After suffering a great loss when losing it's building, the American Legion Post No. 2 was deep in debt and without a home. Now, just two years later, the Legion has paid off $25,000 of debt, bought a new building to call home and began renovations -- all while continuing its community projects.
American Legion Post No. 2, the oldest post in the state of Indiana, recently purchased a building located at 10 N. Depot Street, Brazil, behind the Speedway gas station. For about 30 years, the building housed several different bars. To support the economy, the American Legion Post No. 2, which was established in 1919, bought locally.
The building is in need of a total remodel including reinsulating and rewiring, according to Legion Commander Randy Kaelber. The Legion members are currently in the demolition process, working Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as weekends. Kaelber hopes to be able to open the new Legion building in the summer of 2013.
While without a home, the VFW Post No. 1127, located at 303 South Depot Street, Brazil, allowed the Legion members to meet at its location. Kaelber said he and the other members of the American Legion are grateful the VFW allowed the use of their facilities in order for the Legion to keep its charter active.
"They've been very good to us," Kaelber said.
Kaelber also mentioned others who supported the American Legion Post No. 2 during its struggles.
"The Sons of the American Legion, Ladies Auxiliary, Legion Riders, community members and other anonymous donations have all gotten us to where we are now," Kaelber said. "They helped us get back on our feet."
Now, the organization is taking baby steps -- renovating its new building to bring it up to code, trying to increase its membership and planning fundraisers to pay for the expenses.
"If we can get enough people to step up and help us, we can open the building by summer," Kaelber told The Brazil Times.
So far, two companies have donated new lights for the building and electrical work. But the Legion needs more help. Members are grateful for those who have donated and supported their cause, but they are asking for more donations in order to raise their organization from the ashes.
To send donations, offer time or services or to ask about membership, contact Kaelber by writing to P.O. Box 9, Brazil, Ind., 47834. Keep up with the Legion's progress by becoming a fan of it's Facebook page "American Legion Post 2 (Brazil, IN)."