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American Legion post to host open mic night next month

Tradition began in 2017 at location named for WW II sailor

American Legion Post 452’s open mic night on Sept. 2 will be held at what is known as the canteen. The event will support veterans and the Mullica Hill community. Courtesy of American Legion Post 452

American Legion Post 452 will host an open mic night on Sept. 2 at its Canteen at the Post.

This is an open event and an opportunity for members of the public to come out, meet members of our local American Legion post and enjoy some music and drinks,” said Jack Sommer, adjutant of the post. “We get every assortment of musicians, from individual players and vocalists to complete ensembles.  

“Our house band will share its amplifiers and drum kit and accompany other musicians, or let them take the stage themselves,” he added. “The legion hall has great acoustics and is a comfortable room for all levels of talent.”

The music will vary, based on which bands perform; music genres from past events included classic rock, blues and country. Open mic night itself has been going on at the post since 2017, a few years after members opened their club to help maintain the main legion hall on top of the revenue from the club itself. The post could not afford live bands, but someone else had an idea.

“A good friend of the post and drummer for a popular local South Jersey band pitched the idea to run a local open mic night where musicians could come out, put their name on the signup sheet and get 15 minutes or so of playing time,” Sommer explained.

Legion open mic nights take place on the first Friday of every month, unless specified otherwise, and information on bands that perform are posted on the group’s Facebook page. Anyone who is not a veteran is welcome and guests can support the post by purchasing Friends of the Post challenge coins that signify a person is a friend of the post for a donation minimum of $30. Proceeds will benefit both veterans and the community.

American Legion Post 452 first opened on Sept. 10, 1954, according to its website, and was built to honor Robert W. Mills, a World War II sailor who grew up in Mullica Hill but was killed in action in 1944. 

Mills’s body was left on an island in the South Pacific after fighting ended but was retrieved and brought home in 1948. He rests at his family’s burial ground in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

Hours for the Sept. 2 open mic night are 7 to 11 p.m. at the post, 141 N. Main St.

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