Ready for remembrance: Community cleanup at the Copper City Honor Roll

Community cleanup at the Copper City Honor Roll

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The Copper City Honor Roll is cleaned up, decorated and ready for Memorial Day.

CALUMET TOWNSHIP — In honor of the 2024 National VFW Day of Service, VFW Post 3900 announced it was leading a community effort to clean up the Veterans Honor Roll in Copper City on Saturday, May 11, in preparation for Memorial Day. By Saturday morning, however, the cleanup was complete, with just some decorating to be done.

“Most of the cleanup was done on Thursday,” said VFW Calumet Post 3900 commander, Art Kreivi, adding that the weather forecast had initially called for rain on the 11th, and the post and the community were able to get most of it done two days ahead of schedule.

The Keweenaw County Road Commission came in with their sweeper and did a nice job of getting rid of the stamp sand that had accumulated over the winter as the street was sanded.

Kreivi said in addition to community residents who volunteered for the cleanup, the local girl scout troop were a great help, and Goodwill Opportunities arrived with a van load of helpers who did a great job and made things go much faster.

The National VFW Day of Service is an outgrowth of the VFW’s StillServing initiative, which launched in 2020, says the VFW, and has since brought recognition to how much U.S. military veterans continue to serve in their communities after they take off their uniform.

“As soon as the National came out the Day of Service,” Kreivi said, “that will get members out in the community to see that they do things other than just for vets, that they also help the community.”

Kreivi said that his intention has been to get some publicity.

“Then, maybe some of my other posts that are suffering in the district, saying ‘We can’t get anybody.’ Get out there and do something, let people see that you’re doing it, and get more support.”

Much of what veterans organizations do for their communities is behind the scenes.

Post 3900, for example, helps support youth hockey in Calumet; donates funds to the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home; purchases toys for Keweenaw County No Kid Without a Christmas campaign, as well as the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. Members of the post volunteer to hand out treats in Calumet Village’s Trunk or Treat.

Donation funds are raised through community events such as pancake breakfast fundraisers, spaghetti dinner fundraisers, just to name a few of the events Post 3900 does annually to raise money for supporting local charities.

Kreivi said people often tell him they were turned down for enlistment for various health or physical reasons.

“You don’t have to be a veteran,” he says. “If you want to volunteer, we’ll be happy to have you.”


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