Coronavirus pandemic impacts local veteran organizations
MARYLAND – “It’s very scary,” said Thomas Rippon, commander at the Delmar VFW Post 8276.
“If we get a second dose of this pandemic and they shut us down again, it’s very scary, I mean it’s unbelievable,” said Rippon who is also state senior vice commander at the VFW Department of Maryland.
Veteran organizations in Maryland like the Delmar VFW Post 8276 and the American Legion Springhill Post 237 say the pandemic has had a significant impact on their business.
“We’re probably losing anywhere from 4,000 to 5,000 dollars a month by not having the bar open,” said Sam Rhodes, financial officer at the American Legion Springhill Post 237.
“I figured that we are losing about 10,000 dollars a month being closed because that means there are no dinners being served, there is nothing being done,” said Rippon.
These organizations tell us they depend on indoor dining and their bars to keep business going while supporting local charities and veterans, but with the restrictions they’ve had to look for creative ways to stay afloat.
“We try to stay within the rules of the law and not open it up, but we decided that once we found out that we could do drive-thrus as long as people stayed in their cars we decided to try it,” said Rippon.
Meanwhile, the team at the American Legion Springhill Post 237 says they’re relying on takeout to make it through the pandemic.
“The funding now for all these dinners and everything really, it’s keeping us paying the bills,” said Rhodes.
“I mean it’s really what’s keeping us afloat,” said Rhodes.
Despite these challenges we’re told they’ll do whatever it takes to get by and that they’re looking forward to being all together again once the state deems it safe.
“I am not into politics at all, so whatever the governor says we can do when he opens up the state of Maryland, that’s exactly what we will do,” said Rippon.
American Legion Springhill Post 237 in Hebron says although they’re losing about 4,000 dollars each month their takeout dinners are helping them to offset those losses.
Meanwhile, the Delmar VFW Post 8276 says they’re looking to host more drive-thrus in the future.