Northwoods Vets Post in need of a little extra help this season
As the giving season is here, please keep the Northwoods Veterans Post on your list. The VFW Post 1638 has come very far with the wonderful support of Northcentral Wisconsin. Here is a summary of our progress:
This adventure started with Church Mutual Insurance Company’s incredible generous donation of the land! The building site on Memorial Drive and East 6th Street on Merrill’s Eastside is close to Highway 51 and just off Highway 64, for easy access by all in Northcentral Wisconsin. Numerous plans, ideas and desires of the many groups which will utilize this facility were taken into account. The dream started to take shape and groundbreaking took place on May 19, 2018!
The hardworking steering committee is comprised of all volunteers that work normal jobs and have family commitments. This huge undertaking was taken on with sheer determination of the need of our veterans and youth. Preparing for the dream of the building our 8 organizations: VFW Post 1638 & Auxiliary, American Legion Post 46, Amvets Post 2000, DAV Chapter 29, Boy Scout & Cub Scout Pack 503 and Merrill Area Girl Scouts contributed over $230,000 to this venture. We worked together holding fundraisers that have netted $57,000. Individuals in our greater impacted area have donated over $32,000. Financial institutions and businesses have now contributed more than $19,000. Several foundations contributed $665,500; resulting in a total exceeding $1 million of the estimated $2.8 million required! There are also generous commitments of another $1.1 million from foundations for 2019.
Due to the sudden arrival of wintry weather, the final additions have become rather urgent according to Paul Russell, Executive Chairman. “Contractors are doing what they can with the funding we have at the moment, but with the early onset of winter, things have taken on more of a sense of urgency than we were expecting.”
Despite careful planning, we had a few unexpected costs develop in our first phase of construction for the building. Between prices rising, blue prints, permit fees, state fees and tariffs, our once fully funded phase one is now falling short about $150,000. Through these unexpected rise in prices, the Northwoods Veterans Post Committee has worked diligently cutting some of the items originally planned for the building; the expected cost total is now estimated to be $2.5 million. Any items downsized at this time will be able to be added in the future as funds become available.
“Our goal is for the Northwoods to become the destination of choice for veterans around the state, with the ability and flexibility to have district meetings, veterans and scouting events of all kinds,” adds NVP executive committee member Tracy Jopek.
“This building will hopefully help bridge the gap between veteran services and serving veterans, providing healthy life options of camaraderie, hiking, hunting, fishing, biking and continued service to our community, state and nation.” The building will also provide a home for our Nation’s first United States Military Chaplin’s registry opening up opportunities for continued support all over the world.
The Northwoods Veterans Post is diligently searching for contributors, benefactors and volunteers in this season of giving to help make this dream come true. Please donate online at www.nothwoodsveteranspost.org or send donations to Northwoods Veterans Post in C/O VFW Post 1638, 205 N. Cleveland Street, Merrill, WI 54452 or a third option is the purchase of etched glass blocks of various sizes with choice of engraving.. For more info please call 715-351-2889.