'We Have Greatly Valued Our Long-Term Relationship'

A VFW Post in Wisconsin created a scholarship fund for members of a local Army Reserve unit

After more than 20 years of fundraising, VFW Post 2113 members and its Auxiliary in De Pere, Wisconsin, found themselves in search of a meaningful way to use the earnings.

Through diligent talks that lasted more than a year, Post members decided to place the $15,750 they raised into a scholarship fund tailored for local veterans hoping to extend their education at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC).

VFW Post 2113 presents a scholarship donation
From left: Post 2113 Commander Pat Moran, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) Educational Foundation Director Crystal Harrison, 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion Commander (CAB) Jamie Hanson and Julie Hanson, a member of the 432nd CAB Family Readiness Group, celebrate the launch of the Post’s $15,750 endowed scholarship to NWTC Educational Foundation on April 1 at Post 2113 in De Pere, Wisconsin. Photo courtesy of Randy Hansen.
Building on their long-forged relationship with active-duty soldiers of the Army Reserve’s 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion (CAB) in nearby Green Bay, the Post officially voted the scholarship into existence on March 4.

“We have greatly valued our long-term relationship and support of these 432nd CAB soldiers and their families,” said Post 2113 Commander Pat Moran, a former Army sergeant and Vietnam
War veteran. “Creating this new scholarship specifically aimed at these soldiers, our future military and civilian leaders, is simply a logical continuation of our Post and Auxiliary’s support for their local and worldwide missions.”

Set to take effect during the 2021 fall semester at NWTC in Green Bay, about 5 miles north of De Pere, the scholarship will grant $750 each year to a recipient of the 432nd CAB. The scholarship fund will be available to members of the 432nd CAB and their immediate family members.

For Quartermaster Randy Hansen and other Post 2113 members, though, the scholarship fund is an evolving project that they expect to continually replenish.

Through monthly fundraisers that include Buddy Poppy distributions and food drives, coupled with local business partnerships, the Post’s next benchmark goal is to raise an additional $5,000.

“Raising the $5,000 will allow us to turn the $750 annual scholarship into two $500 scholarships,” said Hansen, an Army veteran who served two tours in Korea between 1978-79 and 1983-84.

“In order to do so, we have partnered with local businesses like Village Roasters, a local coffee shop in town.”

The partnership with Village Roasters yielded results through the overwhelming sale of Heroic Roast coffee, a special blend sold caffeinated and in decaf form throughout the month of May. With each bag sold, a portion of the proceeds went toward Post 2113’s relief fund, which is used to provide support to local veterans as they age, those in need of financial support and the families of local soldiers while they are deployed overseas.

“Of the $5 we made from each bag, we donated $1 to the 8th VFW District of Wisconsin,” Hansen said. “Then part of the remaining $4 went toward a picnic we have planned for returning
members of the 432nd in September, as well as the scholarship fund.”

The partnership with local businesses remains a staple of Post 2113’s influx of funds to support local veterans in and around the community of De Pere.

Stemming from partnerships with businesses like Village Roasters and organizations such as the local Unity Hospice and NWTC Education Foundation, Post 2113 members hope to continue to grow their reach in helping veterans.

“It’s our ability to create a community partnership with small businesses that has allowed us to continue to raise money toward the scholarship fund and other support initiatives for the 432nd and local veterans alike,” Hansen said. “It’s been a slow process, but a steady one since we started fundraising 20 years ago.”

This article is featured in the September 2021 issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Ismael Rodriguez Jr., senior writer for VFW magazine.