Officials at the American Legion in Jacksonville are looking for ideas to raise funds to renovate their building.
A meeting was held at the West Superior location by American Legion members and the local Friends of NRA chapter last night in an ongoing effort to keep the building from falling into disrepair and ultimately closing.
Post 279 commander Bill Morrow says the local American Legion chapter is in “dire financial straits” with a lengthy fix list for the 31-year-old building. That list includes water damage on one wall in the banquet room, peeling ceiling vents, cracked floor tiles, and chipped wall paint. The kitchen needs an upgrade too.
Morrow says money has been donated to do the paint job, but about $4-thousand needs to be raised to fix the ceiling first.
Funds are needed to renovate the banquet hall so it can be rented out, which officials hope will be a revenue generator. The facility can occupy over 400 people.
In addition to needing the skill of volunteer painters, carpenters, and electrical workers, Morrow says you can support the veterans’ organization by just being social.
“Get our bar business back up and we now have the gaming that is going to help as well as far as our financial status,” says Morrow.
“We are trying to get things moving and looking towards the future of getting food back here and getting a regular food service.”
The American Legion holds chicken dinners Monday nights for $6. Their bar is open seven days a week.
Fundraising ideas floated at last night’s meeting ranged from a car wash to a pancake breakfast to musical performances.
Officials have stated if the necessary funding isn’t acquired within the next month, Post 279 will be forced to shut down entirely. Morrow notes the purpose of having American Legion in Jacksonville- a benefit to veterans.
“We offer a vet to vet group every Thursday night that is basically a group of veterans that can sit and talk about experiences that civilians have never had and probably wouldn’t understand,” says Morrow.
“We also can offer services for help with the VA in navigating through the problems they have and present sometimes. We also try to provide support for veterans in the area.”
If you have any fundraising ideas for the American Legion, you can call 217-473-7226.