Military Appreciation Night - April 4, 2023

Military Appreciation Night is back for its 8th consecutive year at the Twin Cities Auto Show - The Twin Cities Auto Show is open 4pm-9pm on Military Appreciation Night! There will be military-themed exhibits,  classic military vehicles, and a Ceremony at 7:00pm with donations given to both the DAV and MAC-V.


On Tuesday, April 4th, all active military and veterans will receive free entrance to the Twin Cities Auto Show courtesy of Toyota!
Guests and family members accompanying military professionals will receive half off gate admission.  

7:00 pm Ceremony includes:
 - Color Guard and speaker (TBA)
 - Donation presentation to DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and MAC-V (MN Assistance Council for Veterans) 

 - Contest winners from the VFW and the American Legion posts will be presented with a $1,000 check each

 2021 Check Ceremony of $40,500 to the DAV of Minnesota Left to right: Mary Velline, GMADA, Staff Sargeant Ava Penner from the 34th Infantry Band, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Johanna Clyborne, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Commander Ron Haugen and DAV Foundation Chair Mark Jarzewski, Eva Jelink, Toyota, Scott Lambert, GMADA

2021 Check Ceremony of $40,500 to the DAV of Minnesota
Left to right:  Mary Velline, GMADA, Staff Sargeant Ava Penner from the 34th Infantry Band, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Johanna Clyborne,
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Commander Ron Haugen and DAV Foundation Chair Mark Jarzewski, Eva Jelink, Toyota, Scott Lambert, GMADA

Military Appreciation Night "VIP Post" Contest Winners

The Twin Cities Auto Show wants to celebrate the Heroes who served our country in our time of need and continue to serve their community.   We believe that nobody does more for veterans than members of your organizations and we want to recognize your service! This contest was open to all American Legion and VFW posts. Entrants submitted pictures and descriptions of their post's serivce in the community and why they should be choosen as a VIP! And the winners are...

American Legion Post 45 of New Prague

American Legion Post 45 Honor Guard is on its eighth year of providing colors to the Twin Cities Auto Show. Our little community supports our fundraising efforts with great enthusiasm. We have a steak and seafood dinner every month to raise money for local scholarships. We provide approximately $3000/year to this cause. We also do a Soup Supper with a free will donation that helps fund these scholarships. Other community meals we do are Spaghetti Dinner Night and a Pork Dumpling Dinner. We approached Scott Equipment, local business about the cost of them building a flag box for outside our Post for the community to be able to dispose of old American Flags. They went above and beyond by building the box out of stainless steel and had 6 of their employees donate all the time and costs for it. During COVID, our Post teamed up with local restaurants to provide meals to our first responders at the Police Department, Mayo Hospital and two local clinics. In February, we learned of a local veteran, Brandy Steller who was having car issues, after speaking with The Car Lot owner, Robert Krautkremer; he along with the American Legion were able to give a 2000 Nissan Maxima to Brandy Stellar as a replacement vehicle. On Nov 18, 2012, LCpl Dale W. Means was killed in action. To honor his sacrifice, as well as the sacrifice of all Veterans, a Memorial Park Committee was formed by his family and the American Legion Post 45. A whopping $350,000 was raised to build this tribute in Memorial Park with dedication ceremony scheduled for May 14, 2022 at 1pm. American Legion Post 45 is very active in our community by supporting the following organizations: High School Mountain Bike Team; two teams for Legion Baseball; Boy Scouts; Cub Scouts; New Prague 4th of July Fireworks; Memorial Blood Bank and Gun training. Our Legion members have volunteered over 6000 hours to our community since June 1, 2021.

VFW Post 9625 of Coon Rapids

VFW Post 9625, located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, has been serving Coon Rapids and the surrounding communities for over 50 years. Our post provides personal assistance and funding for the well-being of veterans and their families, especially when in distress. We support a broad range of youth activities, patriotic education, public safety, and community welfare. Over the years, we have given away nearly $1,000,000 in donations to these causes. Most recently, we donated to the Anoka County Haven for Heroes, and to the Coon Rapids Fire Department. Our building and grounds provide for a cost-free meeting place for groups such as Disabled American Veterans, Scout Troops, Lions Clubs, Daycare Providers, Red Cross, Senior Dancers, Legion Riders, Snow Cruisers, Kiwanis, and the Combat Veterans MC. While headlines typically focus on amounts donated, which have been substantial, the greater service is the time commitment of individual VFW members who continue to serve long after the completion of their formal military service. Our Honor Guard has a full schedule of parades, flag raisings, and funerals for our fallen comrades. They average three events per month and more in months with days set aside for national celebration and remembrance. Members teach gun safety to all ages, support monthly blood drives, and visit veterans in their homes, in elder-care facilities, and in hospitals. Over the last 11 months, volunteers have contributed 2,547.5 hours to these causes. Note this is just the recorded hours. Finally, we believe the financial health of our VFW, which enables the significant financial support we provide, is a byproduct of post members who commit their time to serving veterans and the surrounding communities.

Hellenic Post 129 American Legion Adjutant, Minneapolis

Hellenic Post 129 is proud to submit how our post makes a community impact. 


  • Scholarships – 25 college scholarships were granted in the amounts of $1,200 per student of veteran families
  • Annual donation to Veteran Community Research and Referral Center
  • Annual donation to Minnesota Veteran’s Home
  • Annual donation to Believet Canines – service dogs for veterans
  • Annual donation to the Colin Powell ROTC Leadership Academy at the Minnesota Transition Charter School
  • Annual donation to Community Outreach Program
  • Annual donation to the National Ahepa Service Dogs for Warriors for veterans with PTSD
  • Annual donation to Legion Auxillary for local philanthropy programs
  • Annual donation to Legionville for 4 student scholarships for one week to attend leadership training, safety patrol and first aid training for their schools
  • Annual donation to Veteran Living Works Education


  • The Hellenic Post has been heavily involved for Veteran Administration Hospital visitations for American Legion 5th District. The following is a recap of visitations up to March 2020 before Covid prohibited any visitations. The eight Hellenic Post members are ready to resume this program when the visiting ban is lifted.
    • Year 2016-2017 veteran hospital visitations – 238 veterans
    • Year 2017-2018 veteran hospital visitations – 289 veterans
    • Year 2018 – 2019 veteran hospital visitations – 333 veterans
    • Year 2019-2020 veteran hospital visitations – 192 veterans (6 months - Covid)
  • Memorial Day weekend the Hellenic Post Legion 129 and Legion Auxillary have 15-20 members place American flags at 200 Legion member gravesites.
  • Our Past Commander – Nick Kakos was on the American Legion Baseball Board of Directors for many years.

Venier-Molea American Legion Post 452, Keewatin

The Venier-Molea American Legion Post #452 of Keewatin strengthens the Community as well as the Nation. Our Post is dedicated to serving the Community. These are some of the ways: We have a Memorial Day Service followed by a coffee social. The Honor Guard performs Military Funerals. The Color Guard presents The Colors at special events. Our Post collects old US Flags and we retire the Flags properly. We have a 4th of July Parade and pay for the Fireworks that are shot off each year. Each November we have a Free Spaghetti Feed to Honor Veterans Day. During the Summer months we have a Burger Night every Wednesday to help serve the Community. We don't have a restaurant in our town. Through our Charitable Gambling, we are able to make many donations to help our community. We donate to the area Food Shelf, to the City for many different things, the Fire Department, Veterans Home, Veterans Hospital, and many many more. One more that I really enjoy participating in is our High School Scholarship Program. I have had the privilege of giving out Scholarships for the past 12 years. Last year it was 7 $1000 scholarships. This is very big for such a small town and small Post. We have Sons of the American Legion, Riders Group, and Auxiliary. These groups are an integral part of our organization. Our American Legion's success depends entirely on active membership, participation, and volunteerism. The Organization belongs to the people that it serves. We are a not-for-profit organization.

Each winning post will receive:

$1,000 check to be presented at our Military Appreciation Night Ceremony

VIP tickets for up to 25 people from their Post on Military Appreciation Night

Fast pass to all track and driving experiences

Free mobility device rental, where needed. 


*The Twin Cities Auto Show will also be celebrating winners and nominees on social media and