AMVETS have new home; to host open house

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Now that they finally have a building to call their own, the Ironton AMVETS Post 5293 hope to make it into a home.

Meeting at the VFW for the past year, the group had been looking for a permanent meeting place.

Representatives believe they recently found it by renting out the corner building at 1921 S. Third St. that has been a variety of things over the years.

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Ironton Post Commander David Malone said it "feels wonderful" to know they finally have a place to meet, host fund-raising events and really call home.

"Well, it was kind of hard to get people to come join the AMVETS when they say, 'Where are you at?'" said Mike Wagner, third vice commander of the Ironton post. "We had to say, 'well, we don't really have place.'"

That will no longer be a problem.

The AMVETS will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the building to attract new members and allow the public to learn more about the organization. Everyone is invited and refreshments will be served.

U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland and state and national AMVETS officers have been invited to the celebration.

A few of the members have been renovating the building for the past three months. Repairs include fixing the roof, a remodeling the inside, adding new cabinets and counters, new storm doors and much more.

Since they rented the building and put the logo on the window, they have already added six or seven members, bringing the total to about 28, said AMVETS volunteer Betty Malone, David's wife. Hopefully, this is the sign of more positive things to come, she said.

"We want to be a different type of veterans group," Betty said, emphasizing that the meeting hall is smoke free and alcohol free. "We want to do more for the community."

Most of what the organization does is to honor all America's veterans, Wagner said.

"Veterans have given to us, so we want to give back to them," he said.

To make that possible and pay the rent, the AMVETS will begin selling home-cooked lunches at least every other Friday starting July 23 with help from the women's organization at the Lawrence Furnace Methodist Church. For $5, the delivered meals will include baked steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll and dessert.

"It is more of a donation than it is buying a meal," David said.

Anyone who would like to order meals, can contact the Malones at 643-1811 or Wagner at 532-4945 by Tuesday each week.

AMVETS is open to all veterans. Membership dues cost $25 for a year or $150 for life. The group has its regular meeting at 1 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month.

Dave Barker, the AMVETS state service officer assigned to the Chillicothe. Veterans Hospital, will be at the post all day those days assisting any veterans with filing disability or pension claims.