St. Augustine, Fla. (May 17, 2016) – On June 14, 1777, the U.S. flag was adopted by the Continental Congress during the American Revolution. As a result, our Stars and Stripes are honored each year with a celebration on Flag Day, June 14. The same day, June 14, is recognized as the U.S. Army’s birthday. So it is only fitting that on the Army’s birthday this year, Tuesday, June 14, St. Augustine non-profit Forward March, Inc. will host a fundraising event benefiting one of the nation’s oldest organizations serving veterans. Scheduled to be held from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, the “High Heels and Hard Hats” event will help fund the restoration, furnishing and preservation of the historic Hamblen House, home of the C.F. Hamblen American Legion Post #37, one of the oldest Legions in America.
The event will provide invited guests with an exclusive opportunity to learn first-hand from representatives of Forward March, Inc. and # Post 37 about the historic legacy of the building and its evolution as an iconic St. Augustine landmark. The Hamblen property is an architecturally-significant structure located in the most prominent section of the historic heart of St. Augustine at One Anderson Circle. The facility is one of the only Legions in the U.S. that is open to the public, and upon reopening after the restoration, will offer a full-service restaurant, lounge, and catering and banquet facilities, with picturesque water views of Matanzas Bay. This makes it an ideal venue for the planned military museum, which will also be part of the restoration project.
The event is the brainchild of former Green Beret and Forward March President Ron Birchall and his wife, Nancy, to raise funds for the restoration project. The site will be a self-sustaining facility that will serve as a welcome center for active duty military members as well as a focal point for civic and community engagement.
“The American Legion is committed to mentoring youth, advocating patriotism, and promoting continued devotion to our fellow military members and veterans,” said Ron Birchall. “The American Legion Post #37 will not only serve as the centerpiece for veteran services in the St. Augustine area, but will also help galvanize citizens’ efforts in support of those willing to put their lives on the line in service to our country.”
Forward March, Inc. is a non-profit dedicated to increasing public awareness of and growing interest in the historic military heritage of the greater St. Augustine area. The group hosts educational programs with an emphasis on youth, charitable activities and community involvement. It also supports archaeological and restoration projects such as The Legion Legacy Project. The A.D. Davis Construction Company is renovating the building and working with historic preservation architect Les Thomas, and with interior designer Susan Goedert.
The “High Heels and Hard Hats” event will include complimentary food and beverages, a behind-the-scenes hard hat tour of the site, and an opportunity for guests to contribute funds to various aspects of the project. Appropriate donor recognition will honor those who help make the project a reality. Those interested in attending the event or making a donation may contact Forward March, Inc. at (904) 794-2883. For more information, please visit www.4wardmarch.org.