As the director for the Stevens-Christian Memorial American Legion Riders of Post 557 in Wintersville, Ohio, it is an honor to be part of The American Legion and to support its goal and purposes. Our group, though relatively new to our post, was determined to come up with a way to both honor our Legionnaires and raise money for the Legacy Scholarship Fund that is so near and dear to the very heart of the American Legion Riders.
We came up with a way to do both in one large event every year. Not very far from our post is the beautiful Ohio Veterans' Memorial Park in Clinton. This privately funded tribute to the best Ohio has offered in service to our country allows for the purchase of engraved pavers which are installed at the park in walkways to honor members of our military. Our group decided that we would purchase a paver in the name of every Legionnaire from our post who passed away in the prior year, and on Armed Forces Day (the 3rd Saturday in May), we would conduct a "Memorial Brick Run" whereby we escort the bricks to the park, conduct a laying ceremony, and then return to our post for a dinner and celebration.
Through registration, sponsorships, T-shirt sales, etc., this event is our largest single event of the year. We help to support this wonderful park, honor our veterans, and still raise funds to donate to the Legacy Scholarship. Each year has seen tremendous growth. Our first year's donation was $3,000, followed up with last year's donation of $6,000 and this year, thanks to so much support and our group's dedication, we were able to donate $13,500. We are hopeful that next year's donation will exceed this year's as well.
Our group, of course, is made up of Legionnaires, Sons and Auxiliary members and each of us consider it an honor to be part of this effort. We are all dedicated to the idea that "We raise a lot of money. We have a lot of fun doing it. And we give it ALL away!"
We must continue to promote our posts and The American Legion now more than ever.
Mike Petrisko, Director
Stevens-Christian Memorial American Legion Riders Post 557