Letters to the Editor

Letter | Community, vets partner to restore VFW Hall

On behalf of the members of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5760, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mercer Island and surrounding communities for their overwhelming generosity in contributing $100,000 this past Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, during our first dinner-auction fundraising event: Operation Restoration 2011.

Mercer Island’s Keewaydin Clubhouse is a national historic landmark and home to VFW Post 5760 since 1966. The Clubhouse was built by community volunteers in 1922. Its restoration both preserves a treasured national landmark and reduces maintenance and energy costs. Doing so allows VFW to allocate more rental revenue toward vital veterans relief programs. Over the past year we’ve outlined plans for the exterior restoration, including a much-needed roof, insulation, windows and siding. The initial success to raise funds for this long-overdue project is heartening. With the building exterior restored, generations of Islanders can enjoy the Clubhouse for years to come, including ever-increasing numbers of veterans.

Our special thanks go out to two Mercer Islanders who made it all happen: Erick and Judy Leithe. As auction co-chairs, the Leithes worked tirelessly to energize businesses and citizens to donate a stunning 136 quality items for the auction. They also energized community ‘Friends of VFW’ to serve in a wide range of auction planning, procurement and volunteer roles essential in making such an endeavor possible. Generous donors of time, talent and treasure themselves, the Leithes rank high in the eyes of local veterans who will always welcome them to Keewaydin Clubhouse.

Want to help keep the momentum going? Mail your tax-deductible contribution to ‘VFW Post 5760,’ PO Box 101, Mercer Island, WA 98040. We have welcomed numerous returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past few months. If you are a veteran, or know one who has served, please contact us for details on membership, events and programs. For more on VFW Post 5760, including our preservation efforts and rentals of the Clubhouse, visit us online at www.vfwmercerisland.org.

Gary Winterstein

Commander, VFW Post 5760

General Manager, Keewaydin Clubhouse, est. 1922.


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