The recent situation with COVID has resulted in some hard truths for the Brattleboro VFW. Clubs have taken a beating financially, along with a lot of other businesses.
We have had to cancel all our functions since March. No dinner/dances, birthday parties, wedding receptions, regular bingos, cancer or Brattleboro Firefighter’s fundraising bingos, banquets, holiday parties, etc. etc.
We had to shut down completely for three months starting in March, but still the bills came in. Some grants from the government helped pay some, but not all of those bills.
We were able to do lunches when we opened back up in June, then were recently told we could do to-go’s only. We were serving on our hall side to maintain social distancing of over 6 feet between tables. Mask wearing was mandatory. Contact tracing rules were followed. We tried to do to-go’s when we were shut down as a club this last round of closures, but it was not economically feasible to continue. I do thank our customers that did come out and support our efforts.
The VFW paid for licenses it can no longer use, insurance each month that covers a closed building, pre buy heating fuel, electricity, and on and on.
Sadly, there may not be a VFW left if this continues. No place for our veterans to go to talk. Or to listen.
No banquets. No dinners. No bingos.
Our Brattleboro VFW Softball Team took up a collection and donated $700 to help cover expenses. Thank you to Bob Tefft and the team!
We also had some private donations come in, for which the VFW is extremely grateful.
I thought it time that people were made aware of the VFW situation. I do not want judgments. I do not want complaints. Times are hard for everyone. When we reach our new normal, please support those businesses that will be left. They’ll need it.
Please follow our VFW Post 1034 Carl Dessaint Brattleboro VT Facebook page for updated information.
I hope you all stay safe. I hope you all stay healthy. And keep wearing those masks.
This has been bugging me
I’ve been pondering this and have two ideas:
1. Perhaps our congressional delegation could be called into action? I’ve never seen our VT congress folk shy away from supporting vets. Have the Sanders, Leahy, and Welch offices been contacted about this?
2. Maybe there is some money on the new relief bill that can help? The VFW would probably qualify as an arts venue – you host concerts and events.
I’m keeping an eye on any new grants that will be offered. There is some fine print on these applications, so you must be careful and not get into ‘double dipping’, as you will wind up with a loan.
I did contact one office, and never heard a thing back. Other’s were more helpful.
Since we are classified as a club and not a restaurant on our licenses, we are not allowed to be open except for to-go’s.
When we were open for dine in, we were doing okay. Once we were shut down again as a club, with the high cost of operating, to-go’s only did not work for us, and we were spending more than we were taking in.