PLYMOUTH – Keith Golnik, commander of American Legion Post 20 has announced that he will not seek re-election after five years of leading the local Post.
Golnik served for five years as Post Commander and six years as chair of the Post’s executive committee. He has now decided it is “time to pass the torch.” Golnik said that he feels proud of his contributions and noted that his family was among the founding members.
“I feel that we were very successful during my time as Post Commander,” said Golnik. “We did many great things and we left the Post better off than it was before. I had a lot of great people helping me along the way. I know that I will be leaving the Post in good hands to serve future generations of veterans.”
During Golnik’s leadership, American Legion Post 20 saw a complete rebuilding and expansion, following a truck crashing into the building in 2018.
Soon after, Golnik had to keep the Post operational despite being shut down for months by the governor’s order during the covid-19 pandemic.
Other projects and initiatives led by Golnik include the installation of the memorial brick sidewalk, remodeling of the post canteen and donations to the Veterans Memorial Playground and local veterans.
Golnik also initiated the post’s Motorcycle Bike Nights last year, which he said have been “very successful.”
“We brought renewed interest in identifying and helping local veterans in the community,” said Golnik. “That is always something that I strived to do.”
Under Golnik’s leadership, American Legion Post 20 also secured a $90,000 federal grant to build a kitchen at the post. This, he said, will spare the post from having to purchase temporary permits if they want to cook for events.
“We’ve done a lot of the plumbing and electrical and we’ve got the appliances in,” said Golnik. “I’m optimistic that we’ll have it open for Labor Day.”
A “Testimonial Fundraiser” will be held for Golnik Saturday, June 25 at 4 p.m. The event will include music by the popular country band “Wastin’ Bullets”, and a chicken barbecue dinner with fresh cut French fries, hamburgers, hotdogs and more. The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 20 will also be holding a raffle.
Golnik has requested that all proceeds from the event be used to support the newly established “Andre St. Laurent Scholarship Fund”, which he said will support local children and youths.
St. Laurent, former Post Service Officer, died in 2018. He was a substitute teacher at Terryville High School and an Army Green Beret and received the nation’s third highest medal, The Silver Star, for conspicuous gallantry in Vietnam.
Tickets to the fundraiser are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
Tickets can be purchased at the Post, which opens at noon every day.
For more information, call 860-584-9119 or email email@example.com.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.