98-year-old Medford VFW gets new roof thanks to donors
A 98-year-old VFW in Medford received a long overdue facelift Wednesday.
Volunteers from several local companies donated their labor and materials to replace the dilapidated roof of VFW Post 2937.
For Post Commander Niel Marturiello and fellow members, the repairs mean a new lease on life for a place they consider a home away from home.
The hall gave Marturiello a safe haven when he came home from serving in Vietnam.
“It meant a lot when I came home. It helped me establish myself back into the community. Some of the older members that were here before me took me in,” he says.
Marturiello says the post couldn't afford the $15,000 tab to fix the crumbling roof.
Like many VFWs across the country, the hall is struggling with declining membership and loss in rental revenue due to the pandemic lockdown.
Legislator Dominick Thorne rallied a troop of local businesses to donate labor and supplies to fix the roof.
Gina Farese, of MarCor Construction, is one of the volunteers who answered the call to help those who served.
“They're the reason why I can put my feet on the ground and go to work and have the life that I do here in America. If it weren't for them, what would we have?” Farese says.
The veterans say the repair work to the VFW is more than just cosmetic. They say these volunteers have saved a lifeline to civilians in this community.
“This is where people come to meet, this is where they donate their space to charity and to local neighborhood projects,” Thorne says.
Volunteers will also install solar panels on the VFW at no cost to help the post save money on electric bills.