If you’ve visited the towns of Wilton, Washburn or Underwood chances are you’ve seen the benefits of charitable gaming and you not realized it.
The donations provided by the Washburn American Legion to each of these towns as well as the surrounding areas are vast, and quite frankly too numerous to list them all. One thing we can list is that none of the Legion’s charitable contributions would be possible if they weren’t charitable gaming beneficiaries.
“There would be no money to give out,” said Legion Gaming Manager Terry Dworshak. “Before gaming we had to borrow money to help pay for legion baseball and in the fall, we had a chili feed where you got some chili and a couple cans of beer and that helped us pay off the loan.”
What started thirty years ago to support the Washburn American Legion baseball team has blossomed into a program that supports daycares, food pantries, museums, cemeteries, fire departments, ambulance services, community and senior centers, music boosters, sports boosters, youth soccer, Boys and Girls State Leadership Academy… the list goes on.
One project that excites Dworshak is the creation of a community park on Main Street in Washburn. The Legion was able to purchase an old, dilapidated building and tear it down. Over the next two years they will turn the space into a gathering space complete with a band shell, picnic area and bathrooms.
Now, baseball is easily supported every summer. And so are lots of other sports, as well as Washburn’s Memorial Hall. The beauty of it all is the money that’s wagered locally stays where it came from.
“We try to keep our money local. We get our money local, and we give it back local,” explains Dworshak.
The establishments that support the Washburn American Legion include Sportsmen’s Bar and Grill, County Line Café, Captain’s Cabin, The Riverboat Saloon, The Rusted Rail, Chester’s Tavern, Painted Woods Golf Course (seasonally).