By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — Michigan’s oldest Veterans of Foreign Wars post is at risk of closing its doors after falling behind on utility bills.
Donovan’s VFW Post 78, 25620 Van Born Road is almost $10,000 behind on its gas and electricity bills since thieves broke into the post stealing donations, cash and liquor last year.
“We desperately need the help of the public, residents and local businesses to keep the post open for veterans,” Post Commander George Wells said. “The idea of being unable to serve the local veteran community is devastating.”
The post’s main source of income stems from renting out its hall for events, which they cannot do until its bills are paid.
The state’s oldest post turned 101 years in August and hopes to remain open to continue hold fundraisers for local veteran and community organizations.
“We’re asking the community for help so we can pay our bills before the cold winter weather kicks in,” Wells said.
Over the years, the post has served the community through outreach programs with schools, homeless, city and police and fire departments.
The post has held a Stand Down for Women Veterans in 2014, donated items to help decorate the student veteran lounge at University of Michigan-Dearborn, educate children about the nation’s flag and veterans, raised money for the war memorial at the City Hall and annual Veterans Day free breakfast and dinner.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help raise money for the post. The goal is set at $50,000, but the first $10,000 is crucial to avoiding the closing of the VFW post.
Currently, $1,690 has been raised by 38 people since the account was set up last month.
“Please reach out to family, friends, and your local community and beyond,” the account read. “No donation is too small! It will all be going to a great cause. Please share this on your Facebook, twitter or any other social media.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])