Shelby American Legion Post receives grant


LCRA and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representatives present a $19,095 grant to American Legion Post 602 Shelby for building renovations. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, front row, left to right, are: Kate Holman, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Bryon Balke, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative Board member; Lori A. Berger, LCRA Board member; and Robert “Bobby” Rinn, Austin County Commissioner. Middle row, left to right: Paul Burnside, Post 602 finance officer; Tom Rabb, Post 602 adjutant; Jerry Kubala, Post 602 commander; John Dennis, Post 602 member; and Kyle Merten, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative representative. Back row, left to right: Post 602 members Gene Sera, Steve Pavlicek, Lebert Brune and Milton Heintschel.

By Will Holford 

A $19,095 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative will help fund improvements to American Legion Post 602 Shelby, helping to ensure the building remains a valued part of the community.

The grant, along with matching funds of $4,774 from American Legion Post 602 Shelby, will pay for the installation of double-pane, energy-efficient windows and new exterior doors at the post, which has nearly 100 members. The funds also will cover the cost of painting the outside of the building and refinishing the existing flooring.

The 4,000-square-foot building moved to its current site in the late 1940s. Originally, it was built to serve as the World War II-era dining hall and barracks at Camp Swift in Bastrop “We’ve been patching up the building all along, but these old barracks just don’t last that long,” said Jerry Kubala, the commander of Post 602. “We have tried to take care of it as best we could, but some of it got away from us.

“The window frames are all bad, and the floor, we’ve had it redone in places, but you can almost see through it in spots,” Kubala said.

The improvements to Post 602 Shelby will ensure its viability as a meeting place for American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary members, as well as a community center available for weddings, family reunions and public events at a reasonable cost.

“The improvements will be very helpful,” said Kubala, who served in the U.S. Air Force. “Instead of just plugging along, repairing instead of replacing, we’ll do some needed replacing and have a nice-looking building for our community and our members.”

Chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919, the American Legion is the nation’s largest veterans service organization and is committed to mentoring youth, sponsoring wholesome programs in communities, advocating patriotism and honor and promoting continued devotion to U.S. service members and veterans.

The community grant is one of a number of grants recently awarded through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which provides economic development and community assistance grants to cities, counties, volunteer fire departments, regional development councils and other nonprofit organizations in LCRA’s wholesale electric and water service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted from Jan. 1-31, 2020. More information is available at

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