As Memorial Day approaches, I would like Riverside to know that its American Legion Post 488 is alive and well and growing. We encourage everyone to attend the annual Memorial Day event scheduled for 10 a.m., Monday, May 29, at the St. Mary’s Parish Center.

We also wanted everyone to know our post leadership and ask members of the community to introduce themselves to our leadership and provide to us feedback on how we, Post 488, can contribute to Riverside and Riverside Township. The leadership is as a follows: Commander Joseph Baar Topinka, Vice-Commander Lew Heine, Junior Vice-Commander Donald Remes, Adjutant Richard Dolejs and Chaplain Ray O’Donald.

Our goals in the coming months are simple:

Outreach to any and all veterans in the Riverside, Riverside Township, and surrounding communities to assist them in any way possible to include matters related to their rights and benefits;

Outreach to the non-veteran members in Riverside, Riverside Township, and surrounding communities in helping with the needs of those members and those communities, especially as it pertains to information and knowledge about the role of the U.S. in past conflicts and the role of the U.S. military in the future. 

A community that understands the role of the U.S. military in today’s global climate will be better prepared to help and support its sons and daughters who are considering joining the military, are in active service in the military, or who are Reserve or National Guard members of the military. Their family members often get forgotten in times of need. We will not let that happen; and

Cooperation with village and township elected officials to help improve our community in any way possible. One example is the Gold Star Memorial in Guthrie Park, which is in poor condition. 

We have donated $5,000 to the village of Riverside to help in the refurbishment of the Gold Star Memorial. We join with President Sells and the village’s board of trustees in our collective effort to get the Gold Star Memorial looking as good as new by Memorial Day 2018, so that it reflects well on the community as we approach the 100-year anniversary of the American Legion in 2019.

Post 488 intends to be a role model for other organizations and also intends to cooperate as much as possible with those organizations to find ways to always improve the community. We stand ready to support the community. As its commander, feel free to contact me at with any ideas on how our post can better serve everyone.

If you are a veteran, consider joining or renewing at 

Joseph Baar Topinka, post commander

Riverside American Legion Post 488