‘We Always Want to Make Sure We Shine in the Community’

A VFW Post in Ohio donated more than $150,000 last year to charitable causes in hopes of uplifting its small community

When VFW Post 3343 Commander Brian Moore sat down to calculate how much his Post and its Auxiliary had donated in 2023, the figure sent him back to the calculator.

Between January and December of last year, the Post in Clyde, Ohio, donated $158,799 out of its charitable checking account to several organizations, schools, local government and programs geared toward making its community a better place.

Post donates to local community
Clyde, Ohio, Fire Chief Paul Fiser and Police Chief Monte Campbell are presented $10,000 checks from Clyde VFW Post 3343 trustee Mo Marks and Commander Brian Moore. Post 3343 donated the funds to purchase much-needed equipment. From left, Clyde City Manager Justin LaBenne, Fiser, Marks, Moore and Campbell.
“I subtracted and added everything several times to make sure the numbers were right,” said Moore, an Air Force veteran who served in South Korea in 1988. “We are a very active Post always
looking for ways to help in the community, but I myself was astounded.”

The Post in Clyde, about 75 miles west of Cleveland, relies on its membership of more than 300 and an Auxiliary of 400 to raise money by keeping active in the community and participating in events
and fundraisers throughout the year.

Since Ohio legalized electronic instant bingo in June 2021, the majority of Post 3343’s donations to the community have since stemmed from the revenue of pulltab tickets and machines played by its
VFW and Auxiliary members.

“The licensing states that we have to maintain a separate checking account for our electronic proceeds to use for charity,” Moore said. “We always want to make sure we shine in the community,
and through our membership remaining very active, we have been able to raise large sums of money to donate locally.”

In 2023, the Post donated to several scholarship funds, area schools, youth clubs and organizations, police and fire departments, VFW’s Unmet Needs program for military and veteran families, and many others. This included $10,000 to the Big Nut Scholarship fund for those who attend Ohio State University, $12,000 to the local chapters of the Boys and Cub Scouts, as well as $4,000 toward Toys for Tots and $5,000 among the three local winners of VFW’s Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests.

For their charitable work around the community, Moore added that his Post has garnered positive feedback from many local residents in Clyde. According to Moore, the gratitude from members in the community of 6,321 residents is palpable.

“The mayor is a friend, and he has thanked me personally for what we have been able to do,” Moore said. “Together with my wonderful officers and Auxiliary, I know what we have been able to do
has had and continues to have a positive impact in our community.”

VFW Post 3343 also started 2024 by giving the Clyde fire and police departments $10,000 each during the first week of January, which will be used for much-needed equipment for the first responders, according to Moore.

“Annually, we give them something,” Moore said. “I talked with the chiefs and got a feel for any special needs they might have. The police department bought new cameras and safety equipment, and the fire department needed more security.”

The Post on April 19 also is sponsoring a two-day, 100-mile run by Moore’s son, Clifford. He is an Auxiliary member and veteran who on Veterans Day is known around Clyde for treating veterans
to free dental appointments at his practice. The run, dubbed “Hometown Run For Heroes,” is a cause to raise money for PTSD and suicide prevention and awareness.

“Like I said, we are a very active Post,” Moore said. “I believe we are one of the best Posts in Ohio and what a VFW Post should aspire to be."

This article is featured in the 2024 April issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Ismael Rodriguez Jr., senior writer for the VFW magazine.