The only remaining Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in the Coachella Valley will receive a kitchen renovation, thanks to a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
The Joseph L. Stone, VFW Post 1534, located in Desert Hot Springs has a membership of about 315 and at various times supports as many as 3,000 veterans and their family members with various services. The VFW serves veterans and their families with financial assistance, claims, food, transition into civilian life and housing. The local VFW also provides outreach to the community, education about veterans and patriotism as well as collaboration with youth programs including Junior ROTC and Civil Air Patrol.
“It’s wonderful that VFW Post 1534 is still active and open for the veterans of our area,” said Catharine Reed, Program Director for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “It’s a great place for veterans, their family and friends to get together.”
The VFW Post 1534 dining room is open to the public for low cost meals and for special events. The kitchen’s appliances and other equipment are nearly 30 years old. Cooks, servers and bussers are all volunteers at the VFW. The organization rents its facility, including the kitchen and dining room, and offers catering services as a way to raise funds.
“The grant will allow the VFW to completely gut and remodel the kitchen and replace old, inefficient appliances,” said Jeff Horton, VFW Post 1534 Commander. “This upgrade will not only help us improve the productivity of providing low cost meals to veterans, but it should also attract more facility rentals and catering accounts.”
“These improvements to the VFW kitchen should help attract more people to the Post as a community gathering place,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2. “Going to the VFW Post is a great way for veterans to build and maintain camaraderie.”
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, the Joseph L. Stone, VFW Post 1534 was featured on News Channel 3 programming including “Eye on the Desert” (which airs on CBS Local 2 weeknights at 6:30 p.m.), in public service announcements and on kesq.com throughout the month of May.
VFW Post 1534 is located at 1 Club House Drive, Desert Hot Springs, near Mountain View and Dillon Roads. For more information visit www.vfwpost1534.com or call 760-671-6185.