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Community News

Posted on: November 9, 2017

C.R. American Legion Vacating Current Building in December

The Coon Rapids American Legion continues its search for a new home.

The building on Crooked Lake Boulevard is being sold to the Northstar Community Church. And the church which will take possession in mid-December. But the sale of the building doesn't mean the Legion is going away.

On the corner of Crooked Lake Boulevard and Northdale Boulevard, the American Legion has been a place for fun and fellowship.

A variety of music inside has brought out the community. Senior dances were held on the second Wednesday of every month.

"Since 1989,...September 1989," noted American Legion Auxiliary member Arlene Wilson, who was there from the start. Today, about 80 seniors came out to dance to the beat of a two-piece Polka band.

"But today is going to be the last one as far as I know because the church,” Wilson paused. “They sold this Legion Club. The church bought it and, it's sad."

"We have to more or less, downsize," said American Legion Post Commander Erv Eckmann.

Erv’s wife Denise Eckmann manages the day to day business operations for Post 334. She says she not directly involved in the search for a new home.

'There's a group of four people that are looking for a new location. But so far they haven't found anything," says Denise.

Erv added, "We don't know exactly how much money we're going to have left over. So it's pretty hard to go out and find a place when you don't know how much you got to put into it."

Beyond the sale of the building, the American Legion is finding other ways to raise money. They plan to sell all of the furniture and fixtures inside the building with the help of Auction Masters, in an online auction. The auction will start in late November and expected to end on December 7.

The Post's charitable gambling and Bingo operation will continue across the street at Chanticlear Pizza Grill. The Post took over the restaurant’s charitable gambling last year.

"Right now we have the gambling license for Chanticlear Pizza across the street so we'll continue to have that because that's a separate license," Denise said.

She added that the first weekend in December will be the final days the Post will be open for business.

"On December 2nd we always have our breakfast with Santa and we didn't want to disappoint the children. So we're still having breakfast with Santa. And then that night, that Saturday night, we're going to have our customer appreciation night."

Any leftovers will be served for the Vikings game on Sunday.

"But I'm really going to miss this Legion Club,” said Wilson. “Lots and lots of memories here."

The American Legion Post 334 will have a customer appreciation event on Saturday, December 2.  The sale of the building is expected to close on December 14.

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