Letter to the Editor: Help Margaretville's American Legion Post rebuild from Irene

We've received a bunch of letters this month. Read them all in our letters section. To support the Margaretville American Legion Post's rebuilding efforts, send a check to  American Legion Post 216, PO Box 41, Margaretville, NY 12455. -- Julia Reischel

Dear Editor,

As many of you know, the American Legion Post building at 903 Main Street in Margaretville was seriously damaged by flooding in August 2011. The Post members and volunteers have been working steadily to rehabilitate the building so that the Post can continue to operate and serve the community as it has for almost a century.

The Legion is a low key group and some do not realize the type and extent of the activities in which it participates. Many know the Legion offers BINGO for a fun night out, sponsors a Legion Birthday Dinner in May and a Veteran’s recognition dinner in November, but are you aware that the Legion sponsors one or more scholarships for graduating [Margaretville Central School] seniors, sponsors an oratorical contest for local students, sponsors summer baseball and leadership programs, sponsors the Boy and Girl Scouts, honors veterans who have passed both at the time of passing and by placing flags on graves for Memorial Day (at present over 700 flags are purchased and distributed), organizes and participates in the Memorial Day Parades, and much more. In addition, the Legion provides medical equipment such as walkers, canes, bath stools, etc. at no cost. The Legion also provides a hall for community activities and private events at an affordable fee.

This letter is not meant to blow our own horn but to ask for your help so that the organization can continue to serve the community. We had to completely gut the building due to flood damage. This was done with all volunteer labor. We now must begin to stabilize the building and replace the handicapped ramp and porch as well as address the mold in the building and reinstall the bathrooms. After these repairs we should be able to have limited use of the building. The original estimate to rehabilitate the building was $80,000. Volunteers have done all of the work so far therefore that figure will be less.

We did apply for several grants and have two pending. The others were not available to us as we are a national not-for-profit organization that assists other national groups such as the Boy and Girl Scouts. We appealed to Legion members for funds and some have responded with generous checks.

Unfortunately, we still need a good deal more money. We are asking the public to contribute to the flood recovery fund. All tax deductible amounts, large and small, will help. Although volunteers will continue to work on repairs, we must purchase wood, insulation, ceiling tiles, fixtures, electrical wire, plumbing supplies, etc. Once the building is usable, we will be able to do fundraising activities to pay the normal bills, electric, insurance, telephone, etc., as at present the Post has no income.

We would ask you to be as generous as possible with your money and also ask more volunteers to step forward, especially those with building skills.

There is someone at the Post most days at 10am. Do stop by and offer your services, leave a donation, or just look around at what is going on. For more information call Don at 845 254-5311.

Donations may be mailed to American Legion Post 216, PO Box 41, Margaretville, NY 12455.

Thanking you in advance for your help.

Don Kearney
Finance Officer
Margaretville American Legion Post 216