MOLINE – VFW Post 2153 held its last fish fry of the year Friday night.
The post cites a lack of funding and membership problems as to why the group had to cancel the weekly dinner. Only about 50 people showed up to the dinner Friday. Long time members like David Holst remember when the VFW would pack 200 people into its building on 7th Street for a Friday night event.
“It was a time for people to come up here and see friends,” Holst said.
Like many posts nationwide, VFW Post 2153 says that its revenue is on the decline. Just recently, VFW Post 1303 announced it was selling its office in Rock Island. 2153 Quartermaster Don Van Acker says that many veterans are becoming too old to take part in weekly events.
“Half our membership can barely walk,” Van Acker said. “That’s part of the problem when you’ve got older membership. They can’t do the work.”
Van Acker says his post needs to clean the kitchen and do some maintenance work to its 7th Street building before it holds more fish fries. Van Acker says the post will not be closing its doors, but he says the group needs more time to try attracting some of the area’s younger veterans.
“We’ve got to reorganize here a bit,” Van Acker said. “It’s getting to the point where the fish fry decline numbers get out of hand, and the veterans end up making this decision.”
VFW Post 2153 does plan to hold its weekly fish fry again in March of 2013. In the meantime, many veterans may go to the Croatian Club fish fry in Moline to try to pass the time on Fridays.