The Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 (1624 E. Broadway Rd.) in Phoenix, a veterans service organization dedicated to giving back to the South Phoenix community, will host a grand re-opening ceremony and breakfast on Tuesday, July 2, from 8 to 9 a.m., to celebrate its recent makeover and the start of a new chapter for South Phoenix veterans and community members.
Post 65 received generous donations from community sponsors and partners in the update of its building. The Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 was chartered in 1946, and the name was changed from R.H. Hamilton to Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 on April 17, 2010. Prior to this major makeover, the building had not received any upgrades in 20+ years.
The grand re-opening ceremony will feature special guests, including Arizona Attorney General, Mark Brnovich; Arizona State Senator for District 27, Rebecca Rios; Arizona State Representative for District 27, Reginald Bolding; Phoenix Vice Mayor from District 2, Jim Waring; Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from District 5, Steve Gallardo; Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services Director and COL U.S. Air Force (Ret.) Wanda A. Wright; and the Founder of the HeroZona Foundation, Post 65 Member and U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran, Alan “AP” Powell. Powell was the leader of the Post 65’s donations efforts.
During the grand re-opening ceremony, Post 65 will honor all of the companies and organizations that assisted with the updates. Founder and the Co-Chairmen of the Arizona Corporate Council on Veterans Careers, Post 65 member U.S. Navy Rear Adm. (Ret) Hal Pittman, and USAA Phoenix Regional VP and U.S. Army Col. (Ret), Greg DeBernard will present certificates of appreciation to organizations that supported the facility upgrades.The ceremony will be moderated by the Former Democratic Leader of the Arizona State House of Representatives, Art Hamilton; the Pledge of Allegiance will be given by Travis L. Williams Post 65 S.A.L. Commander, Dennis E. Prince; the National Anthem will be sung by Air Force Technical Sgt. for Religious Affairs at the Goldwater Arizona National Guard Base, Lisa Cimino, and the invocation will be led by Senior Pastor from Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Terry Mackey. Breakfast will be provided from Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering, and will be sponsored by Sonoran Technologies Founder and former U.S. Air Force combat pilot, Paul Smiley.
“The makeover of the Post has given the veterans, members and the community a chance to see a better tomorrow through collaboration, programs and change. There are many people we have to thank, but our collaboration with the Herozona Foundation has provided the Post with many new opportunities and the chance to change our present. The Post will embrace that change in order to move forward. We look forward to celebrating our Nation’s birthday with the grand re-opening of the Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65,” says Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 Commander, Jarvis Reddick.
Companies assisting in the upgrades include Crescent Crown Distributing; Precise Sign Co.; The Phoenix Suns; Sentinel Fence & Contracting; Kenyon Architectural Studio; Mesa Airlines; Fortis; Shade Industries; Cox Communications; CPM Air LLC; Robson Resort Communities; Canyon State Roofing & Consulting; Impact Landscaping; Salt River Project (SRP); Lowe’s Home Improvement, Sunland Asphalt, Swire Coca-Cola and Arizona Public Service (APS). Additionally, local artist Adam Vigil (aka ABOMB The Artist), who created custom military murals on the walls of the interior and exterior of the building, will be presented with a certificate of appreciation.
“We are honored by the support we have received from local businesses, the City of Phoenix; Phoenix Mayor, Kate Gallego; City of Phoenix Vice Mayor, Jim Waring, and Phoenix City Manager, Ed Zuercher, who assisted us in the permit process of the much needed updates to the Travis. L. Williams American Legion Post 65. The makeover will enable Post 65 to better serve the public and continue to host much needed community experiences and events,” says Powell.
The Travis L. Williams Post 65 is made up of 900 members, including the Sons of the American Legion, Lady Auxiliaries and Legionnaires. Their four pillars include assisting: veteran affairs and rehabilitation, national security, Americanism and children/ youth. The legion hosts annual community programs for the South Phoenix community in partnership with the HeroZona Foundation. Community programs include Phoenix Tools 4 School, Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway, Holiday Bike Giveaways, MLK Celebrating the Dream, Memorial Day Salute to Veterans Block Party, Play It Forward: Engaging Our Youth Through the Arts, Veterans Reach to Teach: Veterans Who Served Our Country Now Serve Our Classroom, and the HeroZona Forgotten Heroes Breakfast.
“The Travis L. Williams American Legion Post 65 was named after my father who was a WWII veteran. He and his brother, Daremon Wayne Williams, purchased the land and created the structure in the early 50s. It has continually been owned and operated by African Americans since the day my father purchased it. Through the good and bad times, he always made sure that the Post 65 occupied the building. To have the Post 65 be renamed after my father is a great honor and to be alive to see the new changes and improvements to the building would have made my father and his brother very proud,” says the son of Travis L. Williams and Maricopa County Judge, Cody Williams.”