SUGAR GROVE – The Sugar Grove American Legion Post 1271 got a much-needed face-lift, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation.
The renovations to the building’s interior were completed June 7.
Late last year, staff at the American Legion reached out and applied to the Home Depot Foundation’s grant program that’s committed to supporting nonprofit veteran organizations such as American Legions and VFWs.
“Someone bumped into someone at Home Depot and found out about the grants,” Jaime Seil of the Sugar Grove American Legion said. “So we applied for a grant last year and now they’re here working.”
The Sugar Grove American Legion is the latest of more than 41,000 locations that have had their facilities transformed through the Home Depot Foundation, which has committed half a billion dollars to veteran-related causes since 2011.
According to the Home Depot website, “When it comes to supporting the brave men and women of our armed forces, we’re all in. Too many of our veterans and their families face major housing challenges, aggravated by issues like unemployment, age and service-related disabilities. Through nonprofit partnerships and hands-on volunteering, we work hard every day to improve the lives of veterans and their families.”
The Sugar Grove American Legion was able to elect how it would spend the funds and chose to make cosmetic changes.
“We could’ve done anything here, but we had to be cautious because we’re grandfathered in on a few things like the bathrooms, so there were some things that we could not touch,” Seil said.
The crews upgraded the LED lighting and installed new flooring throughout the Legion, as well as made improvements to the walls and the bathrooms.
“No matter how much I clean this or clean that, it’s pretty beat,” Seil said. “So this is really awesome for the Legion and we’re so thankful to Home Depot.”
Seil said that Trevor Sartain, commander of Sugar Grove American Legion Post 1271, got the ball rolling on the project before Seil and Mike Gibbs, financial officer of the American Legion, executed the remainder of it.
The work was done by Home Depot volunteers, with the American Legion remaining open during the week, but folks had to gather in the basement, just like they used to regularly.
“We’re being nostalgic and calling it a ‘Basement Throwback Party,’’’ Seil said. “We were in the basement before about seven or eight years ago before we came upstairs.”
Bartender Cori Koss said that in just the first two days after most of the work was completed, members and other guests have had wonderful things to say about the new look.
“Everyone says it looks beautiful,” Koss said. “The design and the colors. They did a wonderful job on this.”
Sugar Grove resident Joann Schoemann has enjoyed numerous visits to the American Legion over the years, but had never seen it look like it does now.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “They really did some beautiful work here.”
Located at 65 First St. in Sugar Grove, the American Legion is open to the public, unlocking its doors at 3 p.m. every weekday and at noon on weekends.