GRAND REOPENING: Ames American Legion Post
It’s a big day for the American Legion Post in Ames. Members are celebrating Independence Day and their grand reopening.
“I’m glad to see that we have as much participation from the community out here,” says Post 37 member Randy Freel of Nevada.
From the outside, the building looks the same, but inside it`s a different story. Today, the community is getting the chance to see it for the first time. People lined Main Street for the 4th of July parade. American Legion members hope they stay to see the changes they’ve made over the last few months.
“There’s been a huge upgrade on Main Street. You can see construction going on up and down the street and we’re part of that upgrade,” says Post 37 member Dave Rehbein.
The Post closed in march for a long overdue renovation. Workers gutted the inside and gave the building a new look from top to bottom.
“I think it’s quite dramatic. Before it was kind of seedy,” says visitor Tom Carlson after seeing the updated lounge and meeting room for the first time.
“It’s so much nicer now, cleaner and more accessible, brighter,” he says.
Longtime members say the improvements are designed to bring in new business.
“We need to do something like this to help increase our rental income to keep the programs alive that we sponsor,” says Rehbein.
The American Legion supports veterans, their families and youth programs in the community. This latest project will continue the Post’s mission of “Honoring Tradition: Investing in our Future.”
“When you see it finished up, when you see it turn into what you really hoped it would be, yeah, it’s really, there’s really a lot of excitement,” says Rehbein.
From start to finish, the renovations cost about $400,000 dollars. The American Legion Post 37 is taking donations and booking events to help pay for the project.