American Legion Auxiliary Unit 473 sponsored the nonprofit organization Alpha Bravo Canine of Philadelphia from 2020 through 2021. This NPO raises, trains and donates service dogs for local U.S. military veterans suffering from combat-related disabilities. Every dog given to a veteran is named after a fallen soldier and wears that soldier's dog tags.
This was during the most trying of times at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses were shut down, hours were reduced, and state and federal regulations were in place, working against all efforts to raise money for any organizations in need. As a unit, we collaborated and decided to push ourselves and our local community to support and raise money for a foundation we believe to be vital for our local veterans.
From June 2020, our unit organized and planned fundraising events. We sent letters to a majority of local businesses asking for monetary donations. Monthly raffles were run for the entirety of the 17 months we pursued this venture. There were multiple 50/50 drawings held during our restricted hours at our local post. Our unit held two monthly calendar drawings, which consisted of a month full of donations for every day, both tangible and monetary. We also had tricky trays donated from the community for our yearly Legion outing. A golf tournament was orchestrated and held in August 2021 where all proceeds were donated to Alpha Bravo Canine.
The Home Association of Post 473 was an integral part of all of the above-mentioned events and fundraisers held. They supported us in our endeavors and matched what we raised.
The total amount awarded to Alpha Bravo Canine was $30,000. As a unit, we could not have done this without all of our Auxiliary officers, members, Home Association and local community, both patrons and businesses. As a small town, this undertaking was enormous, and our local veterans who were afforded this opportunity were not only deserving but extremely grateful and proud to have been a part of this journey.
Attached is a picture of Alpha Bravo Canine's service dog Tristan, who we were able to sponsor by the Freeland American Legion Post 473 Auxiliary.