Michigan's oldest VFW post asking for help from the public to stay open

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) - Michigan’s oldest VFW post is reaching out to the public in a desperate attempt to stay open amid financial struggles.

Members of Donovan’s VFW Post 78 in Dearborn Heights say they are nearly $10,000 behind on gas and electricity bills.

Last year, thieves broke into the post and stole cash, donations and liquor from the post, which has been struggling to keep up on bills ever since.

A couple of months ago DTE shut off gas and power to the VFW hall, the post’s main source of revenue.

The post turned 101 years old in August, and post commander George Wells said it would be a huge loss to the community, if they were forced to shut their doors.

“We’d no longer be able to reach out to the schools in the area, the churches in the areas, the fire department, the good fellows, it would just be a disaster,” Wells said.

Tom Rossi, who has been a member of the post since 1991, said the post is a safe haven for veterans.

“It’s your place to go, where you can go and talk about anything you want to talk about, you can talk about the war. You don’t get to talk about that with nobody else,” he says.

In addition to rubbing shoulders with fellow veterans, Rossi participates in the various school and community outreach programs through the VFW post, which includes teaching young kids about the flag, feeding the homeless, and raising money for local police and fire departments.

“I know we’re going to have to raise this money before the first frost or we’re going to have to shut our doors completely,” Wells said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the VFW post. Wells said they are trying to raise $10,000 to pay off their DTE bills as soon as possible, so they can get the lights back on in the hall to start renting it out again.

“If it isn’t for the people outside helping us now, we can’t help them outside from here either,” Rossi said.

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