LCRA, Bandera Electric Co-op award $25,000 grant to Bandera American Legion


New electrical system, LED lighting will help American Legion Post 157 provide enhanced space for community gatherings

LCRA and Bandera Electric Cooperative representatives present a $25,000 grant to Bandera American Legion Post 157 for building upgrades. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured seated, from left to right, are: Richard Evans, Bandera County judge; Dennis Birchall, American Legion adjutant; Dr. Theresa Schulz and Roderick “Rod” Goff, American Legion members-at-large; Kati Fitzpatrick, BEC communications specialist; Charity Huber, BEC marketing and communications manager; Hannah Culak, BEC marketing design specialist; and Callie Cargile, BEC marketing specialist. Standing, from left to right, are: Rick Olivarez, American Legion 2nd vice president of programs; Marcie Perez, American Legion member-at-large; Christopher “Chris” Dion, American Legion chaplain; Frances “Fran” Laue, BEC director, District 2; Susan Junker, American Legion commander; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, Michael L. “Mike” Allen and Carol Freeman, LCRA Board members; Martin Ferguson and Alan Zimmel, American Legion members-at-large; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; and Toby Burns, Wired Right Electric owner.
BANDERA, Texas – The Bandera American Legion Post 157 will update its electrical system and make other upgrades to its building, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Bandera Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $10,500 in matching funds from the legion, will replace an outdated electrical system and provide new LED lights, fans, smoke detectors, exit signs, electrical outlets and restroom vents in the building.

“This project is about providing a safe, dependable and energy-efficient electrical system that will address the needs of the Legion and enhance the experience of every person who enters,” Commander Susan Junker said.

The 102-year-old American Legion building is located in the heart of Bandera. It can accommodate about 110 people and frequently is used for community events, including weekly bingo nights.

Junker said the American Legion has been reluctant to advertise the building as a rental space because someone with electrical knowledge had to be present in case electrical issues arose. The dated electrical system has affected the quality of service the American Legion can provide to veterans and the community, she said.

“Our veterans and their families need a safe haven where they can walk in, enjoy a free bottomless cup of coffee worry-free, and share a moment with someone who understands them,” Junker said. “The American Legion is the patriotic home for everyone and should be a quality place to be.”

These upgrades are the last part of a capital improvement project the American Legion started in 2015. It will enable the group to conserve energy and better serve the community.

“Without this grant, another two to three years of internal fundraising and unpredictable donations would have been required to complete this project,” Junker said. “We are excited to advertise a safe, high-quality environment that the entire community can enjoy and are grateful for this grant opportunity.”

The community grant is one of 45 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Bandera Electric Cooperative is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

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