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

Spring 2015 Post Crashers Activities

Initial Post Crasher sessions

Northfield, September 6, 2014

In honor of the September 11 National Day of Service, on Saturday, September 6th, 2014, from 8:30am-12:30pm, 70 students from Northfield Community Middle School, parents, other members of the community and veterans, “crashed” the American Legion Post 265 on Mill Road in Northfield. 

This was the first “Post Crasher” event, part of a yearlong project to refurbish our veteran’s American Legion Post so that it can serve as a community hub. The students and other volunteers were led by Mrs. Mary Ann
Devine, the National Junior Honor Society advisor at NCS, and Dr. Carol Ferguson, a parent and community member. The “Post Crasher” project supplements the numerous events held at Northfield Community 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
organizations.  When the American Legion took over permanent residence in the 1950s – 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 Mrs. Devine and Dr. 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.  The students won!  Mark Doherty, the Commander, said, “He was overwhelmed by the student and community support and surprised by how much they accomplished in such a short time.”

   Mrs. Devine, Mr. Doherty 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 the September 6th event, and Sherman Williams in Northfield donated painting supplies and the base paint for the next Post Crash event on October 25, 2014.  Funds were also gathered through donations and a community event held at Rita’s in Northfield. The veterans of the American Legion Post 295 cooked the volunteers a lunch when they finished for the day.


  Future Post Crashing days include: more yard work, finishing 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. They would love to add 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. In the spring, Mrs. Devine and Dr. Ferguson would like bring back the students to create a Victory Garden for the veterans to utilize for fresh vegetables and the local community food bank.  The Victory Garden Post Crasher culminating event will be held on April 17, 2015, during Global Youth Serve Day. 

 .  If you would like to volunteer or donate or have questions, please contact Mark Doherty, Post Commanderat [email protected], Mary Ann Devine at [email protected] or Carol Ferguson at [email protected]


If you would like to see what was accomplished: