths on the graves in between the raindrops. I look forward to a full ceremony next year as we honor the lives of our fallen veterans. Thanks to all the volunteers who showed up to help place the wreaths on 136 veterans’ graves.

Save the date: Our Valentines Dance is fast approaching. It will be held February 17th, 2024, in the hall. Doors open at 4:00 p.m.; Dinner at 5:00 p.m. Dinner will consist of ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and dessert. Entertainment start at 6:00 p.m. and will be provided by Mary Jo Vitale.  Tickets for the Dance and a Lottery Board go on sale on Tuesday, January 16th in the Lobby at 4:00 p.m. We will also be selling tickets for the Dance in the office during regular business hours beginning January 17th - $25 per person.

Membership! Very Important! At this time if you have not renewed your membership, you will not be admitted into the Post without a 2024 membership card. You will also not be able to buy Queen of Hearts tickets and the pot is growing fast. Doug White, our First Vice Commander, is working hard to get your renewals processed.  Just drop off your $30 at the Legion office Monday – Friday 9:00 to 4:00.

            I am very excited to get started working on our Post Family Golf Tournament to be held May 11th at StoneCrest Golf Course. It will be Shotgun Start Scramble starting at 8:15 a.m. We will have lunch and prizes at Post 347 in the Hall immediately after the tournament. Signups begin in January and end April 26th or after the roster is full. Cost is $85 per person. All profits go to American Legion Children and Youth charities.  See Website for flyer or contact Danny Roe at 317-508-6465 or Bob O’Neal at 352-350-4932. You can also email sons347@gmail.com with any questions.  The flyer and signups are available in the office during regular business hours beginning in January. If mailing, please make checks payable to Squadron 347.

Address: PO Box 1534, Lady Lake, FL 32158. Attn: Children and Youth Golf Tournament.

                I am sad to inform you that one of our Past Commanders has passed on to Post Everlasting. Phillip “Buth” Stroud passed away on December 7, 2023. Please keep his wife Bonnie and the family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. A Memorial Service will be held on January 14th at 3:00 PM in the Hall.

            Wishing you all a very Happy, Prosperous and Safe New Year.

S.A.L. Commander – Danny Roe

January 2024
 

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First, I would like to thank you again for your response to our Early Bird Membership Drive.   The Early Bird dinners were held on November 19, 2023. Both dinners were sold out and our own American Legion Auxiliary unit 347 did a fantastic job making delicious spaghetti dinners.

Thanks to everyone that volunteered and attended our Halloween Party on Saturday October 28th.  A great time was had by all.  Proceeds will go to one of our favorite charities, Fisher House in Gainesville. We will have the honor of presenting a check to them on December 8th in the amount of $7,000.

Bob O’Neal, Vic Prezioso, and Danny Roe just attended the Detachment Fall Conference. We learned a lot and were able to present two checks to charity, $1000 to Boys State and $2500 to Florida Disaster Relief Fund.  We also took home the top award from Child Welfare Foundation for our donation last year. It is a beautiful Shadowbox Plaque that will soon be hanging on our wall.

As always, a big Thanks to our volunteers who support the days/nights that we are responsible for in the kitchen, two Sunday afternoons a month and every Monday and Thursday night. Let us know if you would like to join in the fun as we raise money for our charities. Just drop off a note to the office if you would like to volunteer. A Big Thanks to our kitchen leaders, Bud Boyer, Dave Callies, and Tony Watkins.  Also, Bob Girou, our Monday scheduler.

            “Wreaths Across America” will be held on Saturday December 16th at the Lady Lake Cemetery, just down the road from the Post. Ceremony will start at 12:00 Noon. A big Thanks to Bob O’Neal for coordinating this event. Please plan to join us for this short ceremony to honor our deceased veterans.

I would like to again thank Doug White for heading up the S.A.L. side of the Urn project.    To help fund the project, The Villages Woodshop is making coasters depicting the four members of the Legion family. They come in a set of 4, one for each member of the family - Legion, Auxiliary, Son’s and our Riders. Stop in at the office Mon - Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM to get your set of 4 at a cost of $20. You can also stop in the woodshop and have a personal urn made, Approx $100 to $150, and all profits go the Urn Project.

             I am excited to share a new project we discovered.  Along with the Lady Lake police department’s, “Shop with a Cop,” they are delivering Thanksgiving dinners to needy families. Thanks to our S.A.L. volunteers, Dave and Diane Callies, Bob and Rita Girou, Bud and Peg Boyer, Bob O’Neal, and Doug White that donated time the day before Thanksgiving to transport the food. Until now we did not know this project existed. We are talking about adding this to our yearly projects in the future.  We also donated $1000 dollars to help fund this project. Thank You to all the wives that jump in and help with the projects we support.

            I would like to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.   Please be safe when traveling. And we will see you back to town.

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.

For God and Country,

DECEMBER 2023

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First, I would like to thank you for your response to our Early Bird Membership Drive. Many of you have renewed and the percentage of our membership goal is currently over 66%.   Fees are $30 for Normal membership, $12 for Dual or Juvenile (under 19 years old). Early Bird qualifies you for our Early Bird dinner to be held on November 19, 2023, and provided by our own American Legion Auxiliary unit 347. Signups should begin around October 26th, and you will receive an invitation. There will be two separate seating times, one at 4:30 PM and one at 6:00 PM. Just stop in at the office to sign up after October 26th. There will be a $1 charge to reserve that will be given back to those that attend as door prizes. Keep an eye on the web site for changes.

Thanks to everyone that volunteered and attended our Halloween Party on Saturday October 28th.  A great time was had by all.  Proceeds will go to one of our favorite charities, Fisher House in Gainesville. I will have a final total of money raised next month.

As always, a big Thanks to our volunteers who support our days/nights that we are responsible for in the kitchen. Two Sunday afternoons a month and every Monday and Thursday night. Let us know if you would like to join in the fun as we raise money for our charities. Just drop off a note to the office if you would like to volunteer. A Big Thanks to our kitchen leaders, Bud Boyer, Dave Callies, and Tony Watkins.  Also, Bob Girou, our Monday scheduler.

            Save the Date: Saturday December 16th for our “Wreaths Across America” ceremony to be held at the Lady Lake Cemetery, just down the road from the Post. Ceremony will start at 12:00 Noon. More information to come and a big Thanks to Bob O’Neal for coordinating this event.

I would like to again thank Doug White for heading up the S.A.L. side of the Urn project.  We coordinate with the Villages Woodshops to make and deliver urns for indigent veterans.    To help fund the project, they are also making coasters depicting the four members of the Legion family. They come in a set of 4, one for each member of the family - Legion, Auxiliary, Son’s and our Riders. Stop in at the office Mon - Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM to get your set of 4 at a cost of $20.

            You can also stop in the woodshop and have a personal urn made, Approx $100 to $150, and all profits go the Urn Project.

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.  

For God and Country,

NOVEMBER 2023

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First, I would like to thank you for your response to our Early Bird Membership Drive. Many of you have renewed and the percentage of our membership goal is currently over 50%. If you have not renewed yet, you should have received a renewal reminder in the mail recently. Thanks to all the officers who helped process the mailer. Just stop in at the office or send us your dues in the mail. You can also renew your membership online. I believe Doug has sent instructions on how to do online renewals.  Fees are $30 for Normal membership, $12 for Dual or Juvenile (under 19 years old). Early Bird qualifies you for our Early Bird dinner to be held November 19, 2023, and provided by our own American Legion Auxiliary unit 347. Signups will begin at the end of October and you will receive an invitation.

Our Halloween Party is fast approaching and will be on Saturday October 28th and tickets are now on sale Tuesdays in the Lobby starting at 4:00 PM and in the office beginning October 2nd. I expect it to sell out quickly, with Bill D Williams performing and a nice Chicken Cordon Bleu dinner.  Proceeds will go to one of our favorite charities, Fisher House in Gainesville. Tickets will be $20 each. Doors open at 4:00 PM with dinner at 5:00 PM.

As always, a big Thanks to our volunteers who support our days/nights that we are responsible for in the kitchen. Two Sunday afternoons a month and every Monday and Thursday Night. Let us know if you would like to join in the fun as we raise money for our charities. Just drop off a note to the office if you would like to volunteer. A Big Thanks to our kitchen leaders, Bud Boyer, Dave Callies, and Tony Watkins.  Also, Bob Girou, our Monday scheduler.

            Save the Date: Saturday December 16th for our “Wreaths Across America” ceremony to be held at the Lady Lake Cemetery, just down the road from the Post. Ceremony will start at 12:00 Noon. More information to come and a big Thanks to Bob O’Neal for coordinating this event.

I would like to again thank Doug White for heading up the S.A.L. side of the Urn project.  We coordinate with the Villages Woodshops to make and deliver urns for indigent veterans. Doug coordinates getting them delivered to the National Cemeteries in Mid and Northern Florida. By October of this year, we will have delivered 250 urns. As time goes on, more and more of our S.A.L. members are becoming members of the Woodshop and help in making the urns. Thanks to Doug White, Tom Soeder and George Worton for volunteering their time.   To help fund the project, they are also making coasters depicting the four members of the Legion family. They come in a set of 4, one for each member of the family - Legion, Auxiliary, Son’s and our Riders. Stop in at the office Mon - Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM to get your set of 4 at a cost of $20.

            You can also stop in the woodshop and have a personal urn made, Approx $100 to $150, and all profits go the Urn Project.

Be sure to check our website: Florida-Legion.org for the latest news and information.

OCTOBER 2023

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I would like to start out by thanking Doug White, Bob Girou, and Gary Blanchard for donating their time to assemble the new cabinet and shelf for the Kitchen.   It is a very nice looking cabinet and will help us to organize our dry goods and kitchen tools.

Your new officers were installed on Sunday, June 25th, and have  been hard at work for you.

July 4th fireworks at Eaton’s Beach was a great success. They permitted our Squadron to sell wrist bands for $5 each, and then donate half the money raised to Special Olympics through our Squadron.  I am happy to report that $4,400 was raised, so $2,200 will be added to our normal Special Olympics donation.  Fantastic! And thanks to all who helped with that.

We have been hard at work setting our base Charity budget for the new fiscal year that just started July 1st. We were at $40,000 base budget for last year with actual charity  donations of $74,000.  That was a fantastic year. Thanks to our  members and their support as we provided the food for the days/nights that we were responsible for the kitchen.  I am excited to surpass that amount and donate even more for the 2023/24 fiscal year.

We are continuing our Urn Project for Indigent Veterans this year. The Urns are made by the Villages Woodshop, and we support the Urn Project financially. We also help by delivering them to the National Cemeteries in Florida.  Thanks to Doug White for heading up this  project! This year we are also     increasing our financial support by making coasters at the Village Woodshop depicting the emblems of the 4 members of our Legion Family.  We are selling them for $20 a set and will allow us to make two urns for every set of coasters sold.  They will be available in the office. Stop in to get a set and support this  project. You can buy the Family or mix and match as you choose.  You can also stop in the woodshop and have a personal urn made, Approx $100 to $150 , and all  profits go the Urn Project.

Save the Date:    Our Halloween Party will be October 28th this year, and tickets will go on sale Tuesday, September 26th in the lobby at 4:00 pm, and in the office after that date. I expect it to sell out quickly, with Billy D Williams performing, and a nice Chicken Cordon Bleu dinner.   Proceeds will go to one of our    favorite charities, Fisher House in Gainesville. Tickets will be $20 each.

AUGUST 2023

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 The Following is an article written by Bob O’Neal as he ends his time as Commander.  I would just like to congratulate Bob on his dedicated leadership for the past two years. Great Job Bob!!!  I look forward to working with Bob in his new role as Adjutant.  I am sure he will provide much guidance as I begin my new role as Commander.  Just a note, we ended the fiscal year with Memorial Squadron 347 membership at 959 members for 105.6% of our goal.

“The Sons concluded the fiscal year on a high note.  John Gorsuch, past Squadron Commander and past 6th District Commander, was elected Eastern Area Commander (also called Detachment Vice Commander for the Eastern Area) at the Detachment Convention in Orlando. The June 15-17 Convention was very interesting and educational. There was a strong emphasis on cooperation among the units of the Post and on planning and training.  Florida SAL membership reached 22,653, an all-time high and 105% of the target.  Our Squadron received three awards in recognition of donations to the Child Welfare Foundation and Special Olympics. Donations from the floor by Squadrons in attendance totaled $204,707.  By the time this is published, Danny Roe will be the Commander.  We wish him the best as he embarks on his journey leading the Squadron to new heights.

Yours in God and Country.

JULY 2023