With local Veterans of Foreign Wars membership on the decline, a group of Kings Park volunteers is fighting to once again make a fixture in the community.
Leading the way are residents like Jim Pavese and Tom Molloy, who along with 30 other volunteers from the men’s and women’s auxiliary are working on a plan to make the hall a center for Kings Park activities.
“I feel my family is tied to it,” said Pavese who is an auxiliary member. His grandfather was one of the founding members of the local hall and his father served in World War II. Molloy’s father was a Lieutenant who served in Europe.
The plan actually kicks off Saturday, when the hall will be open to the community for the starting with breakfast at 10 a.m. Parade goers can stop in to see traditional Irish step dancing or listen to a band. Corned beef and cabbage, Shepherd’s pie and Ulster stew and other Irish favorites provided by Plum Crazy Kitchen will be sold as well as Irish Soda bread, beer and wine.
“We want to keep it active so the next generation can use it,” said Pavese. “It was a valuable part of the town, a community center. We want to bring that back.”
The event will serve as a fundraiser for the hall to help fund the continual improvement of the venue.
The building, which holds about 120 people, was given to by the in 1938. But in 1963 the church sold the building to the VFW.
These days renting the hall costs $400 and for members, the price is $300. Plans to renovate the basement are underway and include a working kitchen with an industrial stove and added rental space.
“This group has decided to reinvest and save it for the next generation of kids,” said Pavese.