Local DAV chapter to appeal decision to revoke charter - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local DAV chapter to appeal decision that revokes charter

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Dunn County (WQOW) - A Disabled American Veterans chapter plans to appeal the decision to shut it down.

Earlier this month, the DAV revoked the charter for Tri-County Chapter 26.  That chapter is in Dunn County.  The state DAV says the local chapter has a long history of rogue actions.  Here are two examples that were given:  According to the state, the chapter in Dunn County has raised almost $1.5 million in the past six years, but only $4,100 went to DAV programs.  The DAV calls that extremely disturbing, saying the single purpose of the agency is to build better lives for disabled veterans and their families, not to pay down debt.  The local chapter is still paying for its building.

The DAV also says the local chapter held a fundraiser in May without asking for permission from the state office.  A representative from that chapter told WQOW News 18 the fundraiser was being organized by the Marine Corps Leathernecks, a motorcycle club.  They wanted to raise money for the DAV.  The local chapter says it made a mistake by not contacting the state first, but says it didn't feel like it had to because the motorcycle club was organizing the event.  Two wedding receptions at the facility, one this weekend and another one next weekend, have been impacted by the shutdown.

Chapter 26 plans to appeal through the national organization.  A representative says they want a panel of veterans to come to Menomonie to get their side of the story.

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Press Release from Disabled American Veterans -- Department of Wisconsin

(Green Bay, Wis.) – On August 11, 2011, Disabled American Veterans National Commander Donald L. Samuels revoked the charter of Tri-County Chapter 26 located in Menomonie, Wisconsin for egregious violations of the DAV National Bylaws and the blatant disregard of the DAV Purpose.  DAV Chapter 26 is one of 55 chapters that comprise the Department of Wisconsin.

On May 14, 2011, Tri-County Chapter 26 held a fundraising project opened to the public without requesting permission from the Department of Wisconsin in accordance with Section 15.3 of the National Bylaw.  Despite a letter of suspension dated May 12, 2011, which was received by Commander Jerome P. Jalowicz on that date, Tri-County Chapter 26 went ahead and held this fundraising event.

Subsequently, it was discovered that Tri-County Chapter 26 held and was planning to hold many other fundraisers opened to the public without requesting permission from the Department of Wisconsin as required by the National Bylaws.

Since purchasing its current land and building in 2005, Tri-County Chapter 26 has a long history of rogue actions, such as numerous grievance filings, many Article 16 proceedings and an unauthorized incorporation.  Tri-County Chapter 26 operated the Fox Hole Bar and other business entities in a manner not consistent with the DAV Purpose and in violation of the National Bylaws.

On November 9, 2005, in a filing with the State of Wisconsin, Tri-County Chapter 26 stated the purpose of the Fox Hole Bar and other business entities was, "To earn money to help fund programs under the State Department of Wisconsin Disabled American Veterans." Tri-County Chapter 26 has failed to live up to this stated purpose.

From 2005-2011, Tri-County Chapter 26 has raised $1.48 million in fundraising revenues and distributed $4100 to DAV Programs or 0.3% of its total revenues.  The distribution of a mere $4100 to DAV Programs by Tri-County Chapter 26 over that period is extremely disturbing to the DAV National Organization and the Department of Wisconsin.

The one, single purpose of DAV and its Chapters is "To build better lives for disabled veterans and their families."  The purpose of DAV Chapters is not to fund debt retirement or operating deficits, but to fund Service Programs that directly aid disabled veterans and their families.  Tri-County Chapter 26 chose to ignore the DAV Purpose and instead chose to emphasize debt retirement.

After much communication between Chapter 26 and the Department of Wisconsin, the Chapter showed no indication of compliance with the bylaws, rules, regulation, and mandates promulgated by the DAV National Organization.

DAV is a nonprofit veterans service organization, founded in 1920 and congressionally chartered in 1932, who will work with whoever is confirmed as the new WDVA Secretary to see the lives of the more than 53,500 service-disabled Wisconsin veterans and their families are made better.

The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's disabled veterans. It is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and spent 77.6% of its expenditures last year on service programs that directly aid veterans.

The one, single purpose and priority of DAV will always be the betterment of disabled veterans and their families, not petty vindictive politics.  It will always do what is right for veterans, not necessarily what is popular.

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