from the Third Vice-Manuel "Ferd" Fernandis
"...this opening will be brought about by the combined efforts and the hard work of many of Post 296 volunteers, led by board member and contractor Matt Smith, along with club manager, Sylvia Cunningham and Post Commander Larry Thiele and his wife Helen...worked shoulder to shoulder...in every phase of the flood cleanup and restoration...
To those involved in restoring the post, providing food and supplies to the workers, and even those stopping by to lend moral support or offer ideas...We say "thank you".
I would be remiss if I did not mention Mr. Jim Fisher (Post 43 Decatur), who brought not only his tools, but also a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, along with members of Post 241 (Waynedale) for their power cleaning our parking lot."
from Sylvia Cunningham, Club Manager
"Love will build a bridge! How you have made those words stand up and be heard! Our post went through some trying times...I put my head down and prayed that God would show us that bridge...Matt took charge and laid that first board down...donations from members and other post donations of money and time and our bridge began to be built. Thank you all for making me dare to believe."
from the President of G. D. Smith, Inc., Matt D. Smith
"...from a contractor's point of view...On July 10, 2003, floodwater in excess of 4 feet in height surrounded our post; damage assessment was initiated by assessing entry into the post by watercraft...the reconstruction process involved consultation, application(s), and approvals required by Fort Wayne City Planning Commission, Fort Wayne City Code Enforcement, U.S. Small Business Administration...prior to any permit issuance...the focus has been with forward thinking designs, user friendly layout, increased membership, increased income producing amenities and reduced maintenance costs. Thanks to your current Board of Directors, various contractors, club manager, and several others who donated their time and labor without pay...without their sacrifice this post would not have reopened."
from the Commander, Lawrence (Larry) Thiele
"At this time I would like to, along with the officers and Board Members, thank you,...for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Donations from the membership and friends of Post 296 have assisted greatly...It has been a huge challenge, with outstanding contractors, individual input, volunteers and leadership, the job is done."