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Only 600 tickets and seats are available to watch what should be an explosive game. Courtesy photo
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Football meets fundraising for veterans at annual Army vs. Navy tailgate event

ENCINITAS — Local college football fans are invited to watch the Army vs. Navy game at the San Dieguito American Legion 416 on Dec. 14. The fourth annual tailgate lunch fundraiser will benefit local veterans through the new world-class Veterans Resource Center.

Shillingburg said 100% of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Foundation Building Fund, whose mission is to fund the rebuilding of the post. A Veterans Resource Center will be added on the second floor connected to the VA with a full-time veterans service officer to enable them to improve support for the active-duty veterans and their families.

The American Legion family of Encinitas works together with The American Legion, The Sons of the American Legion, The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and The Riders of the American Legion.

“We are very excited to share the legacy of our San Dieguito American Legion Post 416, the vision of our new building and our organization,” said Commander Post 416 Matthew Shillingburg said. “We’ve done a tremendous amount of good for all our active duty veterans and their families in this community since 1932 and intend to keep doing it for  the next 100 years.”

“These are our hometown American heroes,” Shillingburg said. “They deserve it.”

Get tickets now

With only 600 tickets and seats available, Shillingburg urges any interested fans to purchase their tickets now. In addition to the big game, there will be four wide-screen TVs, sound systems, beer, wine, and other cocktails as the Legion will take over the entire block for the party and barbecue during the event.

The event is also looking for sponsors and vendors. Big John at Tip Top Meats was quick to show support, and he is donating 500 of his famous bratwurst for the cause. “We appreciate the support, and any donations to the silent auction are welcomed,” Shillingburg said.

To be a vendor/sponsor or to donate a silent auction item, send checks/ gift certificates or gift cards to San Dieguito American Legion, 210 West F St., Encinitas, CA, 92024. Coordinate with Shillingburg at (858) 997-6632 or silent auction co-chairs Judy Leonardi at (760) 224-5724 or Brittany Schoor at (760) 449-7000. If you have a silent auction item that needs to be picked up, call and let Shillingburg know ASAP.

According to Steve Lebherz, president of Excelarace, which produces the annual Encinitas Turkey Trot and is helping with the Army vs. Navy/American Legion fundraiser event: “We enjoy assisting the local American Legion to grow attendance for a really fun day for the best rivalry in college football.” He added the goal to “build the American Legion’s new post for the next 100 years matters.”

“They are so important to the Encinitas community, and we want to make their dream a reality,” Lebherz stressed. “What better way than to enjoy a football game like Army vs. Navy live in December when the rest of the country is stuck indoors!”

The fundraiser begins at 11 a.m. Dec. 14 at 210 West F St., Encinitas and the game will kick-off at noon. Tickets are available at