Initial Post Crasher sessions


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Northfield, September 6, 2014, updated March 20, 2016


In honor of the September 11 National Day of Service, on Saturday September 6, 2014, from 8:30 am - 12:30 pm. 70 students from Northfield Community Middle School, parents, other members of the community and veterans "Crashed" the American Legion Post 295 on Mill Road in Northfield.

This was the first "Post Crasher" event part of a multi-year project to refurbish our veteran's American Legion Post so that it can serve as a community hub and provide the service that is our mission. The American was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities advocating patriotism and honor promoting strong national security and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.


The students and other volunteers were led by Bradley Ferguson, Post Crasher service-learning student club founder, Mrs. Maryann Devine, the National Junor Honor Society advisor at NCS, Mr. Steve Vain-7th grade Social Studies teacher at NCS and Dr. Carol Ferguson, a parent and community member. The "Post Crasher" project supplements the numerous events held at Northfield Community School and Mainland Regional High School that honors our veterans and their service. Northfield Community School is the only School in the country, and the only site in NJ that is recognized as a Veterans Day Regional Site.  


The Harvey D. Johnson American Legion Post building on Mill Road was built in 1920 and used by several organization. When the American Legion took over permanent residence in 1945, the building was given its last makeover with dark wood paneling inside! The members of the Post range from 56 to 88, with the oldest two members having been the most active. However, as the veterans aged, so did the post. Younger members have joined - Mark Doherty, the new Post Commander and Dennis Mahon, have been trying to bring the Post back to life, when Bradley Ferguson contacted them about the idea of students helping with some work. What was originally a small idea has morphed into what will be a long term, many post crashing event. 


After an "Extreme Home Makeover" type greeting, the veterans thanked everyone for coming out. Two groups were formed and given instructions for the morning. The inside group, who were fortunate to work in air conditioning, taped the walls, and primed the walls with Killz primer. The outside group, who worked in the heat and humidity had the task of removing vines, underbrush and trimming trees on the 4 back lots behind the Post. The students had fun - even having a tug of war with a 30 - 40 foot vine that was tangled in some trees.  T.he students won! Mark Doherty, the Commander said "He was overwhelmed by the student and community support and surprised by how much they accomplished in a short time.  Bradley Ferguson, Mr. Doherty, Mr. Vain and Dr. Ferguson have formed a Post Crasher Committee for the Post and they are hoping to get the Northfield Community and businesses involved in some way with the Post Crashing events. Dunkin Donuts of Northfield donated donuts and coffee for several events. Funds were also gathered from several grants (totaling over $ 50,000) written by Bradley Ferguson, which included Katies Krops, Key Club, GYSD, GenerationOn Family  volunteers and others.


In Past Post Crashes we did yard work, finished painting the community hall (at least 2 more coats),updating the bathrooms, kitchen, lighting fixtures, and eventually upstairs meeting room.  The post would love to add on a full size kitchen for the hall and new bathrooms, along with a shed out back for their mower, grill and other tools. We are currently in the process adding an open shelter pavilion and picnic tables for the community to use when they use the hall.  The Post also needs to update its electricity, plumbing, ceiling, flooring, and needs a new roof and HVAC system. The

upstairs post meeting room needs ‘House Crashers’ with licensed contractors to come in and help.


Last year, Post Crashers combated poverty and addressed food security by growing 500 lb of produce. This year we will double the size of the garden at the Post and add additional gardens at other locations. Our goal is to grow 2000 lbs of produce for those in need through our various gardens. Also this year, we will continue to refurbish Post 295 so that it can serve as a meeting place for our veterans as well as a much-used community center in addition to becoming an outreach program for veterans and all members of our community in need.


If you would like to volunteer or donate or have questions, please contact Mark Doherty, Post Commander at mbdoherty@comcast.net, Dr. Carol Ferguson at ​cfergui@gmail.com, or Bradley Ferguson at bradley.b.ferguson@gmail.com




     

If you would like to see what was accomplished:






Spring 2015 Post Crashers Activities

Harvey d. Johnson American legion post 295

This video is a submission to the White House Film Festival 2015 from students grades 5-8 from Northfield Community School who volunteer for the American Legion Post 295 in Northfield, NJ.Added 1/27/17


If you would like to volunteer or donate or have questions, please contact Mark Doherty, Post Commander at mbdoherty@comcast.net, Dr. Carol Ferguson at ​cfergui@gmail.com, or Bradley Ferguson at bradley.b.ferguson@gmail.com