The spring has been very busy since the last Sit-Rep in February. Program development and continued campus refurbishment are the main activity centers. Executive Director Dan Buckwald and Development Director Kevin Bourgault have been synchronously moving Veterans Legacy/Camp Alma forward toward preparedness to accept our first contingent of Vets.
Speaking of Dan’s activity, he’s been giving numerous tours of the Camp to various groups all coming away with a better understanding of the mission and needs. Best of all, they all are impressed and enthusiastic in supporting the effort in a variety of ways. Lowe’s, Home Depot, Wildish Construction just to name a few of our in kind donors. We want to recognize other financial support from Emerald Square Dance, Impact Club of Eugene, and Eugene Downtown Lions Club. A special contribution came from Parole and Probation Class #79 who purchased 5 goats graciously provided by Marta Prato and Randy Myer. They are a fun and practical addition to our agricultural endeavors and are blackberry eradicators supreme!
Two other agricultural pluses. We were able to purchase a much needed tractor which will become even more versatile when the front end loader becomes available. Kevin has already used the tractor in full battle with the Scotch Broom and has won the first few skirmishes!! There had been a lot of talk regarding building a chicken tractor (mobile chicken coop with nesting boxes allowing free range feeding in a protected scenario – great for the land and great for the chickens) – Dan, along with Rick Summers and assorted volunteers constructed a gorgeous unit on the hay wagon chassis that was available. Pictures of John Deere and Chicken tractor coming soon!! Borrowing Dan Swanson’s big tractor and rotary hoe, Dan got everything in the garden and beds tilled up and ready to plant. Kevin has pruned all the fruit trees as well.
We have moved enough beds/wardrobe closets, donated by the University of Oregon, into the large dorm to outfit one room. It looked great. Then we pressured up the water system and met with disaster as there were several leaks which did some damage to the ceiling – We all learned something from Rick Summers Navy vocabulary @#$%!!– LOL! Better now than when the carpeting, etc. is in place.
A big shout out to Clay DeForge (Navy) for keeping our piano tuned!! Terry Riley and Dee Boshaw have the medical room organized and supplies stored. John Leaton, who previously worked for Lane County at the Camp, has gotten the dish washer and both clothes washers functioning and within one part of having the dryers going as well. Thank you John!!
A big work weekend on May 4th! Roofing crews got all of the roof removed on the west side of the big dorm and ready to paper then roll out roofing. The large HVAC shrouds are in place, custom made by Johnson Air Products out of Portland and ready for HVAC installation which Comfort Flow will be lending their expertise. Thanks to both of these companies for their generous in kind donations!!! A major metal clean up at numerous sites has noticeably tidied up the place – thanks to Kevin Bourgault for leading that effort. Lastly, the chicken tractor got completely primed and ready for finish paint job. Pam Buckwald, Jane Hart, her grandson, and many others all contributed. At present, it’s battleship gray but soon it will be barn red according to Dan Buckwald’s color scheme.
There’s many other items too numerous to mention that keep the momentum going forward. I do want to mention two dates to keep in mind. On Thursday August 29, 2019 it will be Veterans Legacy Night at the Eugene Emeralds. We’ve reserved the third base picnic grounds and can squeeze 130-160 in. $40/ticket gets you dinner, 2 drinks, Veterans Legacy T-Shirt, and admission to the game. More information will be coming on Facebook/website – would really like to have this sold out and get VL some recognition at a different venue!! By the way, Military night at the Emeralds is August 16th, VL will be there with a booth!
Lastly, we’ve been working on developing an annual fundraiser strategy. Here’s another date to put on the calendar. November 9, 2019 at the Wheeler Pavilion -Lane Events Center, Veterans Legacy will be presenting “Juke Box Memories”. Bring your dancin’ shoes/boots as Jivin’ Johnny Etheredge from KRVM will bring back the music of the honky tonks of the ‘40’s, 50’s, and 60’s for your listening and dancing pleasure. There will be food, adult beverages, silent auction, and more to raise the funds to make the dream come true!!! More info coming soon!!
President, Board of Directors