Fred Berger has bought and sold a lot of cows and real estate but his latest transaction is one of giving – to members of a local Marine Corps League organization.
Nestled in a few trees west of Mandan, along Highway 10, sits the former VFW building, which has seen better days. Originally constructed in 1918 as the Price Consolidated School, moved to its current location in 1959, this building will become the new clubhouse for the Dakota Leathernecks Detachment #1419 of the Marine Corps League.
These guys gave for our country, for our freedom, this is a small way for me to say thank you. Their efforts will allow for this building to come back alive …
Berger knows what effort the Marine Corps group has at their hands; he recently refurbished the former Kist’s Meat Market to use as the business office for the Berger Cattle Company. The former VFW building has served the last few years in a state of disrepair. Members of the local Marines Corps League Detachment have already began the task of gutting the building all the way to the studs with a plan to build it back with modern codes; work to include a new roof, windows, doors, bathrooms, ADA accessibility and more.
“Fred’s offer is very generous and we are extremely grateful. This building’s history is a great fit to the mission and services our organization carries out for our Marines, their families and our community,” said Ray Morrell, Commandant of the Dakota Leathernecks Detachment.
In order to bring the building back to a serviceable standard, the Dakota Leathernecks have a lot of work to do and they invite the community to assist. Morrell said help will be needed with key points of building renovations, most importantly with plumbing, electrical and heating/ventilation and air-conditioning.
“The building is structurally sound, this is a great benefit but it needs updating. As Marines, we have a lot of expertise, but like active-duty military funding is key and right now, our funds are very limited,” Morrell said.
The Marine Corps group is looking forward to hosting events and activities for its membership as well as for the community when renovations are complete. Fundraising efforts are going to be continuous, Morrell said. The local Marine Corps League Detachment is a not-for-profit organization; donations may be sent to:
ATTN: Marine House
Dakota Leathernecks Detachment #1419
PO BOX 583
Mandan, ND 58554