Rising From The Ashes-- American Legion Post #217 Rebuilds

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The Benton County American Legion Post 217  home was destroyed by an arson fire the morning of August 11, 2017. The extensive damage caused demolition of the entire building down to the concrete floor. Rebuilding has been taking place for months and is nearing completion. Many members took advantage of an invitation to tour the unfinished building last week to see how it is coming along.
Gary Hanson, Project Manager, said the new building will have the same square footage, but will have some changes in layout. These include higher ceilings, transom windows in the lounge and a more efficient HVAC system. The Post family is working on putting the finishing touches on the building and beginning to schedule old and new events. 
Service Officer, Mike Lange, will continue to meet with veterans and their families seeking help with benefits. His schedule is to be determined. 
Current Legion Family membership includes approximately 380 Legion members, 150 Auxiliary and 80 members of the SAL (Sons of the American Legion.)
The American Legion is an important piece of the community. In addition to serving veterans and their families, they also support community projects and work with the schools. Activities to support these programs include dinners, dances and other social events.
General meetings for the Legion and Auxiliary are the third Monday of each month at 7 PM, and the SAL meets on the fourth Monday at 6 PM. Members, if you were holding off paying your dues to see if the Post was going to remain open, they are now due.  There are some activities which are available to members only. A small temporary facility down the road referred to as “The Annex” will close once the new facility is open this spring.
Post Commander, Dick Sanford, wants to thank the Benton County Elks Lodge and the Warsaw Leathernecks for their support and providing places for the Legion Family to meet.