Veterans of Foreign Wars to host 32nd Beer Garden
With the Fountain Hills Great Fair scheduled this coming weekend (Friday, November 8th through Sunday, November 10th), “All American” VFW Post 7507 is preparing to host its 32th consecutive Beer Garden.
In addition to the brats, beer, mixed drinks, hot dogs, soft drinks, water and chili, which are the main features of the Garden, the Post conducts multiple 50/50 raffles, sells Red Shirt Friday shirts and military style hats and has live music during the fair. The Beer Garden and Mini-Beer Garden both provide a great place to relax in shade or sun while taking a break from the great shopping opportunities provided by the many vendors and local merchants. Waitress service will be available at the main Beer Garden on Saguaro Blvd. The Post invites everyone to visit the Beer Garden to enjoy music and good food during the Great Fair.
Again this year the VFW Beer Garden will feature live music each day. On Friday and Sunday (12 to 4 pm) music will be provided by the "Borderland Band" featuring classic rock, and county and blues with lead singer Bill Lewis, an Army vet and retired Phoenix Police Officer The "Hooked on a Feeling" band will play from 1 to 3:30 on Saturday. Everyone is invited to sit, eat, relax and listen to the music. The tables within the Beer Garden enclosure are reserved for Beer Garden patrons. Buying of food and drink is a great way to support your veterans; however, patrons are allowed to bring in outside food if they buy drinks or Red Shirt Friday products. Jim Doeden will provide music at the mini-Garden from noon to 5 daily. The music at the VFW Beer Gardens is the only live entertainment in the entire Fountain Festival area.
In 2002, when the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce decided not to continue sponsoring a Beer Garden, VFW Post 7507 competed for and won the exclusive right to host the Beer Garden at both town festivals – the Great Fair and the Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts. Since that day there have been many changes in both the Fountain Festival of Arts and Crafts and the VFW’s Beer Garden. The Fountain Festival’s popularity has grown significantly and expanded to the very large and really wonderful event that it is today. The VFW's Beer Garden has also grown and changed in a number of ways. The location has changed several times to the current location just south of the intersection of Saguaro and Avenue of the Fountains near the "Row of Presidents" across from the Lakeshore Hotel. Because of popular demand and to better serve Festival patrons, in 2004 the Garden expanded to include a mini Beer Garden that serves beer, wine, soda, water and sells hats and Red Shirt Friday shirts. It is now located at near the intersection of the Avenue of the Fountains and Verde River Drive.
Since Veterans Day in 2010, the VFW has also spearheaded the sale of Red Shirt Friday shirts that honor our troops. All profits have gone to support programs for homeless veterans or other veterans in need. The latest design shirts along with military style hats will again be on sale at both the main Beer Garden and mini-Garden.
To honor service members, the Post will give one free food item and a beverage to all active duty service members upon presentation of proof of service.
To raise funds for Dogs4Vets, the Post will hold a raffle to win a private romantic hot air balloon ride for two (2). Dogs4Vets trains assist dogs for veterans at no cost to the veteran. One Post 7507 member utilizes a dog trained by this organization; your ticket purchases stay local. The winner need not be present when the drawing is held after all tickets are sold - hopefully during the Festival. The last winner of last year’s Henry Rifle raffle was a Fountain Hills resident.
Again this year, the Post, in conjunction with the Chamber, will host a “Thank You” Dinner for vendors (only) on Saturday night.
Unlike the other local Veterans Service Organizations, VFW Post 7507 does not operate a canteen (bar). Thus the Beer Garden and the annual Ralph Truax Memorial VFW Golf Tournament are the primary sources of revenue each year to support the Post’s many charitable endeavors, including support for a nurse in training at the VA Hospital, financial contributions to Honor Flight and to the Arizona National Guard Family Support Fund for families with service members deployed, and support and funding for homeless veterans including Mary Ellen's Place (homeless women vets) and Arizona Standdown, to name just a few. The VFW also gives cash awards to winners of the Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy essay contests for students and gives special recognition to Teachers, Firefighters and Peace Officers. Almost 2 years ago the Post purchased a shell building at 9624 Monterey, moved in and is completing the build-out as a Post Home/HQ. With Phase 2 of the 3 phase build-out complete, using the new Post Home the VFW members have are better able to do more for veterans. As a part of that, the Post opened a Veterans Community and Resource Center within the building, equipped with Computers available to veterans. As fundraising allows, the Veterans Resource and Community Center will be expanded and additional services provided. All VFW members have served in a conflict area overseas.
So when you get tired of shopping, your feet are worn out from looking, or you just want to relax, stop by one of the Beer Gardens, join the party, grab a seat, some delicious food, and a cold one, thereby supporting your local VFW Post, its charities and other projects. Post members look forward to seeing you there and will appreciate your patronage.
VFW Post 7507 holds a Social and Game night every Thursday and meets for coffee and comaraderie the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. Both events are in its Post Home at 9624 N Monterey Drive. All veterans are welcome.
Veterans interested in joining or determining eligibility to join the VFW can get additional information by contacting the Post's Membership Chairman Sandy Borken at 602-301-0076 or by e-mail at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or by leaving a message on the Post's voice mail at 480 836-5520. Other VFW information can be obtained by contacting the Post Commander, Steve Gonells at 480 202-7417 or by e-mail at Stevegonnella@aol.com or VFW7507@yahoo.com or by visiting the Post's website at http://www.VFWpost7507.org and using the contact us page.
Post 7507 is the local Fountain Hills, north Scottsdale and Verde Communities chapter of the national VFW organization. The VFW's mission is to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans' service, community service, national security and a strong national defense. VFW Posts participate in a number of activities to help veterans and/or their families that are in need, while also promoting patriotism among the youth of our community through such programs as Voice of Democracy, Patriot' Pen, Teacher of the Year programs and by hosting Boy/Girl Scout troops. Post 7507 has a continuing relationship with patients at the local VA hospital and the Arizona Veterans' home. Members of VFW Post 7507 have also contributed time, money and tools to various programs for the homeless veterans, including the Madison Street Veterans Association in downtown Phoenix. In addition to monetary contributions, and the contributions of time and effort by members, Post 7507 sells Red Shirt Friday shirts, operates a beer garden during each of the Town's festivals and hosts an annual golf tournament each year in November to raise the funds required to carry out its mission of helping others. As a part of its public outreach program, VFW Post 7507 provides a Color Guard for various town events such as Patriot's Day and Day of Service and Remembrance, the Thanksgiving Day Parade, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day commemorative ceremonies at the Fountain Hills Veterans Memorial, funerals/memorial services for veterans, and conducts Flag Retirement Ceremonies. Nationwide, VFW Posts and their Auxiliaries provide over $2.8 million in college scholarships to high school students every year.
The VFW is there--honoring the dead by helping the living .
When you get tired of shopping, your feet are worn out from looking, or you just want to relax, stop by one of the Beer Gardens, join the party, grab a seat, some delicious food, and a cold one, thereby supporting your local VFW Post, its charities and other projects. Post members look forward to serving you and will appreciate your patronage and support.
Boe James (Adjutant and Publicity/Community Affairs Officer, and past Commander and Membership Chair) sometimes mentally compares the VFW Beer Garden with the Beer Garden at his sister-in-law's house in MI., a picture of which is shown. For a peaceful reflective time he prefers his sister-in-law's Beer Garden, but for good food and drink, music and comaraderie he prefers the VFW Beer Garden which he will attend each day. He would love to see you there while he is pulling beer, serving food, cashiering or selling raffle tickets.