Tonawanda Band holds concert to save their home
The band held a concert Sunday evening at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda to benefit the American Legion Post #264; a hometown organization that has sponsored them since 1929. The band has practiced at the post for years and considers the building, their home away from home.
“There’s a long time history between the band and the post. They have a great need right now and we really wanted to help them,” said Band President, Dave Abrahamian.
The legion requires a great deal of expensive repairs, starting with a new air conditioning unit and heating system. They also have to replace the floors, fix the elevators and update electrical work. Unfortunately for the post, they do not have enough resources to pay for it.
“They need more patronage at the post,” said Post Chaplain Bill Poole. “Our treasurer has said that with the cost of operating the post, we are likely to be broke this fall. I’m much more optimistic than that. I know we can do fund-raisers and get the word out to have people come join us and help save our building,” and the American Legion Band tried to do just that.
Tickets were sold for $12 at the door, $10 pre-sale, and $8 for children. The two hour concert started at 7:30 and ranged from classics and instrumentals, to patriotic music.
Although Abrahamian said the concert was a nice start, the band was not able to raise as much money as they had hoped for. After expenses, the proceeds going to the post only totaled $1,700.
“They’re gonna have to do quite a bit of other fund-raisers because the work is substantial,” he said. “The post is open to the public, they just need people to rent the halls and use it so they can bring in income.”
Another problem the post faces is the age of its members; the average being 75 to 80 years.
“The majority is very elderly and they can’t take part in post activities,” said Poole. “We really need young blood to come forward and help with ideas for fund-raisers.”
The post would like to remind the community that their building is still available for parties, events, weddings, and bingo. The organization has sponsored many local baseball teams, remained active with the Canal Fest; and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of the Tonawandas.