Messenger photo by Linda Dillman
Members of Veterans of Foreign War Post 7005 continued their tradition of giving by donating $1,000 to the Jefferson Township Fire Department Firefighters Toy Drive, which runs through Dec. 20: (from left) Firefighter and toy drive co-chair Rick Cook, post Quartermaster Don Coonfare, post Commander Ray Glock, and Firefighter/mayor-elect Scott Hockenbery.
The hearts of members of West Jefferson’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005 are as big as the post’s pockets are deep in supporting local charitable groups and community organizations, especially around the holidays.
“We get letters every day from other communities and other VFW posts want-ing money,” said Post Commander Ray Glock, “and we used to support and send a lot of money to outside organizations, but I’m a real stickler about taking care of our own community.
“We still do outside projects, but keep more money in the local area. In one year, we’ve donated about $35,000 and generate most of that by selling tear-off tickets in our canteen. We have about 230 post members and there are more in the ladies’ and men’s auxiliaries.”
Glock and Quartermaster Don Coon-fare represented the post in presenting a check to the Jefferson Township Fire-fighters annual toy drive to help make the holiday wishes of needy children come true. The veterans’ organization also supports Debbie Chaffin’s Adopt-A-Family program with financial donations and the use of the club to assemble and deliver baskets.
“The last week before Christmas our back room is filled with toys and food and people come to the post to assemble baskets and sort toys,” said Glock. “Then members and auxiliary members help deliver the baskets to local families.
“We also donate money for lights for Christmas in the Park, give $1,000 to the West Jefferson Food Pantry at Thanks-giving and Christmas, donate to the Madison County Hospital for cancer research, provide money for projects and trips for senior citizens, sponsor scholarships for West Jefferson students, give to Junior Achievement and the library, sponsor an adult sports team, and host children’s parties at the post.”
During the village’s 4th of July celebration, the VFW provides $1,000 in American flags for display on poles and to hand out to children. Members assist at all military funerals, along with the American Legion, and the VFW post offers free use of their hall to community groups, including events such as an auction benefiting Children’s Hospital, which raised $30,000 in 2007.
Clarence Bo Casto Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005, located at 1 Veterans Way, started in the early 1960s when veterans began meeting in the basement of a local church. Glock said the group grew and eventually moved to the old Horseshoe Bar before building the present hall 15 years ago.
“And now we’ve outgrown this place,” said Glock. “Between all of our new members and the auxiliaries, we’ve gotten a lot bigger. We’ve had a few offers to move, but there’s no place to go with space big enough.”
Even though the post is squeezed for space, members continue to think big when it comes to taking care of the community where they live and work. And the community will never forget the generosity or reason why the post continues to serve long after members have left the battlefield, the skies, and the seas.