VFW Post 10127 in North Fort Myers in need of repairs
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10127 has been in North Fort Myers for nearly 50 years at the same location on Pondella Road.
About the only thing older than the organization is the building, which now is in desperate need of repair and remodeling.
Most of the more than 360 members of the post are elderly, on a fixed income, or both, making it very difficult to come up with the money to make the repairs.
The post does not have a social media presence or a website, and is so looking for more traditional ways to get the word out on their situation.
Linda Baldwin, secretary for the post’s auxiliary, which are the women of the post, said the building is in need of plumbing and electrical upgrades, especially in the kitchen.
“Most of our members are up there in age or disabled and unable to do much, and our funds are low. We’re looking at doing a dinner at some point to raise money,” said Linda, whose husband, Paul, is the junior vice commander. “Right now, we’re hitting a brick wall.”
“We need work on the kitchen. Our ovens are in dire need of replacement. We need electrical work and new bathrooms, new tiles and plumbing,” said Phil Hicks, commander. “We always welcome those who could contribute.”
Linda said it will take about $10,000 to do the needed repairs on the piping under the bathrooms, which she said is on the verge of collapse, and to replace fixtures that no longer work. Hicks said further work will take a lot more.
Their post home was built in 1964 and started as, of all things, a repair shop. Post 10127 was chartered in October 1968. Next year will be its 50th anniversary and the group came to the building on day one, adding a bar and kitchen.
As with many fraternal organizations, getting younger people to join has always been a challenge. Most members are Korean or Vietnam veterans, with only a handful from more recent combat such as Desert Storm or Afghanistan.
“We’re all at an age where we can go tomorrow. We sponsor the armory on Diplomat and are hoping to attract some of them,” Hicks said. “We’re all veterans looking for help so we can help veterans.”
“We need more members. That’s a difficult thing to do. We have a limited amount of people who can join. You have to be a combat veteran, and if 20 percent go to combat, that’s all we can draw from,” said Richard Monroe, District 13 commander, which covers nine posts and 4,000 troops from Marco Island to Pine Island.
There isn’t much the district can do to help financially.
“We give support in other ways. If they get in real trouble, sometimes we can get them money, but normally it’s more physical help than monetary,” Monroe said. “We have three posts in need of outside help, and this is one of them.”
Linda has reached out to the community and applied for grants to try to get donations, with little success. She is also spoken with Doug Dailey, the unofficial mayor of North Fort Myers and Chamber of Commerce member to enlist his help.
Among the work Post 10127 does is Bikers Against Child Abuse, and they host the Quartermaster. They also sponsor the North Fort Myers High School JROTC.
For more information, contact Post 10127 at 995-0230.