SEQUIM — The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4760 is managing to keep its doors open — barely.
Former commander Neil Gamroth said at the post’s yearly officer meeting in March it had enough members step up and fill all the officer positions needed to stay open, but it was still in need of money, support and more volunteers to keep operations running.
“We didn’t get anywhere near enough volunteers to sign up on the help sheet, so we’re still in need of that,” Gamroth said in July.
The VFW post will man a booth selling merchandise during the Sequim Lavender Weekend, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Carrie Blake Community Park, 202 N. Blake Ave.
It also will have a table with information from about 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 11 at Coastal Farm & Ranch, 990 E. Washington St.
In March, Gamroth said the post needed 13 active members to be able to keep the facility running and carry out the responsibilities to meet the bylaws and rules of its charter. He said about 55 members were in attendance at the March meeting, a record for the post in recent years.
“Our purpose is to help [veterans] help themselves,” Neil said in July. “We need to support each other.”
Gamroth said the post serves 40 to 60 veterans each month and has about 360 members registered. It provides funding to local veterans, donates money to veteran charities and is a resource for veterans to help connect them to services they may need, such as health care, financial assistance, rehabilitation and homeless services, and provides scholarships for Sequim High School students.
“We want to emphasize the need for more volunteers still to operate the facility,” Gamroth said. “We welcome any skills or abilities that could help [us]: carpentry, painting, or general building maintenance.”
The post’s new commander, Art Thomas, who took over the position in April, said the building has several maintenance projects, such as repairing the facility’s roof estimated to cost about $60,000. Several of the upstairs offices also need repair and volunteers are needed to help with veteran support.
“We’d love to have someone man the phones for veterans seeking help or assistance,” Gamroth said.
The post’s veteran service officer is still serving the Sequim facility but has moved his office to Port Angeles.
“We still want to have a service provider that can meet with veterans here so people can call and get connected with veterans services, benefits and consulting,” Gamroth said. ”It’s important that part of [the post] stays open and available.”
Gaining new membership continues to be a puzzling problem locally and nationwide, both commanders said, as does recruiting younger members.
“There are 9,000 veterans on the Peninsula and we have 360-some vets listed as members and yet we’re not getting the participation or attendance or feedback,” Gamroth said.
“Vets who’ve come here and received help and are getting compensation, in kind, there should be some return back whether in hours or contribution or charitable money.”
The post continues to offer a variety of events and recreational activities at its building, such as dart league, cribbage, pool league, live bands and dances and more.
For dates and times of activities, visit the VFW’s calendar at http://vfwpost4760.com/calendar_of_events.
For more information, visit vfwpost4760.com/ or call 360-683-9546.
Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at [email protected].