From the Commander:
Thank you to all our members who attended the March and April meetings to start the election process of new officers. Elections were finalized at the May 21st Post meeting and Officers were Installed on May 24th.
As of this month I have passed on the title of Commander to Mel Hedden. It has been my honor and my pleasure to serve as your Commander for the last year and a half. We have accomplished many things around the Post including the Grand Opening of the Outdoor Disabled Dining Area, continuing our partnership with the Village of Villa Park and finding new ways to support our community and, above all, our Veterans. I know that the incoming Commander will continue to do great things for Post 2801 and will continue to move us forward with our support of Veterans and Community.
I look forward to continuing to serve our Post and our members as the Quartermaster. Thank you, again, for putting your trust in me for the last year and a half and now for the upcoming year.
Please welcome the 2018 VILLA PARK POST 2801 VFW – OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES:
Commander – Mel Hedden
Senior Vice Commander – Sam Maggio
Junior Vice Commander – Mike Hahn
Quartermaster – Rick Schwerdtner (Past Commander)
Assistant – Bill Barta
Chaplain – Sid Bergh
Adjutant – Bill Berta
Judge Advocate – David Gass
Surgeon / Service Officer – Tom Manning
Officer of the Day – Berry Curran
Assistant – Jim Blankshain
Guard – Ron Berres
3yr Trustee – Jim Urso
2yr Trustee – Jerry Hughes
1yr Trustee – Joe Vincze
Below is a short Bio on Commander Hedden, if you have not yet met him, please introduce yourself the next time you are at the Post.
Mel Hedden is a Vietnam veteran and a Life Member of the VFW who transferred his membership to Post 2801 from Stone City Post 2199. He served the Villa Park Post as Judge Advocate and Senior Vice Commander prior to being elected this year as Commander.
Mel retired from Caterpillar, Inc. as a Systems Architect after 40 years of service supporting the Joliet, Aurora, Pontiac and Peoria facilities. He is an avid motorcycle enthusiast having travelled throughout the United States on two wheels. He served 3.5 yrs. as the Illinois State Rep of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association and has a great passion for being amongst and helping other veterans.
Mel has a reputation for being a strong yet compassionate leader who can successfully organize and manage complex situations and cooperatively communicate with individuals and groups involved. He will work to maintain financial stability of our Post and continue to promote Post 2801 values and presence within the community. Mel was raised in an environment where volunteerism and service to others was a family value. For these reasons, he is honored to continue serving his fellow comrades and friends of Post 2801.
Have you heard about our VFW Give Back Thursdays? The Special Event Committee will be picking different community organizations, causes that our Post supports as well as any other causes that may come to our attention and $1 from selected menu items on Thursdays will be donated to the selected cause. June donations are going to be donated to the Veterans in residence on the Spinal Ward at Hines VA. Please consider stopping in at the Post for dinner on Thursdays. What could be better than a great meal, no dishes and supporting our Veterans?
The VFW special event committee is hard at work planning a variety of entertaining events, community support events and much more! Check out the VFW Event Calendar located on our website for details as they become available.
WANTED: A variety of band, DJ’s, entertainers, children activity coordinators and anyone willing to donate time to provide entertainment for any of the upcoming events and fundraisers. Please contact the Special Events Committee at VFWpost2801Events@gmail.com.
Are you a FOTP (Friend of the Post)? If so, we have many opportunities for you to fulfil your volunteer hours required with your membership. Do you like to grill? Are you good with your hands? Do you prefer creating flyers or selling raffle tickets? We have something for everyone no matter what your skill set or talent. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how and when you can help out.
Did you know we are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn? Follow us on all of these social media platforms and check our website www.villaparkvfw.org to be the first to know about new events and other happenings at Post 2801.
Thank you to everyone for your support of Post 2801, we look forward seeing all of you at one of the many upcoming special events, celebrations or the weekly fish fry.
Rick Schwerdtner, Commander (former)
Mel Heddon, Commander, Post 2801
From the Auxiliary:
It’s been a busy year for the VFW Auxiliary. It’s also hard to believe that it’s been 3 years of me having the honor of being the Auxiliary President. I would not have been able to do it without a lot of support from the Auxiliary members. Thank You!
We will be having a Golf Outing Event in August. It was so successful last year, so please help again. Every Tuesday night we help with Bingo at the Post. Help is needed on the bingo floor and kitchen. Thanks to John, we’ve turned the kitchen menu into a adventure, never know what’s coming.
Don’t forget the Friday Fish Fry, the food is great. Also volunteers are needed.
Each month some of us go to Hines VA to play bingo with the Veterans. They do a great job, but do need volunteers to help.
There will be 2 Standdowns this year; one June 8 & 9 at the Armory at 5200 South Cottage Grove, Chicago. There are usually 700-800 Veterans in need. The other is July 11 at the DuPage County Fair Grounds in Wheaton.
I want to thank all those who helped with Voice of Democracy, Patriot’s Pen, Poppy Display, Hines Hospital Baby Shower. Plus ALL the other projects we helped with.
We purchase a “Battle Cross” statue for the Post that will be on display in its own case.
As Auxiliary President I’m so proud of all the members of the VFW Auxiliary! That who we are helping those in need. Thank you for everything.
From the Quartermaster:
Bingo is held every Tuesday, rain or shine. Doors open at 4:30 and sales start at 5:30. Early Bird Bingo is at 6:45 and Regular Bingo starts at 7:00. We have over $2,000 in prizes for Bingo weekly, plus four Raffles now worth over $17,000 total. For Post Members: Bingo needs workers. In the last year several long-term workers have died, entered long-term care or just moved away. We need people willing to commit to Bingo on a regular, long-term basis. Bingo workers essentially sell things – Pull Tabs, Raffle tickets and Bingo cards. These three incomes are vital to the Post’s revenues. So, if you can spend some time on a Tuesday, come on down and help the Post.
Check out our Bingo Events page on the website and see the most recent winners of the Bingo Raffles.
July 4th is approaching fast. We are looking for help setting up the Parade and Marshals to work the Parade. Know a marching band? We pay $200 for a band to be in the Parade and $100 for a Color Guard. Call the Post at 630 – 834 – 8191 for information.
This month the RSO of the month we want to recognize another Post Member. This member has been an important facet in many of our projects around the VFW. Ralph Berg, a member of the VFW, has given of himself and as an electrician his skills have come in handy. He has fixed many of the small issues as well as help with many of the projects from all the electric in our new outdoor area as well as running electric in our re-done kitchens, electric for the 3 “Post electronic billboards” we have placed around the Post, to hanging new LED lights in our range. He has taken time from running a range as RSO but we here at the Post hope to have him back on the rotation in the future. Shooters check your email and the calendar for when Ralph is back in the range. If you see Ralph around the Post give him a “hey”.
Our Post Gun Show was Saturday April 21. Attendance was down from previous shows, but it still was a successful one. We have another one planned forNov. 10th. Watch our web page for news as we are expecting many new vendors. If any member has or knows someone who maybe interested in participating in the gun show, please let us know
We shut the Range down on Monday April 30th for a trap clean out. The range was shut down for the whole day. BTS, the company that we contracted to do our trap cleaning removed over 80 3 gal buckets of lead, wow what a job. Watch the calendar for any further shut downs of the range down to do some maintenance such as re-painting the floor as well as just a general.
We have 2 gun raffles going on now. All tickets are available at the canteen bar. The first raffle is the last raffle for the “Blue Line” Glocks. It is a complete Glock 22 Police trade-in. Cost is $10 each and only 100 tickets will be sold. And the second gun raffle is a special for VFW POST 2801. It is a Special Edition Henry Golden Boy in 22 LR engraved specifically for our Post. LAST of the TICKETS are on sale now as well.
THANKS again to all our RSO’s who volunteer their time to staff our range on a weekly basis. We function almost 7 days a week. Watch for info on upcoming shoots.
Shooters, we want your opinion. We here at the Range are trying everything we can to make our range more accommodating for our shooters. If our shooters have any suggestions please email us with your ideas.
Are you remembering the F in VFW stands for FUN? Well the V is for Veterans and the W is for WOW! Come check us out and have some FUN, talk to a few VET’s and say WOW what a great place.
The post sponsors shooting team that shoots NRA/Winchester Programs and meets every 1st and 3rd Sunday and we are considering expanding the shooting options. We have openings for more youth, if you know of anyone interested in becoming a team member please contact Fred Roder.
Check Range calendar on our web page www.villaparkvfw.org, hover over Range then click on membership to see all the new days and times when the range is staffed. Click on the name on any day and it will show the hours that an RSO is there. If on the calendar you do not see the range staffed at a time you would like to use or if you have any questions what so ever including membership or who can use our state of the art range please contact us at email@example.com or 630-939-1278.
We of the Range Committee and our RSO’s are committed to giving our members a safe and fun place to shoot; as well as giving back to our post.
To our Friends, Community and Neighbors:
Many of our Friends of the Post have found out that being a part of our Post is rewarding.
Friends of the Post have the honor of belonging to a very special Post. WE have things most other Posts do not. We have a relatively new members bar, rental halls, and of course a gun range that any member may use or rent. As an F.O.T.P. member all we ask is that you give back to the Post in ways of volunteering your time. It is our volunteers that make our Post so successful.
We have many opportunities to volunteer and we can always use ones help. WE have Bingo every Tuesday night where we can use help selling various games and cards. Thursday nights we can use help in our kitchen cooking or after wards cleaning up, We also need help on Fridays during lent with cooking, order taking, seating patrons, and of course cleanup afterwards. We even have ongoing projects around the building. DON’T let any of this stuff scare you off. We have many folks here who will be glad to show you how we here at the Post do things. SO come out and give us a hand, try something new, and remember you need not be Wolfgang Puck to cook, we welcome everyone. Our busy time of the year is fast approaching and that is Lent, where on Fish Fry Fridays we can use all the help we can get. So check out the many events on our web page www.villaparkvfw.org, or call the office and ask what you can do for your Post
The Auxiliary has an email list of The F.O.T.P Members to keep them up to date of changes so if you want to get on the list email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember all of us here are committed to giving our members a safe and fun place to come as well as giving back to our Post and our community
The Auxiliary of VFW post 2801
VFW members and friends – please consider supporting our Comrade, Bob Bachner ( a life member of Post 2801) his wife Ellen and family. Their daughter was injured in a devastating accident the weekend of April 28th. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and, if possible, donate to the Go Fund Me account to help the family and allow them to focus on their daughters recover. To donate to the Go Fund Me Account use this link https://www.gofundme.com/help-bachner-family. There are also many other fundraisers going on throughout Villa Park, Lombard and surrounding towns to help all of the victims of this tragic accident.
The July “VFW Gives Back Thursday” menu will benefit the victims of the fire who still face a long road to recovery. We will also be hosting a fundraiser to benefit the 4 victims on Sunday, July 22nd.
Please watch our facebook page for more details and how you can help.