Joins with Bellmore VFW and Vietnam Vets to advance communuty causes –
The North Bellmore American Legion Post 1749, which has called 1298 Newbridge Road in Bellmore its home since 1949, has sold the building and moved into the Bellmore Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2770 facility at 2400 Bedford Avenue.
The move comes as membership has dwindled, leaving the cost of maintaining the building too expensive to continue.
Pat Yngstrom, commander of Post 1749 since 2010, told Your NewsMag that with 100 members paying dues of $40 a year, the state and the county took $36 of those dues, leaving the post with little left to work with to maintain the building and continue to provide charitable programs for the community. “Our membership was also being reduced,” he said.
The old American Legion Post 1749 hall is being refurbished as the new home of Dr. Drobbin, chiropractor
“It hurt to have to leave it,” Yngstrom said of the building. He said that when a need for change was put to the membership, “there were no protests,” inferring they all knew the building had become too costly to maintain. The roughly 3500 square-foot building was sold in September to Dr. Douglas Drobbin, chiropractor of Merrick practicing at 2154 Merrick Road, Merrick.
While American Legion Post 1749 has had three meetings at the VFW Post 2770 hall thus far, “We still keep our focus on and serve the community of North Bellmore with events and activities.” These include the Veterans Day ceremony at Newbridge Road School Veterans Memorial Park on November 11, at 11 a.m., and the Memorial Day parade, which starts at the Newbridge Road School memorial park and marches down Bellmore Avenue to the Bellmore War Veterans M emorial Park in Bellmore Village.
Yngstrom got the blessing of officials of the VFW Post 2770, which, along with the Vietnam War Veterans Association, will combine at the beginning of 2018 under the current Bellmore Veterans Association banner. The Vietnam War Veterans Association was also housed in the American Legion building in North Bellmore, and moved with Post 1749.
“Many members overlap their memberships into other posts, anyway,” he said of the name change.
VFW Post 2770 in Bellmore now houses VFW, American Legion and Vietnam War members (Bellmore Veterans Association) for more efficiency and to provide more community outreach
Chris Peterkin, chairman of the board of the Bellmore Veterans Association – VFW Post 2770 is its home – and Vietnam veteran, said he was pleased the VFW Post 2770 could help out fellow veterans “in their time of need.” He said there was a new opportunity for the association, with more veterans’ organizations now on board, to develop a better sense of direction for veterans going forward, and how to serve them better.
Bob Kohler, commander of the Vietnam War Veterans Association, said of the move to the VFW facility that he is “very grateful for what they’ve done to help accommodate us.” He said his association, along with the North Bellmore American Legion, had become saddled with ever-increasing debt, and selling the building was the only way to resolve that debt.
“It was the right decision to sell the property, and it was a well-thought out decision on the part of the VFW to allow us to join with them” under the banner of the Bellmore Veterans Association. “They recognized our situation and reached out to fellow veterans to offer a helping hand.”
Both Yngstrom and Kohler look forward once again to doing what they say their association and legion were created to do. By stabilizing the costs of a facility, membership dollars will once again be utilized to provide contributions toward events in the community to help veterans, and to provide for deserving students in the community, as examples.
The schedule at VFW Post 2770, 2400 Bedford Avenue, Bellmore, is as follows: The North Bellmore American Legion Post 1749 meets the first Friday meets the first Friday of every month; the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 2770, meets the first Wednesday of the month; and the Vietnam War Veterans Association meets the last Tuesday of the month.
Dr. Drobbin said briefly that he started his practice in North Bellmore on Maple Avenue, and is glad to be “back in the neighborhood.”