Musicians will help American Legion Post 2 ‘raise the roof’

DOVER — Local musicians are hoping to not only raise the roof at the Walter L. Fox American Legion Post No. 2 on Saturday night, but to also bring in some money for much-needed repairs for the building when they take to the stage for a benefit.

Michele Stabley, manager of American Legion Post 2, said the backside of the roof on the facility at 835 S. Bay Road is in dire need of repair as water began leaking into restrooms and other areas from ceilings just more than a month ago, sparking immediate concern and causing future events to potentially be canceled.

“When this thing happened, we talked about our funds being so short that I told (American Legion Post 2) Commander Mike Windows that I think we’re going to have to reach out to the community,” Ms. Stabley said. “We always believe that the American Legion is supposed to do for the community, the community is not supposed to do for the American Legion. However, this was an emergency situation.”

It didn’t take long for word to spread before folks from June Jam, A to Z Cycles and former Cowboy Up owner Felicia Baker all made the decision to help their friends in need by organizing the “Raise the Roof!” benefit on Saturday at American Legion Post 2.

The benefit, scheduled to take place on Saturday from 4 until 11:30 p.m. (under 21 permitted until 10 p.m.), will include area bands such as Hooverville, Joey Fulkerson, Petting Hendrix, The Jimmy Cochran Band, as well as DJ Casey Coleman, while Mrs. Baker will be providing line dancing lessons.

There will also be auctions, 50-50 raffles and a cake wheel at the all-ages, smoke-free event, as well as food available, including chicken tenders, pulled pork and sausage platters, and more, until 9 p.m.

Ms. Stabley said June Jam organizers donated a 60-inch flat screen TV to raffle off and there are more than 60 pick-a-prize items up for auction so far.

Tickets can be purchased at American Legion Post 2 for $5 through Wednesday and will also be available for $10 at the door.

Ms. Stabley said that Bright Side Exteriors recently repaired the first section of the deteriorating roof at a cost of $16,800. Ideally, she said, the American Legion Post 2 is looking to raise $40,000 to replace the entire roof, front and back.

“The whole roof needs to be replaced,” she said. “We were just concentrating on spots above our bathrooms, which were very important to take care of so that we could continue to host events.

“Our roof is about 10 to 15 years old. There should have been a good warranty on the roof but the company that installed it went out of business, which left us in this bind.”

Commander Windows said Post 2 received some assistance from the community last summer and he is extremely grateful people are rallying around the post again.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “Our job, as Legionnaires, is where we take care of the community, so it’s very humbling that the community has stepped up for us to come and join and help us out, from A to Z Cycles, the June Jam people, everybody has just wrapped their arms around it and are trying to help us out. It’s really nice to have that.

“Our air conditioning system went down over the summer, so we relied on our pavilion and basically the community supported that big-time, helped us get a new air-conditioning system in here, and then we went from that problem to the roof problem. It’s like every time you turned around it was something else.”

Mr. Fulkerson said it was a no-brainer when he learned that the American Legion was in need of a hand or two.

“I have donated my time to local charities and individuals in need for as long as I can remember,” said the prominent Dover musician. “This community has supported my musical endeavors throughout my career so if I can contribute by playing and using my name recognition to draw people to the cause I feel it’s a small way to give back.

“I’m particularly proud to be a part of the local music community because time after time when a benefit or fundraiser is announced, the local bands are the first to get on board. I feel that is most cases (we) are out in front of the government or municipal agencies that are supposed to help in these tragedies or emergencies.”

Staff at the American Legion have developed a reputation for helping our worthwhile causes in the Dover area, including the Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity, Toys for Tots, Code Purple Kent County, veterans, SPCA, and other organizations.

That’s probably the biggest reason why so many have offered to turn the tables and try to help the Legion in its time of need.

As of Monday afternoon, 363 people were listed as interested in attending the fundraiser on the American Legion Post 2’s Facebook page.

“Biggest thing is this regime has reached out so much to different events for different organizations and the public has stepped up over and over again,” Ms. Stabley said. “The fact that they’re stepping up to help us means to the world to us. Without them, we can’t function.”

On its social media page, the Jimmy Cochran Band posted, “Help us support the American Legion organization. Great food, good drinks, cool people and The Jim Cochran Band doing the right thing!!”

Mr. Fulkerson made sure to point out that it’s not just the performers who are donating their valuable time and talents for the benefit.

“Let me say that while we performers get a lot of attention, the people who carry the heavy load on these events are the volunteers who organize, stump for donations and auction items and staff these events,” he said. “They are the true rock stars.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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