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Religious conversion: Church to become VFW

BEATTY — A bunch of Beatty veterans are hard at work at a religious conversion — well, sort of.

Members of John Strozzi Post 12108 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars are in the process of converting the town’s historic Episcopal church into their meeting hall.

The front part of the building, originally the church’s chapel, dates back to 1906 according to post commander Russ Osmun. It will become a multi-purpose room, and the main room for meetings.

Talking about that part of the building, Osmun said, “The bell is still up there (in the steeple/bell tower). It is supposed to have come from Belmont, and they would like to have their bell back. We are negotiating with them about it.”

The part in the back, which he says was added sometime in the 1960s, will be the canteen. Members felt that the rock fireplace there would make a good focal point for the room.

“The town of Beatty has been very supportive,” says Osmun. He specifically mentioned that Stagecoach Hotel and Casino manager Keith Kerns donated some restaurant equipment. Lou’s Hardware donated supplies. The Beatty Water and Sanitation District replaced old water and sewer lines, and Beatty Disposal chipped in with a dumpster and portable toilets for the construction project. Valley Electric came through with a new 400-amp service. And a number of individuals have donated money and building supplies.

Osmun was especially grateful to Pahrump residents Garren & Frances Hesketh who gave a generous donation to kick off the post’s building fund.

Members of the post and the ladies auxiliary have been supplying labor for the project, which involves extensive remodeling, especially of the canteen area. Among other things, openings had to be cut in concrete walls to enable the installation of ADA-compliant doors.

The hall will have a commercial kitchen capable of providing catering for events. Osmun said they also hope to have an outdoor “beer garden” with a grill.

Osmun says the goal is to have the hall finished and open by Sept. 1.

They will have to hold a lot of fundraisers to pay off the mortgage on the building. Osmun says they have to raise about $60,000 in two years to do it.

The post welcomes any donations, which can be sent to Beatty VFW, P. O. Box 128, Beatty, NV 89003.

One fundraiser is scheduled for Aug. 17. It is an ICS-sanctioned chili cookoff, which will be held in the evening in the parking lot of the Stagecoach Hotel and Casino. Flyers have been posted around Beatty with details and people interested in entering can contact Osmun at 775-513-3023 (osmunR@yahoo.com) or Crystal Taylor at 775-553-9099 (cgchili@yahoo.com).

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