By Marianne Mueller

Mixed Boy Scout Troops volunteered to clear tables, helped take garbage out, reset tables and helped in various capacities at the Walter Graham American Legion Post #332 Corn Boil.

A non-stop flow of friends, families and community entered the Rockton Center, (American Legion) on Sunday, Aug. 7 to support the legion’s mission at the 2022 corn boil. This year marks the 59th of this popular tradition brought to the public by the Legions Rifle Squad. Event Co-Chairs were Jim Griffin and Kary Krebs.

Lively conversations were heard as everyone enjoyed sweet corn, pork chops or brats, baked beans, tomatoes, and bread plus all the fixings.

These were offered until any item ran out.

Behind the scenes members of the Walter Graham American Legion Post 332 worked to assure that this year’s corn boil saw great success.

Extra fun was had as a 50/50 raffle was held, along with ongoing prize raffles where winners won awesome items donated from local businesses. Many took a chance on winning one of the top three prizes in a Grand Prize drawing.

Event Co-Chair, Kary Krebs kept the energy rolling as he announced raffle winners following the spin of the prize wheel. He credited all of the businesses and individuals who donated, the Sons of the Legion, Legionaries and non-Legionnaires.

Boy Scout Troops 619, 621, 614, and 615 made the event run even smoother by volunteering. The Rifle Squad, plus other volunteers also joined in. The Auxiliary served food and helped with clean up duties in the kitchen area.

This year’s First Place Grand prize raffle winner was Nick Nardulli. Earning second and place $500 winnings were Brad Watkins, and Char Walters. The winner of the 50/50 raffle was Jeanna McAffee.

The corn boil is the Legion’s only fundraiser. Money that is made on this event pays for uniforms. The Legion pays for these to honor Veterans who have passed away.

Established on Oct. 13, 1932, the Rockton American Legion’s mission is stated as “The nation’s largest wartime Veterans service organization.” The Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in communities while advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security and continued devotion to fellow service members and veterans.

The Walter Graham American Legion Post 332 serves year round. Various branches of the post make up a true family tree.

The sons of the Legion each have a Father, or Grandfather who have served our country.

The Riders are the motorcycle hub who generates the most funds. They donate money to help Veterans and support the food pantry by purchasing Christmas gifts to give to children who would not otherwise receive them. Riders do rides, and benefits such as “Operation USA.”

Legionnaires, Sons of the Legion, the Riders and the ladies Auxiliary give back million dollars per year to honor the legacy; helping kids go on to college who have lost a parent killed in action, or who are on active duty combat.

The Ladies Auxiliary is a service to our Military Veterans and families on active duty.

The Legion gives out yearly scholarships to deserving Hononegah High School seniors. Extra scholarships are awarded in the amount of $1,000 to those in their junior or senior year of a nursing program.

Students may also participate in the Legions essay program about our Government. Recipients from Illinois have won Nationals twice. On a regular basis different branches of the Walter Graham Post 332 American Legion family tree support Vets Roll by giving a generous donation.

Special events have been held to honor all who are serving in or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan. In 2021 then Department of Illinois ALA Chairperson Children and Youth, Sue Johnson organized a Birthday Bash for all children who have parents in the Military and the overall community.

The Little Black Dress event is organized by the ladies Auxiliary. Hundreds of supporters attended this year’s event netting a total of $7,500. The money that was raised will be used to assist veterans, families and the community organizations that extend a hand to help veterans.

Anyone who has any immediate family that has served our country is welcome to join the American Legion. Annual dues are paid after approval is given. Eligible members also may qualify to receive emergency funds covering up to $3,000 in expenses.

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