WARREN - Janet Hatala said she's hoping that more people - especially military veterans - realize that American Legion Post 278 is still active in the city.
Legion Post 278 was chartered Dec. 10, 1919. It is the oldest veterans' organization in Trumbull County.
Hatala, post commander, joined several leaders at an open house Sunday at the Post building on North Park Avenue. She explained that the event was also a membership drive.
American Legion Post 278 members, from left, Janet Hatala, commander, Burt Harrold and Ernest Paugh conducted a membership drive during the post’s open house on Sunday at its building on North Park Avenue.
Tribune Chronicle / Virginia Shank
"We are hoping to drive up, renew interest and to build our membership back up. It's hard. We realize people are busy. We're just trying to do what we can to get the word out that we're still here, we're still active, we're still part of this community."
Veteran Burt Harrold said that the Post once had hundreds of members, peeking around 2,000 and averaging about 1,200.
However, in recent years the membership has dwindled to 61.
"We'd like to see more people involved," he said. "We've lost many members. Year to year, more and more of the older ones die and we haven't been able to recruit younger ones like we'd like to."
Hatala said the post is looking to expand to do more community service work and membership drives.
"We're trying to get out there, to let people know more about the post, to be involved and encourage them to join us," member Ernest Paugh said.
On Nov. 11, Veterans Day, the post will hold another open house after the parade. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Post building, 2237 N. Park Ave. Food and refreshments will be provided.
For more information call 330-314-4503.