Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3335 in Jay. Google Maps street view

JAY — The Frank I. Mitchell VFW Post 3335 will hold a special meeting At 1 p.m. Saturday for all its active members to discuss the post’s future.

“We will be voting on future direction and authorizations for our leaders, to determine our post and charter’s path forward,” Commander Don Frechette said. Saturday’s meeting will be to discuss options and “request donations from our members to keep our post open.”

This is primarily being driven by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the post to close in March.

“Unfortunately, even while closed, we have fixed expenses we need to pay, regardless if we are open to our members and guests,” Quartermaster Dave LaChapelle said. “With no regularly scheduled functions, dinners, and hall rentals, etc., our net income is essentially zero. This effectively means that our ability to raise any funding to meet our monthly expenses, through past methods, is now not possible. Even with available grants, we have basically exhausted our financial resources.”

The trend is the same by many local veterans organizations. With declining participation from an aging membership base, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain operations. The methods to generate income to support the posts as they have over past generations are not sustainable.

“There are only a dozen or so members who are active in meetings, community recognition events, funeral details, and fundraising for the post,” Jim Manter, the post’s judge advocate, said. ” This model is not sustainable for such a small group of dedicated active members, auxiliary, and volunteers to meet the financial needs to maintain the large post.”

Manter said the declining economic situation in the local area does not help as well. “Our Post has such a rich history in the state and local communities, it’s hard to fathom that our presence has diminished.”

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