VFW at home in new hall
Since the group's inception, the Basehor Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 11499 has been a group of men without a country, so to speak.
Regular monthly meetings usually were shot- gunned at different locations; member attendance sometimes suffered because of the location irregularities.
"We'd like to make it interesting enough that (all members) would like to attend," said Bob Wiley, post commander. "I'm hoping this will help."
The remedy for low attendance numbers Wiley refers too is the new permanent meeting hall for the VFW, located in the building formerly known as the Rose Room at 2805 155th Street in Basehor.
"It's the first place we've had dedicated (to the VFW)" Wiley said.
The building housing the VFW Hall is probably most recognizable to Basehor residents as an area housing a restaurant.
Since the early 1980s, as many as 10 different restaurant operators have used the building.
However, Wiley, who with his wife, Lela, own the building, said there's only one use for the building in the foreseeable future.
"It's going to be the VFW (hall) until they're finished with it," Wiley said. "I suspect it might be torn down after that.
"I had always kind of wanted to use this," he added. "As far back as '94, '95 I was trying to get the (VFW) to use it."
The VFW is a civic-minded community organization composed of approximately 50 veterans of such conflicts as World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Over the past few months, the group has worked together to renovate its new meeting hall by repainting walls, changing ceiling tiles and adding new carpet, in addition to little "odds and ends," Wiley said.
And the group is still at work on the new facility, the commander added.
"Not all of us work quite as fast as we used to," said Wiley with a slight chuckle. "But we've had a lot of help."
The permanent meeting hall is not only a benefit to the VFW, but the community as well.
In addition to being used for a meeting hall, the building will also house VFW fundraisers, and be available for organizations.
Donations are suggested for groups hoping to use the hall. Companies using the hall are charged $75, but $25 is returned if the hall is cleaned up, Wiley said.
The public got a first glimpse of the new hall during an open house in March. The VFW also hosted a biscuit and gravy breakfast as a fundraiser on Saturday, April 12.
Approximately 180 to 200 people attended the fundraiser and VFW officials said future fundraisers are being planned.
Any group interested in renting the hall is encouraged to contact the Wiley's at (913) 724-2597 or the VFW Hall at (913) 724-3481.