Florence Township, N.J., Girl Scout Troop 21513 had a mission. That mission was to get the funds necessary to build a handicapped, ADA-compliant playground for the very special children of Florence Township. The mayor of the township had agreed to give them land behind the township building, but they had to have the funds to build the playground by September 2022.
During the July 9,2022, Florence Patriot Day Celebration, Roebling American Legion Post 39 Senior Vice Commander Ron Zalegowski’s wife, Jeanne, spoke with Girl Scout leader Teresa Farmer.
Teresa sadly informed the SVC’s wife that after months of fundraising projects, they only had half of what was needed to start the project and time was running out.
Jeanne immediately called her husband Ron and told him about the project for handicapped children and about the Girl Scouts problem. He then informed his commander, Steve Anderson, about the Scouts project. With the commander’s full support, the SVC began to call all the officers and local members to get their support to help the Girl Scouts fulfill their mission. There was 100% consensus by the contacted members to financially help the Girl Scouts with the project. After all, it is our Legion mission to help in the community and what the community and its handicap children needed was a unique playground that meet their needs.
On July 18, SVC Ron, called the Girl Scout leader to inform her that Post 39 would help them financially complete their mission. “Florence Township will have a handicapped playground,” the SVC told Teresa. Teresa later told the commander, “I thought it was a dream and tears formed in my eyes when Ron called me.”
On July 21 a check for $20,000 was presented to Girl Scout Avery Farmer and her mother, Teresa, for construction of the playground. The post also promised to continue to support the handicapped playground project to completion.
Girl Scout Troop 21513 had completed their mission to get funds to build the special playground. Post 39 also fulfilled its mission, an “obligation to help the community.”
Ronald Zalegowski, LTC, USA (retired)
SVC, Roebling American Legion Post 39