When Larry Moore and Alan Pease began formulating this idea that became San Tan Valley American Legion Post 97 in the summer of 2009, and in 2017, re-named in honor of Joe Foss, a WWII Medal of Honor winner, the Joe Foss American Legion Post 97, they were in agreement on several things… First, they agreed that Post 97 was NOT going to be like most other American Legion posts, based on a restaurant and bar where veterans could gather for a drink, a smoke and an exchange of stories. Instead, they had a vision of tapping into the national Legion headquarters for youth programs that would best serve the young people in San Tan Valley. They wanted to offer athletic and other extracurricular programs to school-aged children, and Moore and Pease felt they could have a positive impact with a Legion post dedicated almost entirely to serving those children.
Moore became the first commander of Post 97, followed closely by Pease when Moore went on to leadership roles at the district level. Beginning with Boys State and the American Legion Law Enforcement Career Academy (ALLECA), Joe Foss Post 97 has given birth to several youth-based programs such as baseball, Jr. shooting sports. Under the direction of Commander Robert Krumwiede, the post expanded the baseball program and currently under the command of Dennis Gardner the post is in the process of raising funds for an actual home bringing to fruition Moore’s and Pease’s original idea.