By Mary O’KEEFE
On Saturday the American Legion Post 288 celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a lot of green and a lot of corned beef.
“We had 170 [dinner reservations],” said Mike Baldwin of Post 288.
Post 288 has had a St. Patrick’s Day dinner for years, however until about two years ago it was only offered to members of the post.
“We have been doing this for 25 years but never like this,” Baldwin said. “Darren Azarian [two years ago] suggested to open it to beyond our post. We weren’t making enough money [with only members]. Last year we raised three times the amount as we had in past years.”
Azarian is the 2014-15 third vice commander of Post 288; for this upcoming term he has been nominated for first vice commander.
Post 288 raised more money this year in part due to the silent auction that Azarian suggested adding to the festivities.
“We cleared $1,100 on the 50/50 raffle, which is $400 more than last year, and almost three times what we used to raise before Darren stepped up and expanded our base,” Baldwin said.
Although the figures are still being tallied, it is estimated the event raised over $3,000. Half of those funds are earmarked for student organizations that are supported by Post 288 like Prom Plus, Crescenta Valley High School JROTC, Venture Crew, Boy Scout Troop 288 and Rosemont CJSF (California Junior Scholastic Foundation). The other half will go toward supporting scholarships and Boy’s State, a program for junior high school students that the post sponsors.