It's been a tough year for businesses and organizations as the pandemic continues to keep customers at home. But the American Legion Post 131 in Green Valley can breathe a little easier after Gudrun Price stepped in with a $10,000 donation Monday.
Price surprised Post 131's Commander Dan Cady with the donation.
He said the money would help pay rent, utilities and everything else to keep the building open and its services available to members. And that includes Price after Post 131 granted her full membership to the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 131. Price's decorated late husband served in the military, which qualified her for membership.
Price walks past Post 131 during her daily eight-mile walks and said she wanted to help them out given the hardship COVID-19 caused.
"I think that's fantastic," Cady said. "A 30-plus-year resident and she walks by here every day, and she obviously noticed the sight of no traffic and not being open and everything."
Post 131's burger night is breaking even, but Cady said that it doesn't leave much left over for the group's charitable causes after paying bills. The post recently began charitable contributions to organizations like the Fisher House and others after a 10-month freeze due to revenue hits.
Cady said burger night is still hit or miss, with some nights busier than others as coronavirus guidelines keep the location at half capacity.
"Their volunteers are so dedicated and always think up new ways to expand their menu just to raise cash," Price said Monday. "Today, I want to make their famous burger night the best one ever by donating $10,000 in appreciation for all their hard work."
And Price's recent donation to Post 131 isn't her first large gift to local organizations.
In 2019, she gave the Arivaca Coordination Council/Human Resource Group a $16,500 check after reading about the group's efforts to get a county health permit. But Pima County refused to issue the permit until the group replaced several freezers and refrigerators with commercial-grade appliances.
The group was short $13,000 after receiving grants toward replacing the appliances when Price stepped in with her donation.
Last year, Price gave the Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteers $20,000.
"It's a great feeling when you are able to help someone in need," she said. "Especially in the community you are living."
Price hasn't been to the post's burger night yet, but she's planning to stop by next week. Despite her protest, Cady said the burger is on him.
Price has lived in Green Valley for about 35 years but grew up in Germany and Austria under challenging circumstances. She learned the value of hard work, saving and investing money and living below her means at a young age.
Price continued to apply those lessons to her life even after moving to the United States more than 40 years ago, which has enabled her to give back to the community. And her gift to Post 131 isn't lost on Cady.
"It's fantastic because during the eight months we were closed down, we had a negative of about a $47,000 loss because of COVID," he said. "So we're struggling back from that, and this certainly goes a long way toward helping us get back to some type of normality."