With over 6,000 posts worldwide, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) of the United States is a nonprofit organization that connects service members, veterans and their families with a wide range of assistance programs and services.
But Richard Durso, the commander of Tolleson’s Robert Diaz Lopez Post 6310, said his post could do more for servicemen and -women if it had its own building.
So, the group of veterans started a fund.
“We do benefits trainings for veterans and their families once a month. We have dedicated service officers that help veterans with their entitlement. Twice a year we do what they call ‘dependency and indemnity compensation,’ which is for the spouses when the veteran passes away; gives them direction on how to take care of their affairs after the veteran passes,” Durso said.
“But we’re always scrambling for a place to meet and help veterans. We’re borrowing a room here, borrowing a room there. We really need this building.”
Post 6310 will hold two events in September to benefit its building fund, Durso said.
The group is sponsoring a golf tournament and fundraiser at the Coldwater Golf Course, 100 N. Clubhouse Drive, Avondale, on Saturday, September 14. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and the shotgun start for the four-person scramble will be at 7 a.m. Participation costs $85 per player and $340 per foursome, and includes green fees, cart, range balls and lunch. Checks should be made payable to VFW Post 6310 golf tournament. For more info, contact Rudy Elias at 623-694-2238.
And on Saturday, September 21, Post 6310 will hold a cornhole fundraiser tournament at 11 a.m. at the Tolleson Veterans Park, 8601 W. Van Buren Street. Sign-in will be from 9 to 10 a.m. To sign up before the tournament, contact Duffy Smith at 602-621-7349. The entry fee is priced at $50 per team or $25 per player.
According to Durso, the post’s goal is to raise $2 million to construct a building on land that was donated by a development firm he said has been instrumental throughout the project.
“The land was donated to us by Trammell Crow Company. They bought 30 acres of land in Tolleson, and they donated an acre and a half to our post. They’re going to donate $200,000 to us at the golf tournament,” Durso added.
Post 6310 Project Manager Manny Elias said the building, which has been in the works for nearly 10 years, will not only serve current members, but future generations.
“Here is the key thing: This is a building for the VFW troops that are out there in the war; for us to do what we’re doing right now; and the ones that are coming over and joining the VFW,” Elias said. “These troops, they’ll have a place to call their home.”
And Elias said the building will benefit Tolleson and surrounding communities.
“This building is not going to be strictly for the VFW. It’s like a rental hall for weddings, parties, community bingos, dinners, banquets. A community building. It’s going to be under our name, but it’s going to serve the whole city of Tolleson,” he said.
For information on how to donate to or sponsor the VFW Robert Diaz Lopez Post 6310, visit vfw6310.org.