LONG LAKE - The St. Patrick's Day celebration will last a bit longer in Long Lake.

American Legion Post 650 will host a St. Patrick's social hour and dinner Saturday, March 21. All veterans and friends are invited to attend the 5:30 p.m. social hour at the Owl's Head Pub and the 6:30 p.m. dinner buffet at the Long Lake Diner.

Reservations may be made by calling 624-3873 on or before March 16. The entire meal will cost $18. There will be a 50/50 raffle to help raise funds for Post 650.

In 1919 the American Legion was chartered by Congress, forming a community service non-for-profit organization for war-time veterans. Today there are 15,000 American Legion Posts and 3 million members.

American Legion Riders is a more recent program, founded 1993. Its members consist of American Legion members and/or their spouses who are motorcycle enthusiasts. Their most notable effort is the Legacy Run, which takes place in August. Motorcyclist ride a 1,000 mile circuit and the proceeds go toward academic scholarships for the children of servicemen killed in active duty since the 9/11 attacks.

The American Legion has a variety of youth programs from academics to sports. Boys Nation/State was formed in 1935 and allows participants to become part of the operation of local, county and state governments. The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors a similar program for young ladies called Girls State.

Other youth programs are baseball, shooting,scouting, and CWF - child welfare fund.

The American Legion Hamilton Post 650 assists its community by helping to take care of local widows and widowers, it has a scholarship fund for high school students and also participate in the statewide essay contest.

The war in Iraq has created a new generation of veterans. Post 650 is always looking for members to help assist the veterans coming home and their families.

The next meeting of Post 650 is March 18. For more information contact the Commander and County Commander John Hosley at 624-4481.

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