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Group in Benton County works to save their American Legion Hall

Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 6:18 PM CST
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BLAIRSTOWN, Iowa (KCRG) -A group of people in a Benton County city say their American Legion Hall means a lot to their community, and the veterans who do work there. With the talks of the American Legion Hall closing, the group gathered Saturday morning to show how special the hall is.

For many in Blairstown, the American Legion Hall is more than a building, it’s a place full of memories. That’s why saving the hall is personal for the crew that came out to clean it up early Saturday morning. Some of the legions oldest veterans served in World War 2...and volunteers say it’s getting difficult for them to maintain the building and host events.

Paul Stults grew up watching his father, who worked in the legion in Blairstown for more than 50 years, and he’s determined to keep the tradition alive. ”My dad, Jim Stults, he gave his heart and soul to this place. Dad passed away this year, we had a funeral here. That’s why it’s so special. That’s why we’ve got to keep this thing going,” says Stults.

Blairstown Mayor Corrine Kimm is leading the cleanup. She’s seen dozens of wedding receptions, community dinners, and bingo nights at the hall. ”They told us they were thinking this is going to be, it’s winding down, there’s not gonna be much more going on here again. And Sherry and I looked at each other with total shock,” says Kimm.

Kimm is helping to start the Families of the American Legion Group. It’s aimed at getting younger people involved in the legion, so they can stay open and help host events.

The Mayor says she’s inspired by the turnout for the Legion Hall Cleanup, saying ”This community pulls together and we help each other out. And that’s what we’re doing today.”

The Blairstown Legion Auxillery group plans to hold more events at the hall, including hosting a to-go dinner this Wednesday.

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