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Veterans center aiming to transition to hosting events

ANNIE BLACKBURN
Staff Writer

The Howards Creek Veterans Building on Howards Creek School Road has stood since 1922 as a meeting place for veterans of all branches of the military.
Within its halls, rooms dedicated to Vietnam veterans and the Marine Corps are covered with flags and memorabilia. Lincoln County owns the building and pays for the upkeep of the roof, but the maintenance that keeps the building open and available for veterans and civilians alike falls to people like Ray and Sherry Trevino. Sherry Trevino is the senior vice commandant of the Marine Corps League and treasurer for the Vietnam Veterans and her husband Ray is a member of the Marine Corps League and the resident repairman for the building.
The space, currently rented for events like wrestling events, Toys for Tots drives and military league meetings, is in the process of being rehabbed, repainted and reworked in an effort to provide the community with an affordable place to have events. Though more events venues are slowly cropping up in Lincoln County, the Trevinos want more people to look toward the Howards Creek Veteran’s Center for reasons other than that it doesn’t put a dent in the pocket book.
“We want people to be aware of the veteran’s organizations,” Sherry said.
The League will be hosting on Aug. 17 what they call a Marine Standdown, an open house of sorts that calls all Lincoln County veterans from all branches of the military to come and meet other veterans and join the various groups that the building hosts. Members of the league do all they can to contribute to the upkeep of the building and the rooms but the numbers are small and, according to Sherry, they are tired. Ray paints, has installed carpet and fixed the plumbing on occasion, with little to no help.
Commandant of the Marine Corps League and chaplain for the Vietnam Veterans, Monica Lockwood, emphasized the need for volunteers.
“We do all that we can, but we can only do so much,” she said.
The organization provides scholarships and assistance for veterans as well as hosting a Toy for Tots drive, all with the intention of serving those that served our country. In order to continue with their community service, the League needs to maintain the building, bringing them back to the desire to make the building a suitable and affordable events center. Fundraising efforts have, up to now, been event rentals. However, on July 19, the League will host a Building Fund Dance Party. A $5 entry fee is required, and the party is age restricted to 21 and older, as beer will be served. All proceeds will go to the building fund for renovations and beautification projects.
For more information on the building or the Building Fund Dance Party, call (704) 347-8557.

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