Milford’s Marsh-Kellogg American Legion Post #139 had an extra reason to celebrate at their annual Christmas party this year: they raised enough funds to finish renovations to make their restrooms accessible.
Successful fundraising efforts this fall moved the project ahead, but there was still a shortfall. The newly elected post commander, Connie Harvey, wanted to have the funds in hand before Christmas.
“There was a shortfall of $2,900, and Greater Pike’s board wanted to help, and provided a grant from the Fund for Greater Pike," said Maryanne Monte, a Greater Pike Community Foundation board member and the Grants Committee chair.
“Our fund for Greater Pike is for unexpected needs that arise outside of the regular grant application cycle that our board believes are urgent,” said Greater Pike board chair Jim Pedranti. “When we learned that veterans who honorably served our country could not participate in the Legion’s activities because the bathrooms were inaccessible, we knew we had to help.”
The Post’s 2nd Vice Commander, Ray Pranga, served in the Air Force and developed physical disabilities related to his service. Although not in a wheelchair, he said the renovation is especially meaningful to those who are.
“It means a lot," he said. "A lot of people are stepping up to help us."
Mayor Sean Strub, also a Greater Pike board member, said he was gratified.
"In addition to the grant from the Fund for Greater Pike, a number of individuals and businesses responded generously when asked for help. It’s wonderful to see the community respond," he said. "Honestly, it’s disturbing to think of veterans who sacrificed so much not be able to access the American Legion. So this is rectifying something that needed to be fixed.”
Pike County Commissioner Matt Osterberg was at the Legion’s party.
"Greater Pike Foundation is always a supporter of the community and what these men and women have given to our country is incredible," he said. "The little bit that we can give them back goes a long way.”
The Greater Pike Community Foundation helps individuals, families and local businesses to provide a permanent and personal way to give back to the community. For information on the different kinds of funds, visit greaterpike.org/our-funds.
“Our fund for Greater Pike is for unexpected needs that arise outside of the regular grant application cycle that our board believes are urgent. When we learned that veterans who honorably served our country could not participate in the Legion’s activities because the bathrooms were inaccessible, we knew we had to help.” --Jim Pedranti, Greater Pike board chair