Legislators cook breakfast for local veterans

Senator Tartaglione and Rep. Jason Dawkins cooked breakfast for veterans this past weekend.

Celebrating our veterans: State Sen. Christine Tartaglione and state Rep. Jason Dawkins cooked breakfast for the members of Lloyd C. Wilson Jr. Memorial American Legion Post 224 on Veterans Day. They also revealed a $1 million allocation for physical improvements to the post at 2006 Orthodox St. SOURCE: WILLIAM KENNY

State Sen. Christine Tartaglione and state Rep. Jason Dawkins cooked breakfast for the members of Lloyd C. Wilson Jr. Memorial American Legion Post 224 on Veterans Day, and the lawmakers revealed they had successfully obtained a $1 million allocation for physical improvements to the post as part of Pennsylvania’s recently enacted budget.

“I’ve been coming here for a long, long time. This is like home,” Tartaglione told the veterans and their guests. “There are other posts in my district, but this is the one I’ve been coming to the longest. This is the one I know the best. And I really want to thank you for your service.”

“We’re here to say, ‘Thank you. We really appreciate your service,’ ” Dawkins said. “But we want to take it a step farther. Together, we put in for a million-dollar allocation so we can start renovating and we can start acquiring other pieces to make this into the place we know it should be.”

The allocation will be tied to $1 million in matching funds that must be obtained from other sources. Tartaglione and Dawkins are confident that one or more private-sector organizations will contribute to the cause.

“The first step has already passed the legislature. The governor has signed it. It’s allocated for Post 224,” Dawkins said.

Founded in 1987, the post, at 2006 Orthodox St., is home to about 50 American Legion members representing all five U.S. military branches, along with about 40 members of its sons division and about 20 members of its ladies auxiliary.

The building is in need of significant improvements, according to Commander Guy D. Lewis. Members have been growing their own building fund in recent months. The state allocation will provide their ongoing efforts with a major boost.

“We have needs from bottom to top, inside and outside, interior and exterior,” Lewis said. “This was a total surprise. It’s like a dream come true.” ••