AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - VFW Posts are typically known for their service to veterans.
However, Amarillo's VFW Post 1475 is being recognized for going above and beyond in their service to not only those who fought for our freedom, but the Amarillo community.
They were awarded the number one VFW Post by the state commander, snagging the title by just 10 points over every VFW Post in the Lone Star State.
"It's quite an accomplishment to do," said House Committee Chairman, Mike Stilwell.
Stilwell has been a member of the post since 2005.
He credits the younger members he worked to recruit for their success.
"It's been reaffirming for me," said Stilwell. "It's like you have a goal and you have a dream and you see it materialize over so many years."
The honor is based on veteran participation reports as well as community service, something those at Post 1475 are no stranger to.
"We have regular community, youth and Americanism," said post commander Ben Lowrance. "Then we have recognition of local boy scouts, law enforcement, firefights, and EMTs as well as teachers. So there's quite a few programs we're required even on the local platform to take care of."
Veterans like Mikel McGuire said giving back through outlets such as their scholarship program, helps them as well.
"I think it is very important to be a part of any youth activity," said McGuire. "Personally, it gives me something to do as far as having a purpose. As a veteran with PTSD, that is very important."
The award is also based off their ability to increase membership. By increasing from 485 to 534 members over the past year, they hope to continue their mission to help others.
"The last few years, we've changed the image and we're continuing to change the image of the VFW in our local community," said Lowrance. "Just to get this honor as well is just kind of icing on the cake."
District Nine Commander Rich Herman also commented on the post's success, saying he is proud of all of the members' hard work.
As they commit to helping various organizations in the community, they now hope the community will in turn help them.
They've been in their current building since 1951, and upgrades are long overdue.
"Currently our roof leaks extremely badly, we need it repaired," said Lowrance. "We've had several quotes, just nothing we can afford. But with that, our utilities skyrocket in the summer."
Auxiliary president Cathy Clark echoed that statement, saying they can't do what they do without help from the community.
"We are community service based organization," said Clark. "We have to derive our funds to keep afloat from the community."
With every donation they receive, they assure supporters they will dedicate it to helping someone in need.
If you're interested in making a donation to help them make repairs on their building, call (806)373-3521.
Or you can mail a monetary donation to the following address:
1401 SW 8th Avenue
Amarillo, Texas 79101
Post 1475 will receive their award at the state conference in June.