As we enter a new VFW year, we continue to face many of the same problems that prior administrations have. Most notable among them is membership. Membership Chair Pete Farmer and his committee have been doing a splendid job and many of our newer members will be definite assets to the Post. However young veterans still in their working years continue to find it difficult to attend our meetings. For most, a two-hour break in the middle of a workday is wholly impractical.
On the other hand, occasional suggestions to change our meetings to an evening hour have encountered resistance because many of our current members are of an age where driving after dark isn’t a good idea. Re-member that during much of the year the sun goes down before the dinner hour. The result for us is that younger veterans have effectively been shut out.
Further compounding the problem is the location of our meeting place, the Edmonds Senior Center. These folks have been wonderful hosts with nourishing and affordable meals, however by definition the Senior Center is for older people. It is not the sort of place where active young VFW members feel at home. We have heard from several that they feel out of place here.
So what is the answer? Let me tell you about an option that we are exploring. Our by-laws require us to have “at least” one regular meeting each month, but nowhere does it say that we can’t have more than one meeting a month. What we’re looking into is having two meetings each month—one at noon and one in the evening—with members having the option to attend whichever one they prefer. That way those who can’t drive at night (or who prefer to meet at noon) can continue to do so and members still employed can attend a meeting after working hours.
We have not yet discussed locations and meals, etc., but we will be looking into our options soon. Mean-while, let me stress that the two-meeting idea is only being explored right now; nothing is yet to the point where it might be brought to the membership for action.
However we are very interested in your opinions. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Let me hear from you.