MEDINA TWP. — To better serve its growing clientele, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5137 is hoping to build a new post at its location at 3916 Pearl Road.
The post was originally built in 1954. It has added onto the building a few times over the years, including a banquet hall and kitchen. But the current structure is no longer meeting the needs of veterans and post members.
As such, post officials have started a fundraising effort to either build a new post or renovate the current location.
“We want to raise as much money as we can in the next 12 months,” Scotty Kopfstein, past post commander, said Friday. “It costs almost as much to renovate this place as it would to build a new one.”
The goal is to raise money enough to build a new post, which could cost as much as $1 million to build. A new post would likely be located in front of the pavilion toward the back of the 2-acre property.
Kopfstein said to tear down the old post and remove the debris would cost about $400,000.
If it doesn’t raise enough funds for a new building, the post plans to renovate the current facility. Cost estimates weren’t available on a potential renovation project.
Kopfstein said a new structure is needed because of members joining each month. He said there are currently 840 dues-paying members, up from 550 just three years ago.
“A lot of younger people are joining,” he said.
He said the banquet hall seats 92 and the canteen holds 34.
Kopfstein said age has also taken its toll on the building. He said they’ve completely outgrown the structure.
“It’s just too small,” he said Friday.
Kopfstein said there will be a series of fundraisers, including the popular gun raffle. Those will carry on for about the next year “to see how much money we can raise,” he said.
“We need to support the growing number of veterans coming here,” Kopfstein said.
The VFW post calls itself a crucial resource to provide for area veterans and military families who have nowhere else to turn.
Kopfstein said the VFW gives three scholarships every year, along with providing veterans assistance with utilities, groceries, mortgage payments and more.
The post spends about $25,000 a year helping out Medina County veterans.
Kopfstein said last year it served 140 needy people with a large Thanksgiving dinner. He said they provide food and presents to seven or eight families at Christmas every year.
He said it also hosts a Christmas party for the National Guard and their families.
Those interested in donating can call Kopfstein at (330) 242-1518 or quartermaster Pete Barnard at (330) 725-0884.