American Legion MX15

Nov 4, 2012 by Rob Baylor

As you drive South on Highway 8 from AZ and cross the border you feel the tension lifting off you like an old blanket. You are on vacation! Time to do whatever you want! Eat good food, drink cold liquids, or relax on the beach. Maybe fishing is on your mind. Not experienced? No problem. The local charter boat captains can help you. They furnish the bait, the tackle, and the experience to take you where you will catch a lot of fish.

My fishing partner Paul Raddatz and I have such a captain. His name is Francisco Peinado and his boat is the La Princesa. Paul and I go out every 2 weeks or so to catch fish for the food program at the American Legion, which is located north of the Pink Cadillac on Chihuahua and Matamoras. The Post winter hours are 11 to 7, Sunday through Saturday.

The Mexican people are a proud and hearty people. When the economy slump started a lot of construction workers, service people in restaurants, bars, hotels and motels lost their jobs. They resorted to washing cars, cleaning windshields, anything they could do to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. Sometimes this is not enough, that’s where the American Legion comes in.

Our food program is run by volunteers like Paul, his partner Barb, Joy Del Louis and several others. The food fund is supported by people like you who donate used or new clothes, appliances (for our garage sales) or food. Every Wednesday Paul and others get together at the Post to put together a box of food that matches the number of people in a family. He then delivers the boxes to the families. Paul always has a sweet treat for the kids and they love him. If you don’t help him you don’t get to share all the hugs and kisses he gets!

At present we feed about 120 people.  The criterion is based on the following;

1. No transportation to get to one of the other places to eat.

2. There must be elderly people living in the house

3. They must have a real need for our help

These people won’t accept the food if they don’t need it. I have seen them politely refuse the food because dad worked a couple days and made enough money for him to buy their own.    The families use everything we give them so if you are leaving to go back to the states and have some leftovers (meats, cheeses, milk, anything) take it to the American Legion. It won’t be wasted, even if we have to make a special trip to deliver it.

We have yard sales, raffles, and dinners all winter in order to help buy the food. We also have a donation jar behind the bar at the Post. The food fund receives a monthly budget from the club’s proceeds so when it is slow in the summer that fund gets pretty low and we end up digging into our own pockets. To continue this program we need help of any kind from everyone.

There is room on our boat for a total of 6 fishermen / women, so if you would like to go with us email me at irretired04@gmail.com with your phone number and I will call you to set it up.  You will have a good time, and feel good that you are helping these families.

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