The American Legion Guntown Post in Trout Creek has been renovated and is accessible to the public, thanks to state grant support and the work of a local assemblyman and post members.

"It's amazing what happened to this place," Post Vice Commander Mike Spaccaforno said in a prepared statement. "At one point, it was practically in shambles, and now members of the post and the community have used it for family and social gatherings.''

The post honored state Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-Guilford, at a ceremony at the hall Friday night, and gave him a "Friend of the Legion" plaque, according to a media release. Guests were served chicken dinners during the event.

Spaccaforno said the post has become ``a place for all of the community to enjoy,'' thanks to Crouch, who represents the 107th Assembly District.

"He was instrumental in assisting us to acquire grant money to refurbish our post," Spaccaforno said. ``He is an invaluable asset to his constituents and he is for our cause. We cannot thank him enough."

Crouch said the money is taxpayer dollars through the state Legislature, which he directed through a member item to better a local organization's property for the benefit of the community.

The post was granted two member items of about $3,000 each during the past five years, Crouch said, and the post members added to the funding with ``a lot of sweat equity,'' including installing a tile floor, to improve the building.

``It's a nice asset for a small community like Trout Creek,'' Crouch said Monday night. ``It looks good.''

Also, the post membership has grown to about 45 members from six years ago, Crouch said.

The building had been donated by a member many years ago, Spaccaforno said in the release, and over time it had deteriorated as funds were lacking to keep up with maintenance.

"It got to the point that it was in total disrepair and almost unusable," Spaccaforno said.

Several years ago, some post members began to repair the hall so that its members could use it for more than meetings. A new floor, plumbing, heating and a working kitchen are among repairs and improvements, members said, and more work remains.

Members of the women's auxiliary worked on decorations, and a resident donated time to paint a mural representing the five branches of the military services.

"It's a place where we continue our service to our country and community while not in uniform,'' said Strat VanVulkenburg, post commander, in the release. ``The community should be able to enjoy it as well."

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