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Four-city American Legion finds home in the Dana Point Harbor

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By Andrea Papagianis

Dana Point has long been represented by military support groups, but until April the nation’s largest wartime veterans’ service organization, the American Legion, was absent.

On Monday, October 21, local leaders and members of the American Legion Post 281, serving Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills, gathered at the post’s new Harbor home, Adventura Sailing Association, to ceremoniously join the communities together.

“We are very fortunate in Dana Point,” said City Councilman Bill Brough, who serves as third commander. “We are privileged to have the 5th Marines supporting our troops and families at Camp Pendleton, the VFW being named one of the top posts in the nation, and now we are represented by the American Legion.”

Longtime legion member and commander of the new post, Bill Leber, long saw the need for a local arm of the organization.With the help of Mitch Redden with Wells Fargo Bank, Leber had the financial backing to get the Legion off the ground. The post began with just a 10 member board establishing bylaws, and in just six months has grown to include a Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of the Legion, Color Guard and Legion Riders.

Leber said people are amazed to find out how far the post has come since its beginning.

On this night, the second story reception hall at Aventura was bustling as representatives from each city, and county and state leaders applauded the board for their efforts.

“I love a regional approach to facilitating,” said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey. “Not only is it economical, it works and it gets us out of our city border mentality.”

The local legion will host a holiday fundraiser and boat parade of lights watching party on Saturday, December 14 at Adventura, 24707 Dana Drive. Tickets are $50. Visit, www.lnpost281.org for more information.

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