Story by: Tim Sproles - Photos by: Jack and Tim Sproles
If you heard live music playing over the weekend in Crawfordsville, chances are that it was coming from Crawfordsville Post 72.
On Saturday, September 15th, The American Legion Family at Crawfordsville Post 72 held a special “Bluesfest” benefit for the American Legion program, Operation Comfort Warriors.
As you may already know, Operation Comfort Warriors is a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government.
Past National Commander of The American Legion, Jim Koutz, who created the OCW program during his command year (2012-13), said, “Every dollar that is donated to Operation Comfort Warriors goes to benefit the program and bring comfort to our wounded servicemembers”.
The Legion Family at Post 72 weren’t the only ones who came out to enjoy to the program.
“We had a lot of vendors come out to give us a hand. The fine folks at Backstep Brewing Company and Jordan’s Ribs set up vendor booths to serve up food and drinks,” said Rodney Strong, Commander of The American Legion Department of Indiana. “We also had a representative from Andretti Autosport bring one of their IndyCar’s as a display.”
Of course, you can’t talk about Bluesfest without talking about these outstanding bands.
Cmdr. Strong said, “The 72 Blues Band kicked off the show and we were off to the races. We also had the Gordon Bonham Blues Band and the Monte Keller Blues Trio. Both of those bands played longer sets because everyone was having such a great time.”
A great time that raised a lot of money. Admission for the event was only set at a $5 minimum donation, but may of the people who came, gave more than that.
“We had a lot of people tell us to keep the change after they handed us a larger bill,” said Rick Mitchell, Chairman for Bluesfest. “People were there to have a good time, but they also know how important the OCW program is. The generosity of this community was on full display”.
Legionnaires from Post 72 were able to hand PNC Koutz a check for $7,100 to go towards OCW, but the post wasn’t done yet.
“The event ran all the way through mid-night and we kept collecting donations throughout the evening,” said Cmdr. Strong. We were able to raise an addition $1,000 before the end of the night.”
After the success of Bluesfest, the Legion Family at Post 72 plans on holding other events just like it.
For more information on the Operation Comfort Warriors program, Click Here.
Story by: John Sarnecki
Pictured above with the awards are President of ESW, Inc., Larry Caldwell Sr., Past Department of Indiana, American Legion Commander Marty Dzieglowicz, and the 1st District American Legion Employment Committee Chairman John Sarnecki. All three Legionnaires are members of the East Chicago, American Legion Allied Post 369.
ESW, Custom Training & Engineering Services Inc. out of Crown Point, Indiana was recently recognized for going above and beyond when it comes to hiring veteran employees.
During The American Legion Department of Indiana’s annual State Convention, held on July 15, 2018 in Indianapolis, the company was awarded two Employer of the Year Awards. They were presented the “Employment of Older Workers” and the “Employment of Veterans” State Awards.
ESW was nominated for these awards by American Legion Allied Post 369, of East Chicago, Indiana.
The company earned accolades for employment from the national headquarters of The American Legion.
During the 100th annual American Legion National Convention held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, ESW, Inc. President Larry Caldwell was also presented with the “National Employment of Older Workers’ Award on August 25, 2018.
For over 30 years, ESW, Inc. has provided custom-designed training programs that utilize the skills of Older Workers and Veterans, in the development and training of Maintenance and Operational personnel locally and across the country.
The American Legion Department of Indiana is comprised of more than 77,000 military service veterans who have served honorably during times of conflict in defense of their nation and has been active within Indiana since 1919. The Indiana American Legion has represented veterans from every major conflict since World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan within its membership.
Together, we change lives for Veterans, their families and their communities.
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