Bellingham VFW Holds Family Fun Day
Olivia Fournier, Jill Allsop’s daughter, is seated on the dunk tank “hot seat” while Becky Mirable & son Declan pose behind bartender Maryann Lapio’s son Anthony.
Once a year, the VFW post in Bellingham hosts a free, all-day-and-into-the-night cookout for the community, post patrons, and area veterans. Over 150 people attended this year’s Summer Slam Family Day, held on August 19.
Bob “Stubbie” Bragdon, a member of the Bellingham post for 30 years, came up with the idea to host the annual party. “The VFW works for the good of the Bellingham community and for the good of vets,” says Bragdon. Twenty years ago, he thought, “Let’s do a family day to say thanks,” and that is what the post has done.
A DJ offers music in the background during the day, and a live band takes over for the evening. A popular feature is a “cornhole” tournament, where fabric bags are tossed at a sloping board with a hole in it and placed at least 27 feet away.
The party is entirely funded by proceeds from the post’s weekly “Meat Raffle.”
The post commander is Linda Trites, the first-ever female to take the position. “Volunteers and patrons are here all year long; this party is a ‘thank you’ for them. It’s also an opportunity to open up the post to the community and to let people come in and meet our members and see the facility.”
The Bellingham VFW has 142 members, the oldest of them being 91. Membership dues, and revenue from the bar, the function hall, and sales of Lottery tickets, are all sources of income. The post shares this income to help support a variety of services for homeless vets across Massachusetts.
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