BUCKEYE — Many nonprofits need some kind of help from the private sector — at least once in a while.
That’s what American Legion Hazelton-Butler Post 53 in Buckeye received last week when a new air condition was installed in its facility — courtesy of Chas Roberts Air Conditioning and Plumbing.
For the 13th year of its annual program, Roberts decided to award three families and one nonprofit in need with new AC units.
Legion 53 Commander Les Manuel said he and the 100 other post members are extremely grateful.
“I don’t know exactly how old the previous system was, but it was old, and only two vents were working. It wasn’t doing the job,” Manuel said. “Especially when we were right at capacity for an event.”
Manuel said the American Legion Auxiliary for Post 53 does helps to support the post and the community. A auxiliary member heard about Roberts’ program and a decision was made to apply for the program.
Sissie Roberts Shank, president and CEO of Chas Roberts, said in a news release that cool conditions are essential in Arizona homes and veteran nonprofits.
“We all know the dire necessity of a working AC unit in Phoenix during the summer, so we try to do our part to help those in our community that may be struggling,” Shank said.
The three air conditioning systems donated to local families this year went to Julia Allgrove of Glendale, Jeff and Melissa Christ of San Tan Valley and Margie Aragon of Phoenix.
The Cool Play Giveaway, now in its 13th year, was started by Roberts Shank, the second-generation leader Chas Roberts. It’s to help local families or organizations undergoing a hardship and in need of a new AC system.
The system hardware is donated by manufacturers such as Lennox, Carrier and Goodman. The large number of touching stories submitted, along with the generosity of Lennox, according to the release, meant Roberts was able to award four new systems this year.
Post 53 is a volunteer-based group that works to assist veterans in need. It sponsors local high school students on trips to events such as Girls State and Boys State, presents awards to JROTC students, hosts events for the community and more.
The AC unit at the Buckeye Community Services Center has needed many repairs during the past few years, and contributions have gone to cover expenses of these repairs. As a result, Manuel said, programs have suffered.
The new AC unit will allow the organization to host events and be a home for the community’s veteran members.
Smiley Crane provided crane service for the roof-installed unit.
Manuel said LGI Home Builders will donate toward one of the many other repairs or upgrades the hall needs.
“There’s a whole list of things.” Manuel said. “There are leaks that need to be sealed. A flashing needs to be replaced. We need to remove windows on the west side.”
Manuel said there are always ways a Legion post or other veterans organizations try to find to honor servicewomen and men of various eras. For example, a small group recently traveled to Nevada to look at a howitzer gun that could potentially be brought to Buckeye and displayed outdoors.
Manuel said Buckeye Vice Mayor Craig Huestis supports that effort.