Veterans Hall for Wenatchee Valley opens in former Eagles banquet hall


From left: Bob Ashford, George Turner and Ron Bruno at a recent planning meeting to discuss the Wenatchee Valley Veterans Hall at 1202 N. Wenatchee Ave. It will be available to all veterans from the entire Wenatchee Valley area and no membership will be required. Gary Bégin/QCH
WENATCHEE -- Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz has designated a venue for a new Wenatchee Valley Veterans Hall, the former banquet room in the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 204 on North Wenatchee Avenue.
Former Army vet George Turner,  Marine vet Bob Ashford and Marine and Army vet Ron Bruno are the three local veterans responsible for organizing and creating this “safe space” for all vets, no matter what unit or branch they were in, or if they served in peace or war.
“We plan on hiring someone local to paint some murals to give the hall a lighter look. Right now, without windows, it is kind of claustrophobic and many veterans do not respond well to these type of rooms,” said Ron Bruno, spokesman for the founding trio.
“We’d like to have a peaceful scene, maybe a beach, painted on the wall,” he said.
Ashford said there will be colors (flags) representing every branch of service including the Merchant Marine and Coast Guard.
“The colors will be placed on the stage and lit. The colors will never be taken down for any reason, even if the Hall is rented by other groups,” Ashford said.
The three men were adamant that no military criteria or membership will be required to visit the Hall, where Ashford plans on serving coffee and donuts on the first Tuesday of every month from 8 a.m. to noon.
Plans for the room include kitchen facilities, an office and maintenance closet. It already has ADA approved restrooms. The room already has a large dance floor and small stage.
Army veteran Dan Beattiger will be the Secretary of the Hall organization. Douglas County Veterans Service Officer and Air Force veteran Sarah Simonson will also be involved. 
The 3,000 square foot hall can accommodate about 250 people. No smoking or alcohol will be allowed in the Hall, but the Eagles club has a full bar and also serves food if anyone wants to step next door to buy those amenities and consume them there, but Eagles membership would be required to be served.
That membership is $42 annually, but a sponsor is required to apply for membership. Visit the Eagles for more information.
The Veterans Hall will have a private entrance apart from the Eagles and will not have any doors leading into the Eagles club.
The city of Wenatchee is leasing the Hall for the benefits of the veterans in the area. The old Veterans Hall at a former Catholic Church, was not considered a “dedicated” veterans facility since it was often used by other citizens and groups of the Wenatchee community and was not always available to veterans.
Bruno states that any veterans organization will be able to use the Hall at no cost for whatever event they wish. The Hall will also be available for rent by individual veterans at no fee if the event is veteran related.
Other members of the community and organizations can also rent the Hall, but that fee hasn’t been set yet.
For more information, email ron.bruno@frontier.com or call him, 509-679-2359. The Hall is in need of donations, both physical and financial, to get started, according to Bruno, but once the basic structural needs are met, it will be able to operate on a frugal budget.
Electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters are welcomed to donate their skills or hopefully offer low cost services to get the Hall started.

 

 

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