ALBANY, Ore. — A new building now sits where an American Legion post in Albany burned to the ground three and a half years ago, but the construction costs are cutting into the nonprofit’s charity work. Now, the organization is reaching out to the public for help.
The American Legion Post 10 says its goal is to get 600,000 people to each donate a dollar, which would cover its construction costs since the fire.
On July 4, 2010, Albany Police responded to a fire at the Legion’s building. Officers say it was arson. Parts of the building were burned to the ground, bringing with it priceless memorabilia.
Linn County court records show that Trent Fox was convicted of Arson II for the fire. He served two years in prison, and is now paying over $1.5 million in restitution. The Legion says insurance covered a large portion of the cost, but it still cost a pretty penny to finish the new structure.
The Legion took out a $600,000 loan to complete the building, and now it is asking the public to help repay it. The volunteers say they would rather use their money doing what they do best: help veterans, but the loan repayments are not letting them do the same type of charity work. They pride themselves in being able to help vets: anything from helping them buy a gallon of gas to filing for benefits.
“When you see a gentleman that served his country and through no fault of his own is down on his luck a little bit, or needs medical care that he cannot get, and we’re able to get him in the right direction – it means a lot,” said Chuck Driver, the Commander of the Post.
To donate to the Legion, click here.