American Legion Post 472 on East Indianola Avenue is seeking the community’s help to finance an expansion of its post home and make it handicap accessible.
Post 472 has started a Road to Remembrance campaign to raise $50,000 to $60,000 for a 24-by- 34-foot addition which will include two handicap-accessible restrooms, said Robert L. Patton, adjutant and finance officer for the post.
The post had about 80 veteran members a decade ago, but with increasing numbers of veterans from the war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, “we find that we have outgrown our post again,” Patton said.
Post 472 has about 105 members, said Robert Raver, post commander.
“We actively recruit members, and we offer paid memberships to active-duty military members which entitles them and their families to benefits and support provided by the American Legion,” Raver said.
The post home’s main meeting room on the second floor is used by Legion members, Sons of the American Legion and the recently revived Women’s Auxiliary, and it is not handicap-accessible.
“Many of our members cannot attend meetings and functions because of physical limitations,” Patton said.
The building also has two 14-by- 20-foot rooms downstairs used for social activities and the kitchen.
When Post 472 was incorporated Jan. 11, 1937, it was at 633 Market St. But, because of Interstate 680 construction, it was moved to 323 E. Indianola where a house was converted into the post home. An addition was built in 2003.
The proposed new addition would be used for community events and functions for its members and guests.
For example, Post 472 sponsors a picnic on Memorial Day and the Laying of the Roses ceremony in downtown Youngstown the Sunday before Veterans Day. Participants and guests are invited to the post after for dinner.
“This larger room will help us better serve our veterans, members and guests. We would appreciate any contributions to help make this addition a reality,” Patton said.
It would provide a ground-level, handicap- accessible meeting room, and make it possible to enlarge the kitchen and storage areas, Raver said.
“It would be our legacy for future veterans,” he said.