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 Alert -- Post 501's major fundraising program is the annual sweepstakes. This fund raiser is scheduled to end in March of each year, with the cash drawing held in 2018 at the Annual Birthday dinner on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. The profits from 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. Tickets are $2.00 each or 6 tickets for $10.00 which is a better deal than $2.00 for each. Contact any Legion member for purchasing sweepstakes tickets or go to the "Contact Us" tab and let us know how you'd be willing to help.
* Boston Store Community Days -- One of our best fund raising opportunities is to distribute coupon books prior to the Boston Store Community Days. The next Boston Store Community Days sales event is November 8 - 11, 2017. Your help will be appreciated. This fundraiser runs from October 1 - November 11. By setting up near one of the 5 doors, and asking the folks who enter to donate $5 for a book, in which valuable coupons are included, our Post 501 gets to keep the $5. Very little standing, mostly sitting with a table at store entrances. It is best to work in pairs, so bring a buddy to help greet and send our message of helping veterans. Use the "Contact Us" tab on the Home Page of this website or contact the Post Commander to let us know if interested in helping. We will show you how it works.
*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 twice a month, September 23, 2017 - May 5, 2018, from 3:00-5:00 pm. 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 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.
* You could volunteer to work at the local VA hospital during the Poppy distribution days. 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. Dates of distributions are variable, based upon your availability.
* Camp American Legion, (see their website), located up North in Wisconsin. You can access more details about Camp American Legion by clicking your cursor over the Legion emblem located at the top of this page. 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
* Sponsor 6 to 7 high school age boys and selected girls to both Badger Boys and Badger Girls State - which provides the most effective civics program for American youth to be found anywhere. Our Post 501 must raise $250 for each youth sent to the Badger State program. The major fund raiser here in the Annual Raffle. Please take a moment to purchase as many ticket opportunities as possible. It always is a nice surprise to get the phone call of your winnings.
* Assist in the conduct of the annual Oratorical Contests, where our future leaders can refine their speaking skills focusing on Patriotic topics. 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 need Sergents 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.
* Support 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.
* Sponsor American League Baseball, from which many professional players get a good head start. Our team took First Place this year 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:
* Second Natural Gas Line - COMPLETED ! Many thanks go out to all who contributed.
* Kitchen upgrade is needed by adding two stainless steel food preparation tables, and one two level wheeled serving cart. With all of the fund raising involving food service we do, these items will make our work more efficient. Expected cost is about $500. Just contact us or send in a dollar or two.
* Outdoor lighting is inefficient and/or non functional. This is a serious security/accident exposure. We need about $1,000 to provide the proper upgrade. We applied for a grant from a local provider of this type of electrical needs, and were declined due to not serving enough Veterans. They have limited funds available to provide, and Post 501 did not score high enough. While we are disappointed with this decision, the need still exists. Please help support this much needed fix. You can specifically dedicate your donation for this purpose.
* North side of the Post Clubhouse needs paint scraping and painting. We need a few folks to step up and provide and hour or two in updating the appearance of the Post, and preserving the brickwork. If you can assist in this task, or have special skills/knowledge on how to properly paint, your help is sincerely needed. Hit the "Contact Us" tab at the top of this page, and leave a message of your availability. When we get at least 4 folks to sign up, we will schedule a day of work. It would be especially appreciative if the Sons of American Legion would step forward.
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 $13 per year per Legionnaire. We have around 338 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 costs our Post 501 $250 per student, which pays for their 7 day room and board up at Ripon College, WI, where the program is conducted. We try to sponsor 6 - 7 boys each year; one other service organization not affiliated with the American Legion so appreciate 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 $250 is $1500 this year in addition to every one we have sponsored in the past.
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.