As National President of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary in 2007-2008, Virginia was involved in fundraising efforts during the construction phase of the House. When her term as President ended she knew she wanted to continue her connection and approached then manager Cecile Bagrow about volunteering.
Her first gig was as a docent for the Open House that followed the ribbon cutting. Virginia remembers that first Open House very well. “I admit, I had expected to see something like barracks in the middle of the parking lot. I was amazed when I saw this beautiful house!”
Virginia is a native of Seattle and has the VFW in her blood. “My father was a Veteran of the Korean War and both of my folks were very involved in the VFW and the Auxiliary. Some of my earliest memories are of coming to the VA to put on parties for the Vets”. Her long involvement with the VFW continues in her role as board member for the VFW National Home for Children, in Michigan. “Families in transition, with VFW eligibility, can apply to stay at that facility,” she explains. “Most often it is a single parent with children. There are ways in which the Home is a lot like a Fisher House in terms of providing support for families at a fragile time”.
Giving tours to new guests and orienting them to the House is Virginia’s main duty. “I love it,” she says.“Talking to the guests and helping them start to feel at home is the best part of the job. They are so appreciative and I enjoy giving them the support they need”.
Virginia is the Fisher House chairman for her Auxiliary and as such has been a tremendous ambassador for the program, raising funds, awareness and in kind donations from local posts. Once a quarter she organizes members of the Auxiliary to put on dinner for the families. “I remember one time a guest came into the kitchen and started to tear up when she understood what we were doing. I looked at the group and said, ‘That’s why we do this’”. “The families are so grateful for all that is done for them”. It’s a gratitude that springs from knowing that people like Virginia truly care about them and are walking with them in a difficult time.
“This is such a welcoming place for folks,” says Virginia and she is decidedly a part of that welcome, someone who truly understands and manifests the vision of Zachary Fisher in all she does. We’re fortunate to have her as part of our team.