American Legion Mississippi Delta Post 1776 recently donated a total of $20,000 to the Cleveland High School band.
Adjutant Joseph Kersh, who has been working with the American Legion since 2012, said the money they denoted was to go towards new band instruments and a trip they are planning for Atlanta in April.
The American Legion Mississippi Delta Post 1776, which operates the Bingo hall, is required by law to donate 65 percent of its money to an organization or cause in Mississippi.
Kersh said, "We call it the 65 percent rule, and giving away money complies to that rule."
The American Legion has also donated a tremendous amount of money to the Ruleville Police Department and Fire Department, Delta State University, and the Delta Arts Alliance in Cleveland.
It also donates statewide to the Boys State and Girls States.
Kersh said the American Legion sponsors a high school oratorical scholarship program for ninth through 12th grade students every year.
The program is a public speaking contest that students all over the state are allowed to compete in.
Kersh said this year only one student in the Cleveland School District participated in the competition and his name is Alex Cox from East Side High School.
"This is the first time in years a student from Cleveland has participated and competed," said Kersh.
Last year the American Legion paid out $38,000 to oratorical students in Mississippi.
Kersh said he was excited that a student from East Side participated this year adding, "42 students are competing statewide.”
Kersh said, "We just entertain requests as they come. We don't have any type of program. We just respond to requests that sends us."
Kersh said giving back is very important to the American Legion and that is its main purpose of the organization.
"Every month we donate money here and there and around the state," Kersh said.
American Legion has also sponsors other programs such as the National Emergency Fund, Legion Riders, Child Welfare, and Veterans and Rehabilitation Assistance.