FUND RAISING (updated 9/13/2019)

Every service organization in America is involved in raising monies to serve their constituencies.  The American Legion is no different, and makes major contributions to their local Post communities to provide not only a place for veterans and their families to congregate and share common interests, but also to make things better for the for those we serve.  Every Legionnaire serves his country twice, once when wearing the uniform, and again after she/he leaves military duty, most usually in their later years.  This need to continue serving can be found in both the Legion charter, and also in the Preamble to the American Legion.

The Severson-Cairnes American Legion Post 501, is truly an "Action Post".  We support numerous activities which provide for the common good of our community.  We are joined in this effort by our loyal Auxiliary, and encouraged by our Sons of the American Legion.

Here are some of the activities we support (this list is not all inclusive):

* POST 501 SWEEPSTAKES --  Post 501's major fundraising program is the annual sweepstakes.  This fund raiser for 2019 is now over. The cash drawing was held at the Annual Birthday dinner on Saturday, April 13th at 8:00 p.m.  There were 9 fortunate winners, with cash disbursements between $25 to $600.. Year 2019 funding for Badger Boys State is now in the box, monies have been paid, but next year may be a concern. Much thanks goes out to all those who have supported this past year. For others, watch for later this year to get on board, support our major funding cost .

The net profits from last year’s Sweepstakes amounted to $1,709.20, after the winner payouts and operational expenses. Much thanks is extended to all who supported this critical Sweepstakes raffle.  The sale of these tickets support just about all of our Post's programs.  High among the programs that the Sweepstakes fund are Veterans Affairs and Rehab and all of our children and youth programs including School Awards, R.O.T.C., Badger Boys State, and Reading is Fundamental which is an educational program at one of the nearby schools.  We also sponsor an American Legion Baseball Team called the Madison Impact. The Sweepstakes program was a success again this past year, so look forward to playing again in 2020.

*MEAT RAFFLE --  One of our new attempts at fund raising, especially for our excellent Legion Auxiliary program, is a meat raffle, to be held at Tullys II Food & Spirits at 6401 Monona Drive.  The events are held every other week (September - May) from 1500 hours - 1700 hours (3:00-5:00 pm for those who are now civilized).  Please see the calendar tab for the dates the meat raffle is scheduled.  What the Legion Auxiliary members really need is for us Legionnaires to step up and donate a few of your personal hours in this fund raising event.  Volunteers should arrive by 1430 hours (2:30 PM), the day of the raffle, for last minute update and guidance.  This will be a fun time for those who wish to provide support for the American Legion community veterans programs.  If possible, just show up and put in a bid.  You might be fortunate enough to win.

* POPPY DISTRIBUTION DAYS - You could volunteer to work at the local VA hospital during the Poppy distribution days. Last year, 2018, Post 501/Unit 501 was scheduled for our special day at the VA Hospital here in Madison for May 18th.  The hours we have committed  to run from 8 AM through 3 PM.  We had several volunteers to man the tables at the VA.  For 2019, Auxiliary Unit 501 will be distributing poppies October - November. The date to distribute poppies at the VA Hospital is TBD. You can select the time frame that you are willing to put in.  Most folks prefer to work a 2 hour shift.  In addition to working in the VA hospital, Legionnaires can assist by getting involved.  All proceeds from this well known fund raising goes directly back to the veterans in the VA hospitals.  This is a well received fund raising program.  Please contact us for your involvement in this time honored tradition.   Hit the "Contact Us" tab on our Home Page and let us know your willingness to provide some time to give back.  

Legionnaires Don Schaefer, Chris Robbins, and William Robbins distributing Poppies at Veterans Hospital, Middleton, WI, 5-18-2018.

Legionnaires Don Schaefer, Chris Robbins, and William Robbins distributing Poppies at Veterans Hospital, Middleton, WI, 5-18-2018.

* CAMP AMERICAN LEGION, LAKE TOMAHAWK, WI, (see their website: https://www.campamericanlegion.org ), located up North in Wisconsin.  Our Post 501, along with other Dane County Legion Posts, is tasked to support the Dane County sponsored cabin, by preparing it for lodging in the early spring, and to winterize it in the late fall.  General maintenance of the building, to include painting, window washing and sweeping are minimal skills required.  It makes for a fun weekend.  Food, lodging and cleaning supplies are provided by Camp American Legion.  This is a great opportunity to bond with fellow veterans, in service to those who need additional support, all in the beautiful North Woods environment

 * ANNUAL ORATORICAL CONTEST:  The American Legion Oratorical Contest is completed for the 2019 year. Post 501 sponsored a student, who was successful in progressing to the Department level. We are proud of his performance. Volunteers will again, in early 2020 be needed for judging, timekeeping and escorts for each contestant. here in our Legion Post 501.  Winners at the District, State and National levels receive generous scholarships. Click on the American Legion symbol above for more details.  We need a few volunteers to attend the Post, County and District contests.  The time frame is annually beginning in December, and continuing on through February.  The time required is about 4 hours per contest; we will need Sergent's at Arms, score and time keepers, along with a general audience willing to listen to the best students our schools are producing as they present their thoughts on what makes America great.

* SPONSOR LOCAL BOY SCOUT TROOPS, through opportunities to fund raise, attend their programs, especially flag respect and in general show these patriotic youths how veterans can make their lives better.  Post 501 has just recently received the Charter to add a Boy Scout and Cub Scout troop under our wing.  We look forward to serving the youth of American in order to make future America a great country!

* SPONSOR AMERICAN LEAGUE BASEBALL, from which many professional players get a good head start.  Our team took First Place in 2017 in the State of Wisconsin championship playoffs, and won 2 out of four at the district level.  


In addition to the above activities, all of which require funding, we also need to generate a cash flow to pay for the activities within our clubhouse.  This includes utilities, mortgage, property taxes, etc - everything any family or small organization needs to survive.  Note, none of our Legion members nor Auxiliary draw a salary, nor receive compensation for anything they provide or do. However, without their sacrifice in time working at Post 501 activities, this post will not survive.  We need a bit of your time for an hour or two per year to allow this Post to continue to provide needed Veterans and their family's services.



Here are some of our Post 501 facility needs, which exceed our current monthly cash flow:

IMPORTANT NEW NOTICE ! The post outside refinishing has been completed.  Our thanks to all those who gave up of their valuable time, and also those who contributed funding which allowed the much needed building out side refinishing.  The facility now has a much more welcoming appearance.  There was held a special "Thank You Party" last Sunday, October 7th, 2018.  All those who have contributed either an hour or a dollar of effort were encouraged to stop by, if only to get a bite to eat, and we encourage all of us to continue to serve Post 501 and the veterans in this community.


          * Kitchen upgrade is needed Fellow Legionnaire Rick B just made a substantial financial commitment to also help fund part of this project, stainless steel work tables have been added. Work is still needed. You can assist by just contacting us or send in a dollar or two. You can select the specific item your contribution is to fund.

The next big project for the kitchen includes: Wall washing, ceiling upgrade, ventilation system, leaking faucets, a new door installed in the pantry, etc. Contact the 2nd Vice - Jerry, to determine project scheduling. Between two to four members are needed for each project, measured in a few hours each.


    * Outdoor lighting is slowly, one at a time being properly renovated, thanks to our in house electrical expert, 1st Vice Keith.  This still yet remains a serious security/accident exposure.   By the way, we just had a very generous donor, Rick B, provided a substantial funding which will fit the bill for the outdoor lighting, but we are still a bit short in dollars for updated lighting in the new History/Auxiliary Room.  Please contact the Post Commander if you have the financial ability to partially support this need.


       Being an American Legion member, your voice counts up at the National Headquarters.  $30 of your annual dues goes to insure your voice is heard by our Nation's leaders.  If that is all you are comfortable in doing, we say "Much Thanks" for your serving again.  But if you can give a bit more, it would really strengthen the voice of the American Legion right here in Madison, WI.

     There are two way to give:  we call it - "AN HOUR OR A DOLLAR".  What is this you may ask?  We need Legionnaires who can provide personal time in fund raising activities such as the monthly Pancake Breakfast, the summer time Brat Fests, the occasional Spaghetti Dinners/Omelet Breakfasts, poppy distributions at the VA, and at the Monona Memorial Day Parade, and manning the coupon book fund raising booths at local marketing events.  If you could help for only an hour a year, an hour of your time equates to at least a $10 money contribution.

     If you don't have personal time to share, and many of our younger members have work and family commitments which do preclude giving up of your personal time, a good substitute is a money sharing of $10 or whatever.  We realize that your dues provides a lot of voice, but our Post 501 only gets about $12 per year per Legionnaire.  We have around 300 members, so you can do the math.

     If you have the time to spare, an hour or two per month, why not join fellow Legionnaires, who have served in boots in the past just as you have, and assist us in these fund raising events.  You won't be alone; you have much in common to share your military experiences with those who understand, as you serve others who may be in need.


    * One of the biggest fund raisers we have is for the Boys State program.  It will cost our Post 501 $300 per student in 2019 and also looking forward to 2020, up from the previous $250, which pays for their 7 days of room and board up at Ripon College, WI; where the program is conducted, normally the first week in June.  We try to sponsor 6 - 8 boys each year; one other service organization not affiliated with the American Legion is so appreciative of what Boys State does for our formative youth that they provide the funding to send one additional boy.  This is a terrific gift, and we most heartily thank them for this support.  Doing the math, 6 boys X $300 is $1800 needed for the 2020 year.

     Later, we will list more specific fund raising events - the need in your time and/or some dollars to meet our Post 501 goals.  Upon review of these lists of needs, you can SPECIFY which particular fund need you wish to donate to:  we will honor your request to fence your contribution just for that purpose.  Remember, all of your donations are eligible for a Tax deduction, for both the Federal and State reporting purposes.

     More to come on this page.  Please return often for an update.  Specific needs change as the calendar year matures.

Cdr. Tom and 1st Vice Keith present a Legion Award Certificate for 2018 to Nathan, Manager Metro Market, for their terrific fundraising support to meet the needs of Dane County’s Veterans.

Cdr. Tom and 1st Vice Keith present a Legion Award Certificate for 2018 to Nathan, Manager Metro Market, for their terrific fundraising support to meet the needs of Dane County’s Veterans.