Thursday, July 31, 2008

Outstanding Senior Volunteers at Disabled Veterans RV Camp

Don Drigans of St. Paul Park spends most of his week at Big Marine Lake, north of Stillwater Township, but he doesn’t have time to fish.

Drigans, a member of the 16-member board that oversees the operation of the Disabled Veterans Rest Camp at the lake.

His work for the camp led to nomination and eventual selection as one of two 2008 Outstanding Seniors of Washington County.

Drigans, 71, retired and a disabled veteran himself, shares the work of renovating the camp with the board, but “most of them are still working and I have the time,” he said.

Drigans says the camp is still looking for money to enlarge its facilities for the growing number of veterans who rent the cabins and use the RV pads and tent sites. “We also get big crowds for our Memorial and Veterans day ceremonies and other holidays,” he said.

In 2007, the camp won a $500,000 grant from the state and received matching funds from the Fred C. and Catherine B. Andersen Foundation to upgrade facilities. Those upgrades included 45 new RV sites, 15 re-located tent sites, 32 new boat slips, a community pavilion and a new well and well house. The 2,000 foot-long swimming beach was refurbished and a new 4,700 foot-long walking trail was installed.

Foundations have been laid for the first two of 15 new duplex cabins, and there are plans for two smaller pavilions, and two shower houses, one of which will contain a storm shelter.
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