GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hockey players paying a visit to VFW Post #2475 on Thursday were not an uncommon sight. On Veterans Day, two players came to deliver free tickets to the Adirondack Thunder’s Military Appreciation Night game.
On Thursday, two different players came with another gift – one that directly came from that veterans-focused game. Players Sebastian Vidmar and Nick Rivera presented the Glens Falls VFW with a check to the tune of $11,924.27, a donation generated by proceeds from special jerseys auctioned off during the Nov. 13 game.
“It’s such a large donation,” said VFW Captain John Michael, who received the check. “We didn’t think half would be what we would have gotten.”
It was appropriate that Michael received the check in the VFW hall, because that’s exactly where the money is going to go. Post #2475 is undergoing building renovations, currently on the building’s siding and windows. Those alone will cost $40,000, when all is said and done. After that, the floor around the bar is next; flooring that hasn’t been touched since the building was built, over 100 years ago.
That will cost another $25,000. Michael said fundraising will be what gets them the rest of the way there. They’ve already raised around $3,000 through basket raffles, and have a building fund loan on the way. A gift like this takes out a significant portion of what it takes to keep the VFW operable.
“That right there is going to go strictly for this building, and revitalizing our community for our local vets who come back here,” he said.
The Glens Falls VFW currently serves 178 members. In past years, donations received by Military Appreciation Night games have been passed along to groups that support veterans in need.
For the Adirondack Thunder players who supplied the check, being there was a great way to say thank you to the community that fills Cool Insuring Arena during games. That’s true whether or not a game is a win or – as Military Appreciation Night’s game against the Utah Grizzlies went – a loss.
“After the game, we heard all the fans bidding on all the jerseys, and it was crazy to see it,” said Rivera, in his first season playing for the Thunder. “I’ve been through jersey auctions before, but here you notice something different. It’s for a great cause, and that’s what’s even more important; it’s more than a game.”
The jersey sales were facilitated by UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 773, also of Glens Falls. Mike Jarvis represented the union at the VFW.