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Armed Forces Day event coming to Beaver Toyota on May 15
Armed Forces Day
'Howie' the Howitzer cannon was captured in 1991 in the Middle East during Desert Storm. The Cumming American Legion Post 307 worked to restore the cannon and now uses it as a fundraising mascot. Photo courtesy of Terry Dodd.

The Cumming American Legion Post 307 is teaming up with Beaver Toyota to bring an annual barbecue fundraiser to Forsyth County. The event will celebrate Armed Forces Day on Saturday, May 15.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Beaver Toyota. A presentation of colors will be at noon alongside a 21-gun salute and an invocation prayer by Beaver Toyota Chaplain Bruce Petty.

Terry Dodd, public affairs officer of Post 307, said that 2,000 tickets are available for the event. Pre-sale tickets are $8 each, or tickets can be purchased at the door on May 15 for $9. Tickets can be bought from any American Legion member or from Beaver Toyota.

“We will also have a luncheon for the public,” Dodd said. “And then the color guard presentation and 21-gun salute.”

Participants can enjoy a sandwich from Socks’ Love Barbecue with pickles, chips and a beverage. There will also be an MC and a music DJ.

Dodd said that Post 307 will also be wheeling in an old howitzer cannon named “Howie.”

“Howie will be there in all his handsomeness on [May 15],” Dodd said. “People usually like to come see our fundraising mascot and celebrate with him.”

According to Dodd, who served as the cannon restoration committee chairman, Howie is a 105-milliliter Italian-made Mod 56 Pack Howitzer that was manufactured in 1982 and captured in 1991 by the U.S. 3rd Army Division in Iraq during Desert Storm.

Dodd said since Howie has come to Post 307, the cannon has served as a visual fundraising tool and flag-bearer for many of the Cumming American Legion’s events. Dodd said that he was excited to bring Howie to Beaver Toyota to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day
'Howie' the Howitzer cannon was captured in 1991 in the Middle East during Desert Storm. The Cumming American Legion Post 307 worked to restore the cannon and now uses it as a fundraising mascot. Photo courtesy of Terry Dodd.

The American Legion is the oldest veterans’ organization in the country and is comprised of veterans that have served in various branches.

“[In Forsyth County], we meet on a monthly basis at Ingram Funeral Home to conduct our business,” Dodd said. “We are an organization that helps veterans in need and also provide scholarships to rising seniors … who are interested in going to Boys State or Girls State.”

According to the American Legion, Boys State and Girls State is a participatory program for high school students to become part of the “operation of local, county and state government.” Activities at the programs include things like legislative sessions, court proceedings, law-enforcement presentations, bands and choruses and recreational programs.

Dodd said the American Legion fundraises to pay for scholarships for students to attend the Boys and Girls State programs, and the Armed Forces Day celebration in conjunction at Beaver Toyota is no exception. He said proceeds from the event will go towards providing those scholarships.

To learn more about the event or purchase a ticket, visit www.legionpost307.com/coming-events or contact the Cumming American Legion Post 307 by calling (470) 253-0985 or emailing GAPost307@gmail.com.  

Beaver Toyota is at 1875 Buford Highway, Cumming GA 30041.