It’s been Old Settlers weekend, and it’s the American Legion Post 527 which takes a big responsibility for it.
Post 527 been sponsoring Old Settlers since 1946 to keep it going.
Post commander Brian Moser said in doing to it because the Post’s largest fundraising event.
It takes a team to put on an event which is the second longest running fair in the state. There’s a carivan with rides, parade, food stands, entertainment and the adult beverage tent, to name a few of the things which need to be coordinated.
“Everyone has their job to do. Everyone takes care of what they’re supposed to.”
This fundraiser is something the community supports, but a lot of the money raised goes back into the community.
He said the Post sponsors Boy Scout Troop 527, kids to go to Boys and Girls State, and many, many school organizations, to name a few.
Inside the veterans groups it gives food baskets to local veterans at the holidays and gives to Gifts for Yanks that Gave. It also works with local VA.
There’s Wreaths across America. “We raise enough funds to make sure all 500 veterans in 7 cemeteries in our area receive a wreath. This is completed every Dec. 14 at 11 central. There is a 15 min. ceremony in the park (no matter the weather) and with the help of your sons, auxiliary, and our community we are able to place the wreaths in about two hours.”
Its Memorial Day Service is done at both Cissna Park and Rankin.
Its color guard stays active, as it attends local veterans funerals and community events, but it also helps with the Lincoln National Cemetery, he said.
Post 527 has been chartered since 1920.
Today, there are 224 members, with 50-60 active. Moser said the Post has been absorbing members from surrounding communities as they have been closing.
“We’re just trying to keep the Legion going. It’s getting harder and harder to find new volunteers.”
There’s the Legion’s Auxiliary, as well, and they, too, do their part.
Something which is really helping Post 527 is its active Sons of the American Legion organization.
“They help us quite a bit.” The group has its own fundraisers, and some of that fundraising money goes to Post 527.
He said there are 122 members of it, and it was organized in 2007. He said something of note is that it’s the fifth largest of its type in the state.
“Most of the sons and grandsons of the legion members were already helping us at these event, and the legion and they wanted to show that they wanted to continue to help. Everything they do is with the legion and the community in mind, just like the legion is. They feel proud of being able to help us even though they did not serve in the military, and we are proud and happy to have them and the auxiliary. This legion has had been a big part of the community for so long.
“My grandpa was a member serving in WW2. My mother is part (and past commander) of the auxiliary. My dad is a sons member. My brother and I are Legion members, my two year old son a sons member. My wife and sister are Auxiliary members. This is just one of many examples of family’s being part of it for generations. Even if someone in the community is not part of the legion, they are still big supporters of us.”
What the big help to the Legion is, Moser said, is the community.
He said the Legionnaires recognize how helpful and supportive it is.
“The community is very appreciative of us. It takes everyone in town to sacrifice and support us.
“Community — That’s what helps us and keeps us going.”
Post 527 has its meetings at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month at the Legion House at Second and Koplin streets.