From the Commander:
I would like to start by thanking everyone for their patience as we work to transition our newsletter to an online edition. 2017 was a year full of improvements, changes and community outreach.
One of our biggest accomplishments is the opening of the Disabled Veteran Outdoor Dining Area which is at about 90% completion. We look forward to holding a grand opening in the Spring and having our members enjoy the outdoor area and the beautiful Spring weather. If you haven’t been to the Post in a while, please stop in and check out our “new look”.
An updated kitchen upstairs, just off of the oak room was another large improvement to our building. All of the changes ensure that we now meet all of the current codes and gives our volunteers a better set up for our weekly fish frys and other events.
Over the summer our Post members and volunteers helped cook and serve our famous burgers and staffed the beer truck to help support the local school district in their fundraiser. Post 2801 also supported the weekly Music in the Park events for Villa Park.
In September, we donated the use of our VFW and parking lot for the Welcome Home All Veterans 7th Annual Veteran Benefits Event. Welcome Home All Veterans is a non-profit coalition of veteran organizations and patriotic Americans. We are committed to demonstrate our appreciation for those who have served our country and educate them on the benefits they have earned. The WHAV mission is to 1) Hold an annual event that welcomes, thanks and celebrates all veterans, 2) Educate all veterans on the ever-changing benefits they’ve earned and 3) Help veterans and their families in times of need and crisis. Be sure to watch for details on the 8th Annual Benefits Event happening in September, 2018. For more information on this great organization, visit www.WHAV.info.
Thanksgiving brought our usual gathering of sailors from Great Lakes Naval Base for a day of fun, food, relaxation and support. THANK YOU to all of our members and volunteers who helped make the day memorable for the recruits and volunteers.
In addition to hosting dinner for the recruits, we again provided baskets to nearly 100 families in the community giving them the opportunity to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner without worry.
Our VFW 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.
Be sure to check our website www.villaparkvfw.org and “like” us on Facebook 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 this past year and I look forward seeing everything our Post members and volunteers have planned for 2018.
Rick Schwerdtner, Commander Post 2801
From the Auxiliary:
It’s been a busy year for the VFW Auxiliary. We have a lot of new members that we are happy have joined us.
We did a Golf Outing Event raising funds, raffle items, and having fun. We also held a Tupperware Bingo. Every Tuesday night we help with Bingo at the Post and additional help is always needed on the bingo floor. Great news….. thanks to John and Jerry , we’ve turned the kitchen sales into a nice fund raising revenue for the auxiliary.
Thanks to our fund raising efforts, we have been able to help so many in need like hurricane victims, National VFW home for children, VA hospitals and many more.
Each month some of us go to Hines VA to play bingo with the Veterans. They do a great job. We helped with the Thanksgiving food baskets for those in need. There was about 90 baskets that were given out this past Thanksgiving. We also helped with Thanksgiving dinner for the Sailors from Great Lakes.
The Villa Park Village asked us to help with Joyful Traditions. To do so, we get local food places to donate food to be passed out to the community and the VFW made gallons and gallons of hot chocolate and big bags of popcorn. We then served everything in a tent outside in the c-o-l-d.
I would like to tell you a small story about our Post members and their families and how caring and wonderful they are….. One of the volunteers for Joyful Traditions used to be homeless; she has a place to live, but due health problems still needs a helping hand. The Post has helped with food for her. She wanted help and bring a friend to help to volunteer for the Joyful Traditions event. Bonnie brought Dereck, a very tall big guy who was hard working. He only had a tee shirt on (it was cold outside} because someone had stolen his jacket and sleeping bag. Yes he is homeless but does have a job that he walks to (he didn’t want people to know, didn’t want anyone to judge him). By the end of the night, one of our wonderful Post families got a coat for Derek –size 3 X. He was so happy and I was able to give him a new sleeping bag.
As Auxiliary President I’m so proud of all the members of the VFW Auxiliary! Helping those in need is exactly who we are and what we stand for.
Thank you for a great 2017!
From the Quartermaster:
We continue to be very successful with our weekly Bingo night. In addition to the regular BINGO pots, the weekly Bird Raffle, Crossfire and Fireplug jackpots give everyone the chance to win thousands. Players have the option of using standard paper cars and stampers or computers. Come on down on Tuesdays for some Bingo, dinner and drink specials!
We want to start out this New Year with a new item from the range….The RSO of the Month! This month we would like to nominate Ron Berres of the VFW for all he does on a weekly basis. He is our RSO on Thursday mornings. HE always comes in and cleans up the place, washing the glass, cleaning the eye glasses and hearing protectors to name just a few things. If you can come visit Ron on Thursday mornings and say thanks.
The past year has gone by quickly and the range has been busy. We have had 2 gun shows that have been very successful, thanks to Ron Bongat for organizing it and a very special thanks to all my RSO’s who have the task of making sure all goes well the day of. Look for another in the coming months.
THANKS to all our RSO’s who volunteer their time to staff our range on a weekly basis. We function almost 7 days a week. We here at the Post also thank the RSO’s for volunteering their time for special shoots such as our Zombie Shoot in October and the Holiday Fun Fight we had in December. Everyone who shoots has fun and the proceeds help your Post. A special Thanks to Rob Vicelli for organizing these special shoots. Watch for info on upcoming shoots. 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.
Watch our Calendar for any and all special shoots we may have, including the weekly Tactical Thursday and even our Friday Fish Fry Fire Fights. Food is always served on these days, so make it an evening of shooting, eating and commiserating with friends.
We are considering having another RSO class for anyone interested in giving back to the Post and becoming an RSO. If interested let me know.
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. If interested in partaking or helping out please contact Fred Roder.
We sometimes have open shoots in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sunday. So check out the RSO 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 Fred Roder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-939-1278.
The Range is compiling an email list of The Post Shooting Members to keep them up to date of changes so if you want to get on the list email us at email@example.com. Remember one must be a member of the VFW either a VFW member, a member of our Auxiliary or our Friends of the Post.
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:
We want to start out this New Year welcoming our Friends of the Post or F.O.T.P. members. We have many who have found out that being as 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 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 is compiling 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. Or call Fred 630-939-1278
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