“The Aberdeen Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is coming back:” says Commander Jim Daly. “We hope to be beginning construction very soon, providing the weather cooperates a little bit. We have struck a deal with Anchor Bank for a loan, and with Western Washington Construction to repair our roof.”
The building was closed for safety reasons in May of 2012 with damage to the ceiling and rafters of the 1908 former Bijou Theater. Since that time the Post and Auxiliary officers have been working hard to carry on our programs at other local facilities, such as the Eagles, American Legion, WorkSource, and the 40 et 8. They have also been working to raise money, while contacting many contractors for bids, and working with Anchor Bank for a loan for the repairs.
The project will involve removing the roof and rafters on the main hall (but not the bar area), and replacing them with engineered trusses. “We are proud to work for the veterans who have given so much for this country and this community,” said Paul Schenkel, of Western Washington Construction. “We are hoping for a break in the weather to get started in the next week or two, so that we could possibly have the building closed in and roofed by the end of October.”
“There will still be a lot of work left to do: electrical, insulation, HVAC, drywall, painting, and other projects,” said Post Quartermaster, Terry Holderman. “But we are hopeful that we could be back in business by the New Year. To cover the loan we will have to increase our income dramatically, so we are developing our business plan to provide almost $2,000 a month more than in the past.”
The VFW will still make the hall available for rent, will still serve dinners for members and the public, and still have the lounge open for members, but new income will be required. We are considering adding weekend breakfast service, business lunches, and special fundraising projects such as barbecues, fish fries, dances and concerts. Auxiliary President, Nell Todd said: “The people in Grays Harbor have been so supportive and generous during this time, that we were able to raise approximately $15,000 which helped us secure the loan. We hope they will continue to help us by supporting our business so that we may continue to serve our Veterans.”
Donations for the building repairs may be made through any Anchor Bank branch, to the donation account for: The Aberdeen VFW Building Program. Or donations may be sent to: Aberdeen VFW, 105 East Heron, Aberdeen, WA 98520.