A new sidewalk and handicapped ramp are being completed at the Cedric. H. Shaw American Legion Post 86 Hall and will be ready in time for a free community ham and bean feed from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, at the Legion Hall.

A new handicapped-accessible entrance ramp to to the main floor of the Cedric H. Shaw American Legion Post 86 building in Pratt is almost complete. Volunteers helped pour concrete to finish the main access ramp on Monday afternoon.

As Legion members have aged, it became necessary to add a ramp to the front entrance of the building for easier access. Prior to that, members had to climb stairs to get to the main floor hall for activities, said Legion member Robert Fuzzell who designed the plans for the new ramp.

Fellow Legion members often had to help each other get in and out of the building for events.

“There was no handicapped access for events,” said Theresa Weathers, Legion Auxiliary. “We all got it together to enjoy the upstairs facilities.”

Businesses and individuals donated materials for the ramp project. Home Lumber donated most of the lumber, Rick Mason donated the concrete and Danny Quint donated the use of a tractor for dirt removal, Weathers said.

The members have done much of the work using the donated materials. The Legion purchased their hardware pieces from Home Lumber.

“The project was completed through a lot of hard work and generous donations,” Weathers said.

The project has taken several weeks to complete and will be completed in time for Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.

In celebration of Veteran’s Day, Post 86 is hosting a free ham and bean feed from noon to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 on the top floor of the Legion Hall at 601 East Third. This event is free and open to everyone in the community.

The Veteran’s Day ham and bean feed is longstanding annual tradition for the Legion. Other annual activities designed to create community involvement include an Easter egg hunt, a Santa’s Day donation of food bags with peanuts and candy to Achievement Place (boys home) and to Pratt Residence and Rehabilitation Center, the annual fireworks display at the Pratt County Lake sponsored by the American Legion Riders, the Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the Legion, Weathers said. A hog roast on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Besides these free events and activities, the Legion Auxiliary has a Poppy Fund available to help military families in need. If a family needs help with utility bills, prescriptions, a motel room during a hospital stay, gas for a vehicle or just in need of a hot meal, the Legion Auxiliary can help, Weathers said.

“We’re there for the families in the community,” Weathers said.

The Legion is seeking new members. To be eligible, a person has to be in the military or retired of have an immediate family member that was or is in the military. Members can join the Legion, Legion Auxiliary for ladies or Sons of the Legion.

To contact the Legion, call 620-508-6337 or contact Weathers at 620-388- 6862.

Jay Wirick is commander of Cedric H. Shaw American Legion Post 86 in Pratt. The Pratt American Legion is named after Shaw who was the first Pratt soldier killed in World War I.