Local American Legion Post planning fundraisers

Published 9:42 am Friday, January 22, 2010

The Ironton post of the American Legion and American Legion Riders are planning some fundraisers to support both the organizations and the Veterans Memorial Hall fund.

The first of the events is a pancake breakfast scheduled for Feb. 6 at Rax restaurant in Ironton. The restaurant is providing the facility and the food at no cost to the Legion.

“I could not have asked for anything better than that,” Jim Volgares, commander of American Legion Post 433.

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The benefit breakfast will support the American Legion Riders and the organizations that it supports.

Volgares formed the local chapter of the Riders in November of last year. Since then the group has grown to about 23 members.

Volgares said the group is growing rapidly for two reasons.

“One — they want to ride (motorcycles) and two — they don’t want to ride by themselves,” Volgares said.

The group has been attracting some of the younger veterans and those with close ties to veterans, Volgares said, partly because it has a more laid back structure than the American Legion. The dress code is a pair of jeans and a bike vest.

“It’s a wider audience and it’s different which is the purpose of that,” Volgares said.

A second pancake breakfasts is scheduled for March 6 at Frogtown to benefit the American Legion.

The Legion donates to several causes such as Toys for Tots, VA hospital patients and the Ironton City Mission. This year, the organization is also co-sponsoring two one year scholarships at Ohio University.

The restaurant will be providing the facility and the food, Volgares said.

“We have some really stand up citizens in this town that are businessmen,” he said.

The Legion Riders are also planning a bike and parts swap meet in conjunction with this year’s Rally on the River.

Motorcycle riders will have the opportunity to buy, sell and trade bike parts at a lower cost than going to a shop, Volgares said.

“The participants can save a boatload of money,” he said. “And instead of being a detraction from the Rally, it will be an extra draw.”

The bike and part swap will benefit the Veteran’s Memorial Hall. The Hall dates back to the Civil War era when it was owned by the Grand Army of the Republic.

The City of Ironton took over the building in 1955, when the local chapter of the Legion lost its charter.

The city occupied the building until 1996 when it became unserviceable. The Legion is currently raising money for its restoration so they may one day utilize the building.

To do so, about $3.5 million needs to be raised.

“It’s a doable deal,” Volgares said. “It needs to be done.”

Not only the Legion, Volgares hopes that the building will eventually house all sorts of military and veteran related organizations such as the Purple Heart Society and the Disabled American Veterans.

Volgares hopes the building will be restored to its past glory.

“That building was the center piece of Ironton,” he said. “That building was like no other building in this town.”

If you go:

The Ironton Legion Riders pancake breakfast will be 8 a.m. to noon Feb. 6 at Rax.

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from any Rider or Legion member. Delivery and take-out is also available by calling Frank Murphy at 532-8495.

The Legion pancake breakfast will be 8 a.m. to noon March 6 at Frogtown in Ironton. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased from any member.

The Bike & Parts Swap Meet will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. August 21.

More information can be found at the Legion’s website at www.irontonohlegionpost433.org.