Established in 1946 by a small group of United States Army veterans from World War II living on Jamestown's east side, the East Side Fellowship Club has grown to 35 members from all different walks of life.
Recently, the club made a donation to the Veterans Relocation Project Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation to honor those original members. The money was raised by selling hamburgers and cheeseburgers during last year's Labor Day Festival at Bergman Park.
Dewey Anderson, East Side Fellowship member, said it is an honor to be able to continue the original members' mission of helping others by giving back to a project that would have meant so much to them.
Front row, from left, are Dean Martin; Gus Lefebvre; Dan Rickard, East Side Fellowship Club president; and Ron Cotton, Veterans Relocation Commission chairman. Back row, from left, are Chuck Stohlberg; Dewey Anderson; George Spitale; Dave Spitzer, East Side Fellowship Club vice president; and Peter Casado.
"Without the service of those men, we wouldn't be standing here today," Anderson said.
Members of the club especially recalled the path set up for them by original members Francis Conti and Patsy DeSantis, both of whom recently passed away. According to the members, both men did whatever they could to take care of those around them, regardless of what was going on in their own lives.
While a few of the current members are veterans, it is not a requirement for those who seek membership. All that is required is a desire to help others and do good work throughout the community.
Potential members may attend the monthly club meeting at 8 p.m. the first Friday of each month at 322 Woodlawn Ave., Jamestown.
For more information on the Veterans Relocation Project or to make a tax-deductible donation to the fund, contact the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation at 661-3390, or visit www.crcfonline.org.