EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY)- For over a century, the American Legion Post 25 in El Centro, has served veterans, military families and the community in the Imperial Valley.
Bob Candland, the Judge Advocate for the post said, "It is a place for good fellowship and camaraderie. And a place for veterans to come and not only just to enjoy themselves and their family. But it's also a place that veterans can help the community and work within their community on different projects."
But two weeks ago, the legion was forced to close their doors when they were in violation with the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, by serving alcohol to someone who wasn't a member or a guest of one.
Tracy Rascoe, a member of the Executive Board of the post recalled, "Then the other agent that was with him approached the volunteer bartender said that you just served an agent. We need to have a discussion."
Closing during the holidays hurt the post. As they relied on sales from their lounge to operate.
"The services that are offered help contribute to our lounge sales. Which ends up being about 90 percent of allowing us to maintain our facility," said Rascoe.
Post officials said they're complying with the department and will use this experience to improve their protocols and better train their volunteers.
Candland said, "Those are the kind of things that have to be done otherwise organizations don't drive on. They don't succeed. This organization is succeeding. Because we've reacted to it in a positive way. We're open to it. And we're moving forward with it."
And adding a fresh coat of paint to the lounge and upgrades to the kitchen.
Rascoe added, "Having a new hood system that allows us to our equipment that we have and haveing the air conditioner to allow to cool our volunteers and keep them in a comfortable place that's huge."
Rascoe said they plan on re-opening the post this Saturday, January 4.