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Aurora VFW opens doors, receives another check from Contact7 Gives

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Posted at 9:06 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 01:24:48-04

Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.

AURORA, Colo. -- It's amazing what Contact7 viewers can do when they get behind something. When we told you about the only VFW in Aurora closing its doors for good because of coronavirus, you responded and then kept on giving.

Contact7's Jaclyn Allen has this follow up now that the doors are open and another check was on the way.

Thanks to Denver7 viewers like you, the doors of the only VFW Post in Aurora are open. The music is playing. And the welcome sign has some new additions, requiring masks and sign-ins.

"It's definitely not back to normal, but it's getting a lot closer," said Post Commander Cody Burrows.

Considering what happened two months ago, Burrows said, closer to normal is nothing short of a miracle.

"It was just a God-send," said one veteran.

When Contact7 first reported about this post, it was on the verge of shutting down forever due to the financial blow resulting from the novel coronavirus.

"We couldn't pay our bills, we had our water shut off," said Quartermaster Bill Pursel. "We were ready to close our doors for good."

But Contact7 viewers responded in a remarkable way, donating more than $6,500 to Contact7 Gives, and the donations didn't stop there. Cards and letters and cash began pouring in.

"When I was receiving these, reading them, I had a tear in my eye," said past post commander Gary Anguilm, who read every single word and wrote thank you notes to everyone he could find. "It means that people care."

For him, as well as for so many veterans, this post is a safe place.

"It's the camaraderie -- working together, laughing together, getting stuff done that we think is very very important," said Anguilm. "To me, it's not just one thing, it's the whole combination. And that's really what the VFW stands for."

Which is why Contact7 Gives has another surprise to keep this VFW and its mission going: A second check for $2,745, given by generous viewers who want to make sure the post stays open.

"The generosity that just keeps coming has just been amazing," said Burrows.

This post has a legacy, one the VFW District Commander knows well.

"This post is honored for David R. Carter, he served in Afghanistan. I served with him," said David Eyre. "His dedication was service, and that's what we are here about. For us, it's a way to continue the serving and it's a way for us to remember those who have gone before us and those who will come after us."

The VFW asked us to let you know their bar and restaurant is open. You don't have to be a member to go in and show your support.

All the VFW's in the Denver Metro had to cancel their annual poppy fundraisers because of social distancing outside grocery stores where they usually hold them.

So they are asking people to show their support by stopping by their local VFW and leaving a donation.