Local VFW in dire need of money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local VFW in dire need of money

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On a Sunday under the American flag, there was an 'open' sign at the Sullivan VFW Post 1623 near downtown Waterloo.

But, that could soon change. Inside, a few members and friends gathered for a weekly card game, just one of many ways the post tries to keep people coming.

Unfortunately, both attendance and membership has drastically fallen over the years.

"We just need people to get that enthusiasm back in them to try and be part of something that is really good," said Sullivan VFW Post 1623 Commander David Bovis.

Not only are veterans of recent wars not joining, but to qualify for membership, you must have served in combat overseas. That means many veterans who served during times of peace cannot join.

"We are kind of an elite group, but we need that elite group to start standing together. Nobody understands a veterans story better than a veteran. This is what we do here," said Bovis.

As a place for veteran resources, volunteers like Monte Fischels whose son is currently serving, recognize the importance of keeping the doors open.  

"I just want the VFW to survive so when he comes back home, him and all of his other unit members have somewhere to come to and get support from the other veterans and community," said Fischels who is a member of the Waterloo VFW Auxiliary.

But, that won't happen if the VFW doesn't get immediate help. Combine low membership, with recent fundraising issues, and a bar cooler that continues to have maintenance issues... the post might not make it.

"It is going to be touch and go. We do not have that much money left. I have some big bills I have to pay for the club coming up in February, and I am nervous about being able to pay them. We have to keep the doors open for the veterans," said Bovis.

Bovis says the post needs nearly $3,000 to get by until their Spring Fling Fundraiser in April.

If you would like to donate, you can send a check to the post at 1406 Commercial St. Waterloo, Iowa.

For more information on Bingo and other post activities, visit their Facebook page.

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