UPDATE: Private Donor Funds VFW Hall

By: Shannon Smith Email
By: Shannon Smith Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- We've learned that a private donor will single-handedly keep a local VFW that was almost forced to shut down because of funding issues, up and running with a check for $20,000.

The facility on 7th Street helps hundreds of local veterans. After months of financial difficulties, members says their last hope was a loan from a local credit union. Instead, they got the money from a private donor. The VFW’s commander tells us local media coverage helped raise awareness of their situation. The organization will have to pay the money back eventually, but for now, they can concentrate on getting their financial house in order and providing support to veterans.

"I've been a member of this post for 28 years and I don't want to see it fail,” said Cam Linder, VFW Post 5149 Commander. "We have a lot of people that depend on this place. We're trying to help these new era veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan."

Commander Cam Linder tells us their new treasurer is a full time CPA so he’ll be able to make sure the hall stays out of the red.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A local VFW Post could close its doors this month if it doesn’t get the funding it needs immediately.
For the last 13 years, Wesley Rowell has shared laughs and meals with veterans at the VFW on 7th Street. However, in less than 2 weeks, he might have to join a new post.

“A lot of records were not kept properly, that’s our fault, we should’ve watched closer.”

Right now, VFW members are waiting to hear whether a local credit union will give them a $20,000 loan to make up for the short-fall.

“We’ve tried our best to bring it back, a lot of the bills weren’t paid.”

If members can’t get the money, more than 100 vertans will have to transfer to VFW locations across the Stateline.

“We’re saddened at the fact that the vest in this area are not going to have a place to go to.” Something Bobbie Richardson, the president of the Post’s women’s group says she hopes to avoid.

“We’ve all formed friendships, you know like family, and it’s gonna be, it’s gonna be hard,” said Richardson.

Rowell says although the post is caught up on most of their bills, the decision is out of their hands. “If we can get this loan, the club can survive," the VFW member said.

A final decision is expected March 12.

Thanks to Andrea Walker-Messenger and Darren Smith for joining us on the Pulse this week. Do you have an idea for a story? If so, be sure to join us for the Pulse! The Pulse is held every weekday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Facebook. Be a part of the news and tell us what you think should be covered! To become our fan on Facebook and join in on the conversation, you can find us at likewifr.com.


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