Florence DAV chapter finds new home at West Florence Baptist - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Florence DAV chapter finds new home at West Florence Baptist

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By Dwight Dana

The Florence Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 11 has a new home thanks to West Florence Baptist Church.

A dedicatory service will be held at 11 a.m. today at the building behind West Florence Baptist Church. WFBC voted unanimously to donate use of the building to the DAV.

Bob Eldridge is commander of the local DAV.

“Our chapter of the DAV hasn’t had a home to have fundraisers or meetings for the veterans,” Eldridge said Friday. “After talking with Mike Boyce, a member of the church, they decided to donate the use of this facility to help the veterans have a permanent home. This has truly been a blessing for us to feel like we now have a permanent place to call home.”

Tommy Spell is another member of WFBC as well as a member of the DAV. He and his wife, Jane, were instrumental in helping the DAV with their new quarters.

“Me and Jane went to a DAV meeting and felt they needed to have a building of their own,” Spell said. “We ventured out and talked to Mike Boyce about the building.

“He called us and said WFBC had a building they didn’t use. He said they felt they could help us. He took the proposal before the board that very night and they voted 100 percent in our favor.”

Spell said the church wants to give back to the community and feels this is one way to do so.

“West Florence Baptist Church makes us feel so welcome,” he said. “The DAV is really excited to have a home of our own because they want to help our veterans in any way they can.”

Spell said the wives of the DAV members have partnered with their husbands in this endeavor. He said they will be preparing meals this morning.

“We meet on the second Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.,” Spell said. “We welcome all veterans and their wives.”

Eldridge said the DAV supports local veterans by, among others, finding ways to help them pay their bills, building handicapped ramps and helping them with their pensions.

Eldridge met with wounded veterans Friday participating in a 100-day cross-country “Wall-to-Wall” bicycle ride. The ride is sponsored by the Jeremy Statt Foundation.

Statt is a former Marine Corps Operations Iraqi Freedom veteran and retired National Football League player. He is making the trip from Bakersfield, Calif., to Washington, D.C., with Wesley Barrientos, an Army double-amputee. The pair arrived Friday in Florence and expects to reach the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in D.C. on May 28.

The Statt Foundation’s mission is to bring a living history to classrooms in the Unites States, offering life experience of veterans through its Veteran Speakers’ Board.

The Wall-to-Wall Cross Country Bicycle Ride was established to raise awareness of and support for the nation’s veterans, veteran organizations, veteran suicide awareness and to promote veteran centers on all college campuses throughout the U.S.

Additionally, the ride was created to draw attention to the increase in childhood obesity and, most importantly, how this epidemic can be prevented through good lifetime fitness activities, specifically bike riding.

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