Once-shuttered VFW post finds a new life after revitalization efforts
By CHRISTOPHER DORNBLASER | Bucks County Courier Times, Levittown, Pa. | Published: December 26, 2020
LEVITTOWN. Pa. (Tribune News Service) — The Horsham VFW was shuttered in mid-2019 after it fell into a state of disrepair.
Now, more than a year and a half later, the revitalized VFW has more than 300 social members, and it gained nearly 20 new VFW members.
"For the most part I think we've come full circle in one year," said Pat Quinn, the VFW's commander.
Eric Cassel, a retired Marine who works in commercial construction, and about 30 volunteers began work on the 72-year-old VFW, located at 324 Sawmill Lane, back in August 2019.
The VFW briefly reopened in February to show the community the renovations to the building, which included replacing the drywall, repainting everything, changing light bulbs, cleaning the walls and replacing floor tiles.
It was set to reopen for general use by Memorial Day, but that didn't happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It officially reopened on July 3, after Montgomery County entered the green phase of coronavirus precautions.
"As we came out of the yellow phase and into the green phase, we were allowed to do certain events ... safely," Cassel said.
Those included a dueling piano night, a comedy night and a pig roast, all of which were well attended.
Cassel credits the VFW's success to the community, which he said was shocked when they found out the VFW had closed down last year.
"The community has loved this place, I've been discovering," he said.
Quinn said the VFW was always packed on weekends when he went there as a kid.
"It was a neat place to be, especially for a kid who was interested in the service," he said.
Now, he said, things are coming along well with the VFW.
"The few times I'm over there there's always a good crowd," Quinn said.
Quinn, who is currently a member of the Air National Guard, praised the work of the volunteers who helped in the revitalization effort.
"I think overall, everybody's got a lot of sweat equity in this place," he said.
Cassel said they are trying to scheduled something at the VFW every month now.
"People are happy it's been back, and then people are happy to discover it," Cassel said.
The next project the volunteers would like to do is fix up the VFW's banquet hall, which Quinn said was a bit dated.
"I think a fresh coat of paint, a couple of minor cosmetic changes, I think that will really help out a lot," he said.
Right now, Cassel said, the VFW is holding steady until the coronavirus pandemic passes.
The building sits on a 5-acre property in a wooded area, and it also has a pavilion area with picnic tables.
The goal of revitalizing the VFW is to raise funds to help give back to veterans, Cassel said.
Anyone looking for more information on the VFW can check out the post's Facebook page.
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