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Gustafson-Thompson Post Dedicates Legion Hall
One table at the Escalon American Legion Post is set but no one is there, signifying those POW-MIAs that never came home after going to war.
With an open house during the afternoon, there was an ample supply of food for visitors coming to see the renovated American Legion Post rooms in Escalon, with a brief dedication ceremony hosted as well.
Pastor Bill Barnett of Grace Community Church in Lathrop offered a prayer and a few remarks at the dedication of the newly renovated American Legion Hall in Escalon on Saturday afternoon.

With plenty of elbow grease, sweat, expertise and loving care, a group of volunteers helped renovate and update the Escalon American Legion Post rooms on Second Street.

An open house and dedication ceremony for Post 263 was hosted on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13, to celebrate the project.

Previously sharing the location at 1531 Second St. with the local C.A.R.E. food cupboard, the Legion was able to take over the entire building – which at one time served as Escalon’s post office – and begin the refurbishing work once C.A.R.E. found a new home.

Renovations to the kitchen, upgrading of bathrooms, an overhaul of the large meeting room, including the floor, and more have made for a bright, inviting Legion Hall for all.

With contributions from many corners, and volunteers helping keep the costs down, Post Commander Curtis Vaughn offered thanks to several key workers that have donated time and effort. They included George Tavares, Tom Converse, John Blowers, Bill Coleman, Gary Brenner and Mark Sward. All but Sward were able to attend on Saturday and were presented with special tokens of appreciation and a round of applause.

Pastor Bill Barnett of Grace Community Church in Lathrop was on hand to offer a special prayer and some remarks.

“It’s built on the sacrifice of many,” he noted of the Legion Hall, with members of the local Post now able to gather in comfort.

Vaughn said the volunteers did an incredible job.

“They’ve all been down here six months or more, working day and night, getting this place ready,” he said.

New doors will be added as a finishing touch, and Vaughn said as an ode to the Brayton and Hogan families – who were involved in the original construction of the building and who still support it with donations today – the new name of the Legion hall is the Brayton-Hogan Memorial Hall.

Those attending the open house on Saturday had a chance to tour the newly refurbished facility, including a back patio area for grilling, the handicapped accessible bathrooms, look at a variety of memorabilia and enjoy sharing in a smorgasbord of food.