As members of the American Legion Magic City Post 24, their families and other members of the community danced the night away last Saturday night, they were also making a dinner for a soon-to-deploy National Guard company possible.
With ticket sales for the event serving as a fundraiser, Commander Buddy Jenkins decided to revive the long-dormant tradition of the American Legion Home in Bogalusa hosting a Christmas Dance.
“The Christmas Dance for the Legion used to be the big thing when I was in high school and college,” he said.
Fornea said the Legion now aims to hold the dance every year.
About 60 people attended, and enough money was raised to pay for the band, Midnight Special, the food at the dance and a dinner for HHC Headquarters Company of the 205th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard, which includes service members from Washington and surrounding parishes.
“We’re just going to show our support for them,” Fornea said.
The dinner is scheduled for Jan. 22, with about 60 guardsmen expected to attend. The following day, a ceremony for the company is set to take place at Southeastern Louisiana University. From there, the guardsmen will go to Fort Bliss, Texas until it is time for them to deploy to the Middle East, said Mike Henley, vice commander of the American Legion post.
As the dance got under way Saturday, Fornea presented the Commander’s Appreciation Award, “in recognition of outstanding and devoted service,” to Mervin Taylor, Iris Morris and Angelo Pepe.
American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 24, which is tasked with supporting the Legion post and was in charge of decorations, created a festive atmosphere for the dance.
“They’re a big, big help to us,” Fornea said.
Allenda Pigott, first vice president of the American Legion Auxiliary, reported that the event was a successful one.
“It’s going real well,” she said. “We’re having lots of fun.”