Thanks to the American Legion Post Nine in Beaufort for explaining the importance of its Feb. 24 fundraiser at The Legends of Parris Island Golf Course:
Beaufort American Legion Post Nine is experiencing problems similar to other national veterans' organizations. The older members are fading away and the new members are not appearing to replace them.
Post Nine has been fortunate in that it has benefited from a fairly steady influx of members who move to the Beaufort area and transfer their memberships to Post Nine. This has kept Post Nine's membership small but stable for now.
American Legion baseball in Beaufort has been the main community effort of Post Nine. The sponsorship of American Legion baseball is an expensive proposition for a post consisting of approximately 60 members. The post collects dues from all of its members at the rate of $35 a year. Of this, $29 is forwarded to the state and national American Legion organizations. This leaves the post with very little money.
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So, how does Post Nine manage to sponsor a senior and a junior team?
Post Nine depends on the generosity of the community to support its effort. Post Nine has no building, no bar and little income from dues. Athletics director George Miller said, "Our post is no drinking club, we don't sit around and play cards and talk about old times. We get together and figure out how to keep our baseball programs and scholarship program intact for another year."
George works hard at putting together an annual golf tournament that is the main fundraiser to give our community the opportunity to help sponsor our baseball teams. This tournament will take place at The Legends of Parris Island Golf Course on Feb. 24.
Post commander Artie Heape encourages all eligible veterans to help by joining and supporting Post Nine's efforts. Heape said, "American Legion baseball is a long-standing tradition in Beaufort. We need the help of older and younger veterans and especially the support of the community. Many American Legion posts have lost their ability to sponsor teams in this tight economy."
What can you do to help preserve this strong heritage of American Legion baseball in Beaufort? You can support the fundraising golf tournament by contacting George Miller at 843-470-0928. Join the Legion or transfer your membership by contacting post adjutant Rich Delmore at 843-473-5534; or send donations to American Legion Post Nine Baseball, P.O. Box 2540, Beaufort, SC 29902.
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