VFW’s mission unchanged

By on December 23, 2014

The philanthropic work of Lititz Springs VFW Post 1463 often goes quietly unnoticed.

And while the variety of its good deeds remain mostly under the radar, Post 1463’s benefactors have no problem espousing the great work it does.20141215_142334

But such benefactors could be affected by the news this month that VFW 1463 club was closed for a 90-day shutdown.

The state VFW headquarters officially closed the club at 14 N. Spruce St. Dec. 11 for unspecified reasons essentially halting the group’s main fundraising source: Thursday-night bingo and pull-off gambling tickets sold in the bar.

But the ladies auxiliary of the club remains almost fully operational, said Anne Loechner, auxiliary member and organizer.

“We’re still able to function,” she said. “We can do what we do, which is help people, visit nursing homes and help out vets in need. We just cannot take anything out of the building which remains closed.”

Loechner said the auxiliary held its children’s Christmas party at Lititz Fire Co. No. 1 Dec. 13 and the group this week met with officials at Audubon Villa nursing home about starting programs there.

“We’ve also been able to help vets in need and managed to get items out to them and their families in time for Christmas,” Loechner said.

VFW members and the most recently elected officers remain tight-lipped about the closing. So, it’s unclear how the shutdown will impact individual charities such as Lititz Police Department, Lititz Fire Company, Warwick schools, Coatesville and Lebanon veterans hospitals, scout troops, Wounded Warriors, USO, Red Cross, and many more.

But one benefactor that could feel a sting is the Warwick Community Ambulance Association,

VFW 1463 has been donating $2,500 a month to WCAA, which is in the midst of its 2014 building campaign.

Frank Kenavan, WCAA president, said the first capital improvement project in 24 years has a campaign goal of $500,000.

And while it hit 65 percent of its goal last week, the WCAA continues to seek help to provide the funds for recent building and site improvements.

The ambulance service completed the building expansion earlier this year at 151 North Lane to respond to immediate needs for additional space, a 2,800-square-foot section was added for three new garage bays to shelter seven ambulance service vehicles.

“Over 750 contributions have come in since the public phase of the campaign started in October,” Kenavan said. “We’re grateful to the residents and local businesses that have contributed already, and we’re hopeful that the generosity will continue.”

Post 1463, which had just voted to replace its outgoing quartermaster, had all of its officers removed when the state headquarters took control of the club and changed the post’s locks on Dec. 11.

Officers and members of the post referred questions to Pennsylvania VFW headquarters in Harrisburg, which notified the club of the 90-day shut down in a letter dated Dec. 8.

John Getz, Pennsylvania VFW quartermaster, said confirmed Monday that club members are scheduled to meet Dec. 29. Getz said that only veteran members of the club may attend – no social members or the ladies auxiliary are invited.

“We’ll see what happens at the meeting,” Loechner said. “It’s an internal (VFW) problem and hopefully it will be resolved soon.”

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

 

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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