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Thursday, May 5, 2016

VFW handicap access project underway

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

(Photo)
Construction began last week on a new handicap-accessible ramp at the Cherokee VFW Club. This is the first part of project to make the VFW Club more accessible for visitors. Photo by Mike Leckband
For the last few months Cherokee VFW L.A. Wescott Post #2355 has engaged in a fundraising effort to make the Cherokee VFW Club more handicap-accessible.

This has been a major undertaking for the post. Construction on a wheel-chair ramp for the Club's upper portion of the VFW recently began. The lower portion of the VFW, or the VFW Hall, already has a wheel chair ramp, but to access the upper part of the building people must use stairs.

The Club itself serves as a major reception hall for weddings, reunions, and private parties, and having a ramp would allow more access for disabled patrons.

"We are considering many options, including having the ramp at the back stair case. This would also make it easier for bands to set their instruments up, and weddings to get set up," said VFW Commander Mark Patterson.

The ramp will be located on the west side of the building.

The idea for the project came from Jan Wieland, the Program Director at Cherokee County Work Services. She approached the VFW Post about having more access to the club, and offered to help get the ball rolling because one of her clients, Kelly Clark, had struck a unique friendship with the Cherokee Fire Department and was always invited to the annual Fireman's Ball, held at the VFW.

Clark enjoyed going to the dance; however, he found it difficult to get access in the building because he is confined to a wheelchair.

To help the VFW remedy the situation, CCWS began producing memorial buttons and t-shirts on the anniversary of September 11.

One other project being considered is making the restrooms upstairs handicap-accessible. The goal for the projects is $12,000, and they hope to obtain additional funds from other sources.

For more information about the "Keeping the Faith" fund, contact Jan Wieland at Cherokee County Work Services at 225-4531, or stop by the CCWS at 322 Lake St.



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