Fundraiser benefit for VFW veterans in Cleveland to held over the weekend
For many of the veterans in Cleveland, VFW post 2598 was a second home. Vietnam veteran Ernie Griggs said rebuilding is something he looks forward to.
Griggs remembers watching the hall burn. The fire was so severe it took firefighters about nine hours to put out hot spots.
“It took about two days for it to really set in that it's gone,” Griggs said. “As you get older you kind of like to have routines; it upset my routine. I don't have anywhere to go now. We're going to rebuild in the same spot. We own the land. Why go anywhere else?”
Griggs said since the fire, his post has been overwhelmed with support from community members like Sherry Brooks.
“She's not a member. She's not an associate member,” Griggs explained. “If she cares about something she is passionate about it and she won't take a 'no.' She just keeps going.”
Brooks said she was shocked when she heard what happened.
“I had in my mind as vision but I had no idea really at the magnitude of how bad it is. I knew immediately that the vets would be devastated. I knew that this is all they have, you know, they don't have anywhere to go. They're just lost. They don't know what to do,” Brooks said.
“I'm very sad about this," Brooks continued. "To me it hit home because they made me feel like a star here.”
It's why she decided to put together a fundraiser called “Hope for the VFW Benefit.” Brooks says all donations will go toward a new home for the VFW family.
“Let them know that we do know the devastation, we do recognize the loss and that we are a community coming together to help them,” said Brooks.
The fundraiser will be held Sunday, September 16 at noon at the American Legion Post 81. It’s located at 227 James Asbury Drive NW in Cleveland.
Cash donations are encouraged. The event is for ages 21 and up.