Years after a local waterfront veterans post was damaged by one of the worst hurricanes in recent memory it has finally reopened.
Local veterans and elected officials celebrated the long awaited grand reopening of the Corporal Walter J. Fufidio AMVETS Post 38 on Sunday, January 20 at 1440 Shore Drive.
AMVETS Post 38’s clubhouse was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy in 2012 and faced a difficult road to recovery in the subsequent years.
Commander Walter Rau said Councilman Mark Gjonaj had his contacts at Hutchinson Metro Center donate their time and services to get the facility up to the NYC Department of Building’s updated regulations.
AMVETS Post 38’s upstairs community room has been completely renovated and now includes a bar, two flat screen TVs, surround sound, LED lighting and several tables and chairs.
Rau thanked Theodore Korony American Legion Post 253, Throggs Neck Memorial American Legion Post 1456, Leonard Hawkins American Legion Post 156, Samuel Young American Legion Post 620 and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 05-02 for supporting Post 38’s renovations.
He also thanked Assemblyman Michael Benedetto for providing the funds to build a temporary sea wall and former senator Jeff Klein for securing a $100,000 grant to rebuild the post’s sea wall and roof.
The $100,000 grant is awaiting final approval by Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.
“It looks like we’re coming back stronger than ever before,” Rau expressed.
Rau said former commander Anthony Ciaramella, Dennis Lombardi and Paul Treanor were instrumental in helping AMVETS Post 38 rebuild.
As previously reported, the clubhouse’s entire waterfront-grade room was decimated by the Category 3 major hurricane.
It tore through the building’s rear northern wall, sending all of the post’s files and documents, its first floor stove, refrigerator, freezer, tables and chairs, into Eastchester Bay.
The monster storm crippled Post 38’s boiler, decimated its fence, undermined its patio and caused major structural damage to its seawall.
The storm left the 80-member post darkened, lacking all utilities, with a scarred staircase leading up from the first floor to the second and a community room with missing ceiling tiles.
As a safety precaution, the FDNY shut off the gas to the building which was left with only three full walls.
The storm’s aftermath quickly depleted AMVETS Post 38’s savings.
A $25,000 loan was offered to them by a sister veterans post to begin repairs.
AMVETS Post 38 repaired the building’s back wall and fence, installed new ground floor windows, established temporary support for the seawall and restored electric service, but not its gas service.
Gas service has since been restored, however the post’s roof, sea wall and downstairs commerical kitchen still need repair.
To help fund the remaining renovations, Rau will complete a full Ironman triathlon in Ohio on Sunday, July 28.
AMVETS Post 38’s community room is available to host private parties and community meetings.
If interested in hosting an event, contact (718) 822-2003.