SPARTA, NJ - Efforts to revitalize the VFW building on Main Street continued on Saturday as new windows were being installed. The windows were just the latest improvement for the building that recently got a new roof and new heating and air-conditioning units.
Commander Peter Litchfield and Senior Vice-Commander John Finkeldie spoke about their plans for the future. Referring to a black and white photo, they said they want to see the building restored to its original exterior, refurbishing the front porch with columns. In January and February the building will be closed for the next phase of the renovations that includes new walls, floors, ceilings and lighting.
“We want it to be something for the community to use,” said Litchfield. Already, a number of groups use the facility; the Organic Food Market, Boy Scout Troop 95, Blue Knights, Fraternal Order of Police, Fox Hollow Community Association. The Post Office Union used the hall for its meeting recently. Trout Unlimited will be using the hall soon. The Sparta Junior Women’s Club will be using the hall after the reconstruction.
“The Junior Women’s Club has supported us. They had a number of volunteers who help with the ride,” said Litchfield. The VFW recently held a motorcycle ride and dinner fundraiser that was well attended with 38 motorcycles and 125 for dinner. The band Flannel Jam played. “The police did an outstanding job. John Paul Beebe was instrumental."
“We are thankful that we have people like the Mohawk House and Krogh’s helping to support us” with their fundraising efforts Litchfield said. “Even John [of the Mohawk House] has said, not everyone can afford to have a birthday party at the Mohawk House. John and Rachel from the Mohawk House held a fundraiser for us with The Nerds.”
The VFW had a history of supporting the community with their Friday night barbecues in the summer and dinners for Sparta seniors. The Sparta Spartan Youth Football and Cheerleading held their Comedy Night fundraiser at the VFW.
Aside from renting to parties, they want to offer the venue to other types of groups as well.
“We want this to be used by the community,” said Litchfield.
“There are not many places in town for groups to use to for meetings or classes,” said Finkeldie.
They also shared that on Monday nights during football season they have the game on in the bar and offer wings. “You can even get wings to go,” said Litchfield.
Three Brothers Construction’s Andrew Petrucelli, a former Sparta policeman, now with the West Milford police department, did the window installation, with help from the vets.