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Legion launches campaign





American Legion Post No. 173 in Hays has launched an effort to renovate its facility for veterans and community members.

The American Legion Revitalization Campaign seeks to raise $200,000 to give the building at 1305 Canterbury a facelift, said Lisa VanHorn, manager and ladies auxiliary president.

The first phase, which cost $50,000, almost is finished.

The ballroom was repainted and new flooring will be installed, along with a media center.

The space is designed to accommodate events from weddings to business meetings. Community groups can request to use the space for free.

"By making this facility better, we're helping our veterans in our community. And by our community helping us, we can help our community," VanHorn said.

VanHorn said she hopes the updates will make the building "more inviting."

"Quite honestly, we've had comments, 'Well, we drove by. We didn't realize that was the American Legion. It looks just kind of like an abandoned warehouse,' " she said.

"That kind of hit home. This is for our veterans, and people driving by don't even realize that."

VanHorn manages the facility with her husband, Kevin, post commander.

The pair and other volunteers share resources with veterans. A restaurant within the private club serves Legion members.

Any surplus from donations will be applied for scholarships to high school students or an emergency fund for veterans, she said.

Those who donate will be given a receipt because gifts are tax-deductible.

Checks can be addressed to American Legion Post No. 173 and sent to 1305 Canterbury in Hays or P.O. Box 384, Hays, KS 67601.