In Bardstown, Kentucky, the American Legion stands as a pillar of support for veterans and locals alike. In an interview with Commander Al, the driving force behind the American Legion's initiatives, we delved into the organization's commitment to service, its innovative approach to fundraising, and the introduction of skill games to further its mission.
Bardstown, a quaint town with a population of around 10,000, may seem small, but the American Legion's reach extends beyond its borders. Encompassing three different counties – Marion, Washington, and Nelson – the Legion serves as a beacon of hope for veterans in need. Commander Al emphasizes their primary goal: raising funds to assist veterans both financially and through essential services provided by their service officers.
The Legion's impact is tangible. Al recounts the story of a veteran who lost his home in a fire. Thanks to the funds raised, the Legion was able to provide shelter for him during a difficult time. As veterans age and face mobility challenges, the Legion steps in by constructing ramps, making their lives more accessible. The Legion doesn't merely exist within the confines of its building; it actively engages with the community to uplift those who have served.
Amidst their commitment to aiding veterans, the American Legion sought new avenues to generate revenue. This search led them to the world of skill games. Al explains that the decision to introduce Burning Barrel skill games was rooted in the desire to create a sustainable source of income for the Legion. Burning Barrel, with its element of skill, intrigued Al, and he believed it could be a unique and engaging way to raise funds.
What sets these skill games apart is the use of skill. Al highlights that it's not just about pulling a lever; it's a test of skill and strategy. As Al stated, "It's not pulling a lever and whatever comes up; it involves skill and looking at your picture that comes up and see if you can use your wildcard to create a tic tac toe." He has personally played the game, acknowledging a learning curve but expressing optimism that as more people understand it, the game will gain popularity.
The American Legion is not only about fundraising; it's about fostering connections within the community. Al shares a heartwarming tale of Bardstown High School students surprising the Legion with a giant banner, signed by students, on Veterans Day. The Legion reciprocated by presenting an American flag and teaching the art of flag folding to the students. This event served as a bridge, connecting generations and educating the youth about the Legion's purpose.
Explaining the Legion's significance to the community, Al notes that the Legion is known for its generosity. When people in Bardstown need help, they turn to the Legion. Whether it's providing a venue for a fundraiser or supporting a family facing adversity, the Legion is a dependable source of assistance.
Al reiterates that the funds generated from these skill games will primarily go towards supporting veterans, emphasizing that this remains the Legion's core mission. However, the Legion's commitment to the community goes beyond veterans, extending a helping hand wherever it is needed.
The American Legion in Bardstown, Kentucky, stands as a testament to the power of community, service, and innovation. In weaving skill games into their fundraising strategy, they not only embrace modernity but also provide a fun and engaging way for people to contribute to a noble cause. The impact of Burning Barrel skill games for the American Legion is indeed more than a game; it's a lifeline for veterans and a beacon of support for the community they proudly serve.
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Disclaimer: The above interview reflects experiences from when Burning Barrel skill games were previously operating in Kentucky. The games have since been disabled in compliance with state law. If you are interested in supporting skill games in Kentucky, please visit www.joinkymac.com.