Farmington American Legion gets a fundraising boost

Ask Farmington American Legion Groves-Walker Post Commander Marya Davis how she’s doing these days, and you’ll hear words like “ecstatic” and “excited.”

Just a few months ago, the Post struggled with the loss of rental revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and members feared the doors might close for good. The iconic red brick building at 31775 Grand River has space to host weddings, private parties, and other community events, but even though it re-opened in June, capacity has been limited.

WJBK American Legion
Veteran James Koponen was interviewed for a WJBK-TV segment that aired again this week. (fox2detroit.com)

Now, though, the future looks brighter, thanks to a generous community, Davis said. A crowdfunding campaign launched over the summer is now within $2,000 of its $15,000 goal. The drive got a $3,000 boost this week after WJBK-TV re-aired a segment on the Post’s struggles.

Support has also come from outside the Farmington area, she added. “A vet from the Garden City area walked into the clubroom last night and handed us a check for $100.”

The Legion also organized a Queen of Hearts raffle, through which people purchased $1 tickets for a chance to draw a card and split a large pot with the Club. After expenses, that brought in about $3,000 – which, coincidentally, covers about one month’s worth of expenses.

“We will start that again in January,” Davis said. “I learned a lot, it will be much better this time around.”

Davis said the Post has avoided COVID-19 loans because members weren’t sure they’d be able to repay them. While she has applied for some grants, most have been targeted to 501(c)3 nonprofits, and the group falls under a different classification.

While grateful for the outpouring of community support, Davis said, the Legion’s most sustainable path forward is rental revenues. Capacity is currently limited to 30 people in the lower hall and 60 in the upper hall; both rooms offer plenty of space for groups to spread out.

Monday night dinners open to the public from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (or while supplies last) also provide some support. Davis said the Club follows strict COVID-19 safety measures.

“Our bartenders are still working for free as they have all summer long,” she said, adding members have been generous with tips. “It’s really up to all of us that we have this place for veterans and their families to gather.”

You can contribute to the GoFundMe drive here: gofundme.com/f/save-our-american-legion-post-346

Learn more about the Post here: facebook.com/www.AmericanLegionPost346.org

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