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SULLIVAN -- The Mattoon Home Depot store helped the Sullivan American Legion get the money it needed for improvements to its legion hall, then store workers pitched in to help with the work itself.

Volunteers from the store and the legion were at the hall Monday to install new lighting and ceiling tiles purchased with a grant from the Home Depot Foundation. And, last month, new carpet was installed, also with the grant money.

The national Home Depot Foundation likes to work on projects with veterans' groups, store representative Shelly Eddington said at the hall Monday. That's especially true for those that also help other organizations, she said.

"This is a great project for us," Eddington said. "They're here for the entire community."

American Legion board member Mike Keown said the organization regularly allows use of its hall for school activities, scout meetings, blood drives and other events.

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The $9,300 grant first covered the purchase and installation of carpet for the hall's lounge and offices, work that took place last month.

"People come in here and are amazed with it," Keown said.

The grant money was also used for the lighting and ceiling materials that were purchased with grant money, which Eddington said should result in energy savings for the legion. The new carpet will also be a safety improvement, Keown said.

He said after the legion board learned about the grant program, they decided what work could be done with grant money. Eddington said a Home Depot store had to be a partner in the grant application and the grant was awarded in August.

On Monday, seven store employees worked with 8-10 legion members to install the lighting and ceiling tiles.

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Contact Fopay at dfopay@jg-tc.com or 217-238-6858.

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Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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