American Legionnaires gathered Saturday afternoon for a Hawaiian party to celebrate brotherhood, the community and multiculturalism, and raise money for organizational projects.

“We have a luau every year to help raise funds for one charity or another,” said post Vice Commander Tal Clayter. “In the past, money raised has gone to the battered women and children shelter, school supplies for area kids in need, supporting veterans and their families, and ROTC programs.”

While supporting the surrounding community, the American Legion also prioritizes supporting its members in any way possible.

“The American Legion fosters a brotherhood and bond with its members,” Clayter said. “My role with the Legion is to support, mentor, and be charitable with my fellow members and the community.”

This year, however, members hope to improve their current facilities with the money raised.

“The funds from this year’s party will go into our building maintenance covering a new roof for the post, a raised foundation, and just overall beautification of the premises,” Clayter said.

A nationwide organization, the American Legion has been serving United States military members and their families since 1919. With social functions like the luau, Post 573 offers a multicultural atmosphere.

“We are very excited to participate in this year’s luau,” said Helen Gomez, director of Pacific Heights Polynesian Dancers.

“The American Legion here in Harker Heights has always supported us when we needed a place to practice. When they asked if we could perform and help decorate for their luau this year, we were ecstatic to help them out.”

Herald/Erik Papke​

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