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Money Used To Aid Local Veterans Stolen From American Legion

The Herman Kent Post in Celoron P-J file photo

CELORON — The proceeds from a gun raffle held last month by the American Legion Herman Kent Post No. 777 was a little lighter than it should have been.

In December, someone acting like they were a member of the American Legion post collected gun raffle money from one of the locations selling tickets and stole the proceeds meant to assist veterans.

Neville Messinger, Herman Kent Post commander, said he went to one of the locations where the legion sells its raffle tickets on Christmas Eve to collect the money, but was told the funds had already been picked up by someone who said they were from the Herman Kent Post.

“This is a first-time thing. I was not a happy camper. I can’t believe someone would have done that,” he said. “I would like to let everyone know this happened and they have to be careful. Especially nonprofit veteran groups who help our veterans. People will take stuff right off the counter.”

Messinger said he doesn’t know how much money was stolen, but he estimates around $150. He said, along with helping veterans, the proceeds also go toward maintaining the Herman Kent Post, which is a larger facility at 17,000 square feet and located at 26 Jackson Ave., Jamestown.

Messinger said the incident will not stop the legion from selling raffle tickets in the future.

“This will not prevent us from doing gun raffles,” he said. “We will still use (the location where the money was stolen). I will let them know that I and I alone will be picking up the money.”

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