Minnesota American Legion Foundation and Hastings Post 47 team up to provide minivan to veteran

By Tim Engstrom

HASTINGS — Members of American Legion Post 47 in Hastings joined forces with Cottage Grove Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, Cottage Grove Lions Club and the Minnesota American Legion Foundation to help acquire a motor vehicle for a veteran in need.

Minnesota American Legion Department Service Officer Ray Kane said Post 47 Commander Dustin Speed and Post Service Officer Alex Fleming worked with Kane and Assistant Department Service Officer Janet Lorenzo to get the funding and to find a cooperative dealership. They found Lakeland Auto in Lakeland, a city on Lake St. Croix, south of Bayport. The dealer was able to provide a minivan within the price range.

The veteran needed the vehicle to be able to get the work. Kane said she has a long daily commute. She received the Dodge Caravan on Monday, Dec. 11.

Funding for the Dodge Caravan comes partly from the Minnesota American Legion Foundation’s Fund 85, which is the Minnesota Veterans Assistance Fund. Fund 85 is Department Commander Paul Hassing’s Project. He hopes to raise $100,000 for it by July 15 and stands at $36,856

He said Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and Lions Club also helped with the needs of the veteran’s family for the holidays.

“As the winter chill sets in, this heartening story serves as a reminder of the difference a community can make,” Kane said. “The team’s excitement and fulfillment are palpable, knowing that their efforts have significantly reduced the veteran’s commute, replacing a two-hour bus journey in the cold with a safe, reliable vehicle.”