VFW considering sale of building
By Michael Wright, Editor
Jul 3, 2017, 09:54
A local veteran's organization may be forced to sell its building if viable alternatives are not found to generate the income necessary to pay its bills.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9022 in Dumas, chartered in 1991, is a federally recognized 501 (c) 19 non-profit fraternal organization.
According to Post members David Garrett and John Johnson, the VFW was "really hopping in the mid to late 1990s."
The Post, which was started by World War II veterans, has reached membership numbers as high as 160. The membership has dwindled mainly due to transfers to other Posts and the passing away of Post members. A reduction in dues-paying members and availability of members to participate in fund raising has left the Post in a financial bind.
Presently, by VFW rules and regulations, a mere $5 of each member’s dues are allowed to be retained by the Post, but only half of that can be placed into the operating account. The other half goes into a reserve account that cannot be accessed but once a year in June.
Take into account there are presently 49 registered members. There are 37 Life Members who no longer pay dues. That leaves only 12 members who pay annual dues, but the Post’s portion of those dues, just $60 per year, is far too little income to sustain the Post. And, fundraising efforts generate far less money than they used to. In fact, the VFW says there was a time it could raise upwards of $1,000 at an event. Now, the VFW is lucky to raise $100 at a single event.
One might ask what bills the Post has to pay on a monthly basis. Just like any home or business owner in the city, the VFW pays city utilities (gas, water, trash and sewer) along with an electric bill and property insurance. The VFW says these bills average between $350 and $400 per month, depending on the building’s use and the time of the year.
To maintain its charter, the Post is also required to fulfill certain financial obligations as set by Texas VFW Program Requirements. These include Buddy Poppy orders (the little red flowers handed out by the VFW) and many other requirements totaling approximately $300 annually.
However, the bulk of the funds generated by the Post goes toward the payment of utilities, building maintenance and remaining funds, if any, are used to support community veterans’ events. Post’s officers do not receive financial compensation in exchange for their duties.
VFW leadership says, “If the post is to survive, it will need every penny in order to pay the bills and continue to provide services to veterans in our community. The VFW has always relied on donations and the sale of memorial bricks which are on display in McDade Park to survive, but donations and brick sales have drastically dwindled in recent years.”
The Dumas Post wants to avoid the fate suffered by Posts in neighboring communities such as Dalhart and Perryton. There are 37 members who live in Dumas and the immediate vicinity, but only seven of those members regularly attend meetings and participate in fundraising events. Recent figures provided by the state headquarters indicate there are over 3,000 veterans in Moore County alone. If the Post is unable to gain the interest of new and existing members and/or come up with additional funds, it may be forced to close its doors, as well.
Veterans who served in a combat zone and who are interested in finding out more about the VFW are encouraged to contact the Commander, Shaun White at 806-717-7091 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The VFW meets at 901 S. Dumas Ave on the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m.
The Post welcomes anyone who desires to send a tax-deductible donation to the Post either by mail to P.O. Box 1322, Dumas, TX 79029 or they may send the donation via PayPal by visiting their Facebook page and clicking on the “donate” button.