Local thrifters can add another store to their list of stops for hidden treasures in Springfield. Veteran Resell Store and Event Center, located at 3335 W. Sunshine Street, held its grand opening on June 23.
Operated by local nonprofit American Legion (Post 125) and Ozark Veterans Coalition, the Veteran Resell Store and Event Center will help expand fundraising abilities and provide a space for the organizations to meet.
Supporters can purchase an assortment of furniture, lamps, wall hangings, decor and books at the store, in addition to providing donations to add to their inventory.
Proceeds from the store and event center, which can be rented out by other organizations, are used in various ways to support local veterans and first responders. Building wheelchair ramps, covering funeral expenses, providing scholarships and financial assistance with utility bills are just some of the examples of what the American Legion and Ozark Veterans Coalition have done, according to store operator Ashley Butler.
“We’ve been doing well,” Butler said. “We’ve definitely been getting more of an influx in donations, for which we’re very grateful. Just recently had the problem of not having enough room to store donations in preparation to bring them out once items sell. We’re very happy having that problem.”
Grand opening featured performer Tony Orlando
The grand opening boasted veterans, military and law enforcement personnel, friends and families, and, notably, performer Tony Orlando. Kevin Reno, a former Marine and operator of the event center, became friends with Orlando during his post-military time spent in the entertainment industry.
“Our humble little soiree turned out to be huge,” Reno said.
Orlando, a long-time advocate for veterans, performed his song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” while shaking hands with veterans in the audience.
The event was held in the new venue, which was volunteer-veteran built by the American Legion and Ozark Veterans Coalition. While the retail store and event space are a joint venture between the American Legion and Ozark Veterans Coalition, they work with other veteran assist organizations around the Ozarks, including Warrior’s Journey and Wellness for Warriors.
“Primarily, as opposed to operating independently, much as we’ve done with our local veteran groups and associations, we decided that we’re all working towards the same cause, the same needs, providing for our veterans and first responders and their families,” Reno said. “So, it was a natural cause when we started talking about how we wanted to do something a little different.”
This idea came about during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when these organizations struggled to find ways to support veterans amidst the lack of social interaction, according to Butler.
“We decided that we wanted to show that there is unification among all of the veteran assist organizations in the area,” Reno said.
The Veteran Resell store is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information about the store and event center can be found here.