Milford VFW set to open again

Milford post has been undergoing reorganization

MILFORD – The post home of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars has been taken off the real estate market, and a “grand reopening” has been scheduled for today, March 30.

VFW officials said the post has been reorganized following an investigation by state VFW officials and the state Lottery Commission.

In February, the post announced it was selling its building on Mont Vernon Street. Then-Quartermaster Douglas Bianchi told The Cabinet it couldn’t afford to keep up the building anymore.

State officials, however, recently removed the “for sale” sign from in front of the property. Former Cmdr. Steve Sears said state VFW officials have been investigating the local organization since early March, and on March 6, temporarily suspended the post chapter.

Since then, new officers have been elected “who could help eliminate all the problems that led up to the charter suspension,” Sears said in a press release.

One of the problems was that the post neglected to inform the state organization of its intention to sell the property, a violation of VFW bylaws.

State Lottery Commission spokeswoman Mara McCann said the VFW is licensed to sell lottery tickets and Lucky 7 tickets. Her office inventoried sales, prizes and profits, she said, and the report was sent to the Milford Police Department.

Gregory Lynch, the state VFW quartermaster, said Monday that state VFW investigators had determined there were some problems with the local chapter and called for the charter suspension after finding that “things were not handled correctly,” but he didn’t want to go into specifics.

Lynch, who said the post still has financial problems, said, “We think we can dig our way out … and we have high hopes for a very successful and thriving” post.

On March 21, he said, 18 members and about seven state VFW officials met at the post for the reorganization. New officers include Bob Ledger, commander; Wayne Mosier, senior vice commander; Arthur Lindvall, junior vice commander; and Dick Hillman, quartermaster.

Sears said the VFW “has turned a corner, and has already hosted a private reception in the banquet hall and is accepting reservations for other functions.”

Bianchi, a 48-year member of the VFW and a former Milford selectman, couldn’t be reached for comment.

In February, he told The Cabinet that many members are retired and have moved away. He said the post couldn’t afford to maintain the building and that the chapter would either have to build a new building or rent one.

Harley Sanford Post 4368 was founded immediately after World War II, and was once prosperous enough to put on the town’s Labor Day parade and July Fourth celebration.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.

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