LAKEVILLE, Minn. (FOX 9) - For nearly a century, VFW Post 210 has helped veterans of foreign wars adjust to life back home in the states. Now, the Lakeville organization is celebrating a major milestone: 100 years of service.
The post was founded back in 1919 with a whopping total of 28 members, some of whom came to the monthly meetings in a horse and buggy.
By 1964, the VFW had grown large enough to move into its own building with a club that became one of the hottest spots in town.
"We didn't have many restaurants…it’s the best food in town when it’s the only food in town," said Randy Ronschinske, the former commander of the VFW.
But by the mid-90's, membership started to drop as WWII and Korean War vets began passing away.
Eventually, the VFW didn't have enough business to keep the bar going.
It sold its building five years ago to a local brew pub, but since it started meeting once a month in a local municipal building, interest from its members has bounced back.
"In meetings at the building, usually we talked about how we were going to make the bar survive, and I'd have 5 people at the meeting. Now, I have overflow of 35-40 even come to a meeting," Ronschinske said.
As part of the celebration, the public was invited to see a 300-foot exact replica of the Vietnam Memorial found in Washington, D.C.
Now the group is focusing on its original mission - community service and helping veterans of foreign wars and their families.
Hopefully, it will be strong enough to last another 100 years.
“If everything goes the way we would like to see it, we'll be around," said Roy Bressler, a VFW member.