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American Legion Receives Check from Heritage Jubilee Committee

web posted November 26, 2008
EDGEFIELD – The American Legion Hezzie Griffis Post #30 is $5,000 closer to healing its financial woes. The Post was presented with a check Thursday night from Joel Jolly, chairman of the Heritage Jubilee 2008 committee. Approximately 30 people were present for the presentation and regular meeting. "It was an easy choice for us to make after seeing the need described in an article in the newspaper," said Jolly. "We had a meeting and decided in less than a minute where the money was going."

The Jubilee committee donates the proceeds from the event every year to a different charity.

"These are tough times. We wish it could be more," said Jolly. "It was not quite as much as we had hoped for. But we are very grateful to the local folks who gave at the festival knowing where it was going."

"This was a windfall and unexpected (the Jubilee's decision)," said Commander Matt McGinnis. "It puts us in a more comfortable position. We've gotten out of the red ink we were in last year. We're very thankful for all the help we've received."

McGinnis said that like many other entities they were struggling to survive and had more output than input this time last year.

"We lost eight of our members last year," he said. "Also, we have always been able to depend on our dues, but the part we are able to retain from the American Legion gets less and less each year. Unless we have fundraisers, we can't make it."

He said the Legion approached the County for help with the insurance on the building a while back. The insurance comes due once a year and it is almost $900. The County uses the building as a polling precinct.

"This building was built in 1919 and was a WPA project," he said. "It would be hard to replace."

"The County gave $1,000 and the Legion held a steak supper, raising $1,800 more.
McGinnis said some of the current money will be used to replace ceiling panels and roofing tiles.

"We just did some work in the Ladies Auxiliary area where water was coming in," he said. "The gas heaters are new and the front porch has been redone. We will now have a prudent reserve, which we haven't had in a long time."

The Legion currently has 93 members, many of them inactive. "We have not been able to recruit many of the younger ones," said McGinnis. "Membership is only open if service was during certain time frames. It's been open since 1990 (the Gulf War) to today."

If interested in joining, contact McGinnis or Ken Hartkopf or come as a guest first. Meetings are held the third Thursday of each month. Memorial contributions (when a loved one dies) can be made to the American Legion through the Veteran Affairs office in Edgefield.

Pictured above: Joel Jolly, chairman of the Heritage Jubilee, presents Matt McGinnis, commander of the American Legion Post #30 in Edgefield, with a check representing the proceeds from the 2008 Jubilee.

The Citizen News contributed to this report

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