Ashburnham Legion Post Hopes to Lure More Folks to Fundraising Fish Fry
By Amanda Burke
ASHBURNHAM -- The local American Legion Post is keeping true to tradition on Friday with its monthly fish fry, a fundraiser that has drawn the community together for the past 30 years.
But Ashburnham resident Christine Pierce, who sits on the auxiliary’s board, said Tuesday the fundraiser comes amid declining membership not only for the town’s American Legion Thomas P. Sweeney Post #142, but for legion posts across the country.
“Without support from our community, civic events including holiday ceremonies, parades, military sendoffs, care packages to active soldiers overseas and more are getting increasingly difficult,” Pierce wrote in a letter calling on the community to support the American Legion Post at 132 Williams Road, which was founded in 1955.
She said one way to support the legion is by attending its regular fish fry fundraiser, which takes place on the first Friday of every month.
On Sept. 7, Pierce said the legion will open its doors at 4 p.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., sell $9 tickets in exchange for a fish fry meal -- complete with a “huge piece” of fried fish, french fries and coleslaw.
Like other periodic legion fundraisers, money raised at the fish fry goes into the legion’s general fund, said Pierce.
The legion stages events for veterans and awards annual scholarships to select Oakmont Regional High School and Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical High School graduates, she said.
Pierce said fulfilling the legion’s mission is becoming increasingly difficult amid declining membership and community support.
Some, she said, incorrectly see American legion posts as little more than a pub.
Pierce said the legion is much more, it serves as a hub to help veterans connect with needed services, interact with those who relate to their struggles and teach younger generations about the value of patriotism.
“A lot of people think the American Legion is just a bar, or a place to hang out, but it’s not, it’s supposed to be a resource for finding help, to talk about what happened,” said Pierce.