S E RVI CE by Linda A. Thornton
A Lesson in Community Spirit Jarrell’s American Legion Post
very year, Jarrell’s American Legion chapter awards college scholarships in an effort to support high school students in the next chapter of their lives. The Joe Kott American Legion Post 317, named for a Jarrell World War I veteran, has been sponsoring community programs since 1938. One of these initiatives includes presenting nine scholarships to area youth with
For scholarship committee chair Wally Sinnwell and American Legion officers Mary and Frank Simek, managing the group’s data is a labor of love as they undergo the challenging task of choosing among so many worthy young people. Qualified applicants are well-rounded students in good academic standing and have a family member who served in the military. The essay and application portion give the judges a glimpse into the students' goals and committee members agree it is sometimes hard to believe the eloquent, well-crafted responses have been written by high school students. Not so surprising is that some of their awardees also graduate with a college associate degree, thanks to a dual enrollment program.
PHILANTHROPY MISSION Always in search of their next donation opportunity, the Legion recently donated $5,000 each to the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters at Jarrell and Salado high schools to help them purchase cargo trucks to haul their equipment to area competitions.
L-R: Frank Simek, Jenna Dozier, Luke Payne, Karina Salas, Mary Simek Photo by Nick Spinetto
a family member who served in the military. Awaards are divided among students at Jarrell, Salado, and Florence high schools. Members are proud of the fact that, in just four short years, they have been able to increase their scholarship awards from $500 to $2,000 per student.
In addition to awarding scholarships and grants, the Jarrell American Legion provides career, health, and financial counseling to veterans and helps them file claims with the Veterans Affairs Department. Veterans are welcome to join the Legion, and those who haven’t served in the military but still want to make a difference can join The American Legion Auxiliary or the Sons of the American Legion.
The organization belongs to the people it serves and the communities in which it thrives. ~Post 317 mission statement
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J U N E 2022 M Y JA R R ELL M O NT HLY