Citing financial challenges, Middleboro VFW cuts back on offerings
MIDDLEBORO — Middleboro Veterans of Foreign Post 2188 is cutting down on its offerings as the organization works to get on its feet financially, quartermaster and treasurer Emerson DosSantos said.
The post, located at 12 Station St., will no longer offer food or entertainment and will have limited alcohol choices after Saturday, Feb. 4. The post is planning a “community event’’ and welcomes people to visit on that date before changes go into effect.
DosSantos stressed the location is not closing, but that organization leadership is “figuring out a plan for sustainability.’’ Hall rentals will still be available, he said, and people are welcome to visit but amenities will be limited.
High fuel costs and inflation have created financial challenges for the organization, DosSantos said. With expenses exceeding revenue, the situation becomes “problematic,’’ he said.
Decreasing membership is also a serious concern that is plaguing not only Middleboro but also affects VFW posts across the country, he said. Fewer than 150 veterans are members of the Middleboro post, far fewer than the post had previously attracted, he said.
As veterans of World War II and Vietnam, who he described as the post’s “lifeblood,’’ pass on, veterans of more recent conflicts are not joining in similar numbers.
He is working to recruit and retain membership, he said. “We need the younger generation to step into these leadership roles,’’ he said.
DosSantos said he has ideas for potential new approaches and is working with the organization’s Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, who he described as “great individuals’’ who have “been through trying times’’ before and come through.
He said he recognizes that the Middleboro VFW is a gathering place for some residents and wants that to continue. The post formed in 1954 and has been “an essential part of the community,’’ he said.
“We don’t want to alienate the great individuals who are part of our community, but we can’t lose money every month,’’ he said.
By taking time to regroup, DosSantos hopes the organization can continue to be a strong community presence.
“It’s a necessity that we restructure now and go into a long-term plan,’’ he said. “We want to make sure we have a plan that’s sustainable. We have to make sure the doors’’ stay open.
For more information about membership, call (508) 947-8648.