American Legion Post 853

American Legion Post 853 • Desert Breeze

September 2023


Our 2023 - 2024 season is right around the corner and Post 853 is looking forward to your return home. Here’s a little of what’s been happening these past few months.

Our own Lee Quarcelino was selected as Legionnaire of the Year for California! A prestigious award and a great honor for Lee and Post 853. Consider this, there are about 2 million California Legionnaires and Mr. Quarcelino is THE Legionnaire of the Year. AWESOME! Lee, a Vietnam Navy veteran, was our Post Commander from 2016 to 2018 and again from 2021 to 2023. He’s been steadfast for veterans and for Post 853 for so many years. Way to go Lee and GO NAVY!

Each year we all receive new membership cards. That card represents your service; a card to be proud to show. You’ll have that opportunity this year. Last season, Post 853 did receive a warning from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for serving non-members. So, as part of the remediation, all patrons at Post 853 will be required to show proof of eligibility. Carry your membership card and show it to the bartender when you order a beverage. Everyone is required to do this. Help set the example, show your membership card every time. Show that you’re a member of this exclusive organization only for Veterans and their families.

With the new season ahead, many things will be the same and few will be different. 
Tim Kight is our Membership Coordinator. As always, Early Bird renewals happen from July 1 to November 11. Renew during this period and you’ll receive a coupon for a free burger night meal! 

A House Committee has been formed to improve Post 853 operations and procedures. Jim Keith has taken the responsibility of being Chairperson for this effort. You’ll learn more about this as the committee progresses. 

Dave Trebing, ChrisAnn Wells, and Chris Pedersen will be working together to plan our meal calendar. Wednesday Burger Night will be on the schedule, as expected, and Saturday dinners will be resumed. As always, those with culinary skills or who are able to help with these and other meals are needed. Please let Dave, ChrisAnn, or Chris know if you can be on the culinary team.

The first Legionnaire General meeting will be on September 21 at 17:00 hours. One item on the agenda will be to move the meeting to 18:00 hours to allow improved attendance. Will you attend if we move the meeting back one hour? Be at the General meeting on 9/21 to vote or let an Officer or Executive Board member know your preference.

Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress - Are you willing to be interviewed about your experience related to your military service? In an interview to be recorded and archived with the Library of Congress? A recording that you can request a copy of to share with your family and friends? A request has been made to the Veterans of Post 853 for volunteers to participate in a video recorded interview. To find out more, go to our Post 853 website:
You’ll find more information under the Special Events section.

There’s more but let’s save that for a chat at the Post with a frosty beverage in hand. Until then, remember we’re family. We correct each other in private, defend each other in public, and we keep our personal business out of the Post.

Yours in Service,
Dale JonesCommander


Hello Legion Family,

I hope you are all enjoying your summer. It has been a wild and whacky summer here in our quaint village. It is with much happiness and great pride I can announce ALA unit 853 has been removed from probation by District and Department. It has been a very trying time for  all involved. All allegations were proven false. Audits were done during our probationary period, nothing untoward was discovered. Ladies let’s all move forward with heads held high. Those of you who stayed steadfast in your support of our ALA unit. We humbly thank you.

I would like to thank our summer bartenders for keeping the refreshments flowing. I would like to thank Gina and her crew for keeping Bingo flowing. I would like to thank Ann for keeping membership flowing. I would like to thank Jim Keith for heading our first House Committee.  Our Sunday funday game days have been enjoyed by one and all. 

Please carry your current membership card, you must show it to the bartenders when you purchase an alcoholic beverage. Even though they may know you. ABC rules. Be proud of your membership. 

It helps support programs and thanks our Veteran’s for their service.

ALA will resume Wednesday burgers and Saturday meals in the coming season. Our “amazing” bake sales will continue during ALA and SAL meals. Great things are on the horizon for our Post, Legion family and ALA. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

In service not self,
ChrisAnn Wells, ALA Unit 853 President 


Hope everyone is having a great summer.

Not much going on yet with the Auxiliary but your officers are still working behind the scenes during our dark months.

During the summer we have signed up a couple new members and renewed a few existing members.
I’d like to remind everyone that our membership year runs from July 1-June 30.
Our membership dues are $40 per year. If you forgot to pay last year that’s ok, you can pay the $40 for last and $40 for this year and be current. If it’s been longer, please contact me.

We encourage all members to please carry their membership cards with them. You will be required to present a current ALA membership card to receive service at the bar. Be proud to show you are a current member of the American Legion Auxiliary. And support our Veterans and active military.

This year Early Bird coupons for a free burger will be given to anyone that pays their membership by 11/11/23. This will be replaced by the usual Early Bird dinner we have had in the past.

Please send your membership payment to:

Attn Ann Shelton
PO Box 116
Borrego Springs CA. 92004


Hello from the Sons, we will be dark for the months of June, July and August.
Have a great Summer and see you in September!

Mark Dedes                                          
Finance and Membership 

Post 853 Bingo!

We had an exciting summer with Bingo twice a month. There is at least one winner for every game, and we even awarded the $150 jackpot prize! 

You have one more chance to win during our summer session. Bingo will be held on September 12. Doors open at 5 and the game starts at 5:30. 

Please bring a snack to share. We always appreciate donations for our door prizes. 

Special thanks to the summer door prize donors including Borrego Outfitters, Arches restaurant, Roger and Bev Ries, Carole Thompson, Paul Schuessler, Jim Keith and a special thanks to Sandy who brings prizes every time she plays! 

The public is always welcome!

Come on out, have some fun, and win some cash!

Thank you to all who came out and played bingo this summer! The snack pot luck is always a feast. Bingo proceeds support veterans and community programs.
I want to acknowledge the dedicated group who volunteered their time on Tuesdays this summer. George Thompson was our master caller, Heide White and Veronica Przestalski explained the games and verified winners, Kathleen Carson sold the packets, and Dale Jones passed out prizes. Valeen Szabo was our friendly bartender. 

We are always looking for volunteers to join our team. It is an evening of fun!

We need volunteers to:
1. Staff the entry table-sell packets/take money 
2. Staff during the games-explain the games and verify winners
3. Bingo caller
4. Run the bingo computer and tv screens
5. Set up and take down

If you are interested or know someone else who is, please have them contact Gina Moran at 209-327-1803 or at 

Thank you for supporting Post 853 Bingo!