Brian Jopek/Lakeland Times
Gary Drossart, center, on Friday, March 6, presented the bill paid in full for a new furnace and air conditioning system to Don Grundy, director of Camp American Legion. The systems were purchased by Vets & Guides and donated to Camp American for use in a new cabin being constructed the Wisconsin American Legion has designated for families of U.S. military personnel who died while in the service. Also pictured are, from left, Vets & Guides board member Jeanne Godar, Bob Nevaroski with Lake Tomahawk Heating and Air Conditioning, and Vets & Guides volunteer Bob Williams.
3/12/2020 7:30:00 AM Cabin at Camp American Legion receives furnace, air conditioner systems Nevaroski: 'It's the right thing to do'
In June 2019, a ceremonial groundbreaking took place at Camp American Legion near Lake Tomahawk for a cabin on Thrush Road to be named "The American Legion Family Cabin."
"Honoring our Gold Star Families of the Fallen," the ceremony's program read. "They shall never be forgotten."
"I dedicate it (the cabin) to the families of those who fell in service to our country," Frank Kostka, the outgoing commander of the Wisconsin American Legion, said at the time.
The 980-square-foot cabin will feature two bedrooms, a full kitchen, a living area and lake access.
Work has steadily been progressing on the cabin and Camp American Legion director Don Grundy said on Friday, March 6, things are on schedule to have the cabin ready by late May or early June at the latest.
The project has benefited from several donations, the most recent of which was made Friday afternoon in Lake Tomahawk.
Gary Drossart, current president of Vets and Guides, presented Grundy with the bill for a new air conditioning unit and furnace.
Except the bill for that equipment, worth thousands of dollars, has been paid in full by Vets and Guides.
The organization in recent years has presented flags to Camp American Legion as well as a steel bench.
Drossart said Bob Nevaroski with Lake Tomahawk Heating and Air Conditioning is donating his labor to install the furnace and air conditioner.
Originally started in the early 1990s, Vets & Guides ceased to function for awhile before coming back in the summer of 2018.
Each year, Drossart said, the organization tries to do "something for somebody" since it returned after a long hiatus.
This time, it was to address the heating and air conditioning for the cabin designated primarily for families of Wisconsin military personnel who died while still in the service.
"I asked Don 'What do you need?'" Drossart said. "'What can we help you with? And he says 'Whatever you'd be willing to do.'"
He said the organization had raised enough money through its various fundraising efforts including running the concession stand during Snowshoe Baseball season, it was decided to buy the furnace and air conditioner.
"We were able to pick up the cost for everything you need to put a furnace and air conditioning system together for that size structure," Drossart said.
The process was helped along by Drossart's employment as a salesman for a plumbing and heating wholesaler.
"I was able to work with our company and they kind of gave us a break on pricing," he said. "So, it kept the cost down. It was very affordable. When I told Don what we were gonna do, he was real excited about that."
Nevaroski is one of several people donating their time to the effort.
"It's the right thing to do," he said.
Brian Jopek may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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