Monday, August 30, 2010

RIP, Gerald Stump

Our post was deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Rev. Gerald Stump. Gerry was an amazing speaker, one of the kindest men on the planet, and very, very dedicated to supporting veterans. Our condolences to his family.

Visitation will be held tonight, Monday Aug. 30, at Central Baptist Church (1715 Hwy 68 in Oak Ridge) from 5 - 7 p.m.

Gerry during his service days:
Gerry at the most recent Veterans' Appreciation Day service held by the Summerfield Historical Committee:
We'll miss you, Gerry.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meeting face-to-face

Earlier this year, our Post Commander Roy Lee and his brother John got to take the Flight of Honor to Washington, D.C. This came about thanks to the efforts of the Northern Guilford High School girls' soccer team. Article can be read here.

Tonight, Roy and John got the chance to meet Annie face-to-face when she and her parents were guests at the annual post picnic/cookout. The guys hope to have the chance to meet other girls from the team whose awesome season enabled them to take part in the trip of a lifetime.
In photo:

Roy Lee (left), Annie Elliott, John Lee

Sunday, July 18, 2010

RIP, Lyle Baker

Lyle Baker, affectionately known as "Grumpy" by many members of VFW Post 7999, passed away on Friday, July 16. We will miss his sense of humor, his laugh, and his enormous heart. Our deepest condolences to his lovely wife Linda, and their daughters and grandchildren.

Lyle seemed to always have his camera in hand. Thus, this photo is a classic Lyle pose:

Lyle served as adjutant for many years. He was also active with the Marine Corps League. His full obit can be found here.

RIP, Grumpy. We'll miss you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Correcting the misinformation

Summerfield Veterans Memorial Facing Financial Troubles - WGHP (video link)

This clip ran on Monday, July 5. While the post was appreciative of the attention, we feel it necessary to correct two very important pieces of (mis)information that were given.

First, the Town of Summerfield did not "force" the post off the original memorial site. The Guilford County School System sent Andrew LaRowe to inform the post's monument committee that the system wanted to dig a test well on the site. Ultimately, for the sake of the kids who attend and will attend Summerfield Elementary School, the decision was made to give up the site for testing and relocate. This move added $10,000 to the monument's expense.

Second, we were identified as the Summerfield VFW Post 7999. (We get this a lot. We meet in Summerfield, but honest we're Northwest Guilford Memorial VFW Post 7999.)

An e-mail sent to the reporter who conducted the interview and the station asking for the correct information to be made public ASAP received no response. In all fairness, the reporter was pregnant and days away from her due date, so she may well be on maternity leave. If a correction was aired, we haven't seen it.

Tomorrow's issue of The Northwest Observer will have a full article on the monument.

Please bear in mind that tax-deductible donations can be mailed to the address on the right, or made at any Bank of Oak Ridge branch.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What's it going to look like?

We would like to extend our deep thanks to Tom Garcia and Southern Evergreen for this beautiful artist's rendering of our planned monument.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This kid cracks us up

Behold Noah, age 9, singing the Chicken Song he re-wrote to encourage people to buy our VFW hot dogs:

Noah's grandfather, Danny Nelson, is a member of our post, and the king of organizing car shows & hot dog sales.

Post Car Show success

Our May 8th Car Show was a ton of fun, and raised over $1200 for the memorial fund.

Some of the cars in attendance:

Friday, April 23, 2010


Due to the rain in the forecast, the car show has been postponed until May 8th. These sweet rides are cherished babies, and their owners don't bring them out on the road if there's a chance they might get messed up.

The book fair and the hot dog sale will proceed as planned at Goldens Antiquest & Treasures 4537 Highway 220, Summerfield.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mark your calendars!

Come check out awesome rides at our car show on Saturday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m - 3:00 p.m. (Want to enter your car? It's not too late! Email for a registration form.)

We'll also be holding a book fair with new books and gifts courtesy of Books Are Fun!

Come enjoy the Books Are Fun book fair held right here at:

4537 HWY 220

9 AM TO 4 PM

Come visit the New Books Are Fun Book Fair in the convenience of your workplace. With over 250 great titles at unbelievable prices, you are sure to find something for everyone on your list!

Product categories include:

Children's Story Books, Cookbooks, General Interest Books, New York Times Best Sellers, Stationery & Scrapbooking, Music Collections, Gifts for all ages, Early Learning Products, and Children's Educational Products.

First run, top quality products from the world's leading publishers:

Time Life, Simon & Schuster, Dorling Kindersley, Harper-Collins, Penguin, Random House, Reader's Digest, Rodale, Disney, Publication's International, Thomas Nelson, Peachtree Publishing and many more!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yard Sale Success!

We had a gorgeous sunny day and lots of visitors to the VFW Yard Sale yesterday! Shoppers took home a bunch of really great deals. Several asked if we were going to make this a regular event. (Um...give us a chance to recover from this one, and we'll think about it!) Our Hot Dog Sale was a great success - at least until we ran out of onions and mustard. We promise that won't happen against next week. We also began selling these great magnets for just $3 each:We'll soon have t-shirts available, too!

Thank you to everyone who joined us yesterday. We made nearly $800 for the Memorial Fund!

Come back next week for more delicious hot dogs, and keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming events!

Friday, March 19, 2010

7 Years Ago

It's been seven years since the beginning of the Iraq War.

Nearly 4,400 American soldiers have died.

Please keep soldiers and their families in your hearts.

Friday, March 12, 2010

GREAT NEWS and not-so-great-news

The great news first: On Tues. March 9, the Summerfield Town Council unanimously approved the newly selected site for our monument. We're very happy to have that behind us, and more determined than ever to make our projected dedication date of July 4, 2010. We anticipate signing the contract to begin the pre-construction prep within two weeks or so. Still no word on whether or not Guilford County will assist us with the additional costs we'll incur from stepping aside to accommodate the school system's request.

Now for the not-so-great-news: Our yard sale, which was planned for tomorrow at Golden Antiques & Treasures in Summerfield has been postponed due to foreboding weather forecasts.

The yard sale will be held on Mar. 20 at the same location, starting at 9:00 a.m. Be sure to come check out all the great deals!

We will be having our Saturday Hot Dog Sale at Golden Antiques tomorrow from 10:30 a.m. until...we run out of dogs. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Saturday, two fund-raisers

Fortunately for us, Mother Nature decided to give us a lovely, sunny Saturday on which to hold two fund-raisers. Post members descended upon Golden Antiques & Treasures in Summerfield to hold our weekly hot dog sale. Senior Vice-Commander Bob White, decked out in a very appropriate apron, manned the grill:Post member Phil Belton manned the tank:Then he lost it to his grandson and Noah, grandson of post member Danny Nelson:
Noah also watched over his nephew, Rylan (age 6 weeks):
Later in the day, post members gathered at the Brassfield Chik-fil-A in Greensboro, where diners were encouraged to drop their receipts into a donation box. The restaurant will donate 15% of sales from 4:00-8:00 p.m. to our Memorial Fund. Here, post member Lyle Baker waits to greet diners:
Lyle can smile. We see him do it all the time. He just doesn't do it for photos. ;-)

Many, many thanks to area residents who supported our fund-raising events today, and to our hosts: Golden Antiques & Treasures and Brassfield Chik-fil-A!

Friday, March 5, 2010

What the heck have we been up to?

Yes, we have been busy. During the months after our groundbreaking, we set about obtaining estimates for materials, construction, grading and labor in regards to getting our monument built. We've traveled to different monuments around the state for ideas and inspiration, and come home to put our heads together and figure out how to raise building funds in a precarious economy.

Our projected budgets have ranged from $50,000 for pre-cast concrete to $150,000 for solid granite. After determining that pre-cast concrete would be both affordable and more easily formed to suit our design, we launched our fund-raising endeavors and set our hearts on a dedication date of July 4, 2010.

And just when we were within days of signing a binding contract to begin preparation for construction, we received news that Guilford County Schools wanted to dig a test well on our site.

Yes, really.

The school system's other two test wells turned up positive for radon. Without a viable well, Summerfield Elementary School (which is literally a stone's throw from our dedicated site in the Summerfield Town Park) cannot be expanded. Aware of the school's desperate need for space, we made a tough decision.

In this clip, post member Danny Nelson speaks before the Summerfield Town Council and members of the news media, explaining our decision to sacrifice the site we've spent well over a year planning as the permanent home for our monument.

Here is a portion of the speech Danny presented:


...Our veterans are certainly accustomed to making sacrifices. After much consideration and discussion we are once again willing to make another sacrifice. These are our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and perhaps great great grandchildren that each of us has fought and died for to afford them the freedoms and the right for education. It is in this case our duty to stand up and make this decision.

We are willing to surrender our site in the grove of trees to allow the Guilford County Schools to proceed with their project on the condition that we are granted the alternate site on the East side of the Summerfield Community Center parking lot. We request this council approve this site with no delay so we can continue with our project and meet our projected July 4th Our post lost five members last year. We simply do not want to bury another comrade without them seeing this monument completed. Therefore we need a solid commitment from this council and Guilford County today. dedication. We cannot afford to waste time again haggling over sites.

It is our understanding that the town of Summerfield fully supports and is committed to this memorial for the good of the community we therefore request a public confirmation that we will be granted this alternate site that was discussed as an option between the town manager and myself last week.

From Guilford County we need a solid commitment from Mr. LaRowe (Andrew LaRowe, Executive Director of Construction and Facilities Management for Guilford County Schools) that he will work on our behalf to get the county to offset the added expenses incurred by our accommodation of their needs"

Given the short notice regarding the county’s need to test on our dedicated site in the grove of trees we have not had the time or opportunity to obtain estimates for preparing and building on the alternate site. Because of the physical issues involved by changing sites there will be additional expenses that will well exceed our projected budget."

The site that was granted to us by the Summerfield Town Council in a unanimous - but non-binding resolution - is a short distance from the grove of trees we incorporated into our original design. It is closer to the parking lot that the original site. This aspect is very important to us, as we are thinking of visitors who have limited mobility. Whether they are elderly veterans slowed by age or youthful veterans whose mobility was sacrificed in a war zone, whether they are mothers with babies in strollers, we want this monument to be easily accessible. We're having to tweak our design just a bit to accommodate the new site as well as the additional ground work that will be required, but we are determined to get this monument done.

On Tuesday evening, March 16, at 6:30, the Summerfield Town Council will meet. We fully expect that the non-binding resolution will be made binding. Meanwhile, we've spent this week planning more fund-raising events.

Please check back frequently to follow our progress.

Thank you for supporting veterans!