VFW's convention effort gets statewide recognition

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The Colorado chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars recently presented the VFW Post No. 4265 (Craig chapter) with a commendation for the convention that was held at the Holiday Inn in Craig.

In the recognition of the Craig community and VFW, the glowing words included "never in the history of the Annual Convention has this organization been more cordially treated and welcomed by the Host Post and the community in which it has

its Headquarters."

Bill Frye, who belongs to the VWF in Craig, said it took about a year to plan the event. They talked to the Moffat County commissioners and others about helping support the event and then last year the group put up a bid to hold the convention here and won.

"We started with $5,000 in the bank. We made money but I don't know how much," Frye said.

There were many people who helped make the event possible including the Holiday Inn who gave discounted rates to participants.

"I would like to thank the Holiday Inn and everyone else who supported the conference," Frye said.

The attendance was around 400 during the conference, including the men and women's groups and it was held June 11-14.

"Most of the feedback was very positive, they were very pleased with what a small town could offer them," said Bill Harding, Moffat County Veterans Service officer and a coordinator of the conference.

There was a complaint about having no shuttles but Craig does not have public transportation.

"I think that it might be some sour grapes because it was from the Grand Junction group and their conference didn't go so well last year," Harding said.

The Colorado convention, which was last in Craig in 1986, was a lot of work, according to Frye. The events, which varied some for the women and men, included a golf and miniature golf tournament, a commemorative dance for World War II veterans, elections of new members and a military dinner and ball.

J.R. Lewis, who is referred to as Mr. VFW Colorado and who was recently voted the new District 13 representative, said that the conference in Craig was one of the best conferences, according to Harding. Lewis, who is in his 80s, personally recruited 3,500 new members for the VFW last year.

Something else that makes the commendation special is that the event may no longer be held in different communities.

"This may be the last post-sponsored event (conference) because it is hard for small towns to raise the money and the membership is getting older. So it may go to contracting to big hotels," Harding said.

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