Tag Archives: Dylan Mace

National Honors For VFW Building

As a Staples High School junior, Dylan Mace went the extra mile. Or three.

Appalled that Westport’s VFW Post 399 lacked a handicap-accesssible bathroom, he singlehandedly raised almost $8,000. An architect, electrician, contractor and tile guy jumped in. Businesses offered discounts on supplies.

They were joined by Scott Rochlin, who set up a foundation to help veterans and their families after his son Charley — a decorated Marine — died in an automobile accident.

But Dylan wanted his project to be extra-special for veterans. He created special tiles, with the emblems of the 5 US military branches.

Dylan loved working — and hanging — with the VFW crew so much, that he vowed to do even more. The new bathroom looked great, he thought — so why not spruce up the rest of the building too?

He enlisted 12 fellow National Honor Society members to help paint. They other day they grabbed brushes and rollers, and got to work.

Staples High School National Honor Society members (from left) Sophie McCabe, Molly Fording, Kate Miller and Dylan Mace paint the VFW interior.

The Riverside Avenue building now looks great. Dylan wants to get the word out, to make sure everyone in Westport knows about it. You don’t have to be a veteran to go!

Community service is not all that Dylan does. He made 2nd team All-State and All-FCIAC for the Staples ice hockey team — and was the Wreckers’ MVP.

“06880” — and the VFW, and the rest of Westport — salute Dylan, and Staples’ National Honor Society.

Teen’s VFW Project Propels Community Effort

A year ago, “06880”‘s Veterans Day story highlighted Dylan Mace.

The Staples High School junior was raising funds for Westport’s VFW Post 399.  The Riverside Avenue building lacked a handicap-accessible bathroom. Dylan was appalled — “brave men and women who serve could lose limbs!” he said — and vowed to help.

Dylan Mace

Dylan — whose grandfather was a Korean War vet — went to work. Singlehandedly, he raised almost $8,000.

And then he got more help from the community.

Early in his fundraising, architect Lou Lefort and electrician Barry O’Reilly offered their services.

General contractor Scott Rochlin contacted Dylan too. Scott’s son Charley was a decorated Marine.

After Charley died in an automobile accident, Scott’s family set up a foundation to help veterans and their families. Scott volunteered to oversee the project — and said his organization would cover any extra costs.

Scott also brought in Dino Meloni, from Nicolia Marble and Tile. He installed the bathroom tile, gratis.

Bender donated a handicap sink and toilet. Lowe’s and The Tile Shop in Norwalk gave Dylan contractor discounts on supplies. Westport Glass chipped in too.

One of the specially created VFW tiles.

But Dylan wanted this to be extra-special for veterans. He found Custom-Tiles.com online, and asked if they could make special tiles with the emblems of the 5 US military branches. The owner worked with Dylan, creating amazing ones for the walls.

Dylan was so moved by the project, and the people he met through it, that when it came time to plan his service project for the National Honor Society, he asked to paint the inside of the VFW — and spruce up the outside.

Congratulations, Dylan, for all you do.

I’m sorry I couldn’t post this a few days ago, on Veterans Day.

But thanks to you — and all who helped — every great day at the VFW will now be even better.

Opening The Door For Veterans, On Their Special Day

Today is Veterans Day. There’s no better time to hear Dylan Mace’s story.

The Staples High School junior is a varsity hockey player. He’s also an active member of Operation Care Package, a school club that assembles and sends books, magazines, food and more to American troops serving in places like Afghanistan.

Dylan got involved as a freshman. His grandfather served in Special Forces during the Korean War. Before he died, he passed along his pride in the military to Dylan.

Dylan Mace

This year, as he tried to find another way to help out, Dylan learned about Westport’s VFW Post 399. Speaking with commander Bernie Rombout, he learned the Riverside Avenue building lacked a handicap-accessible bathroom.

“That appalled me,” Dylan says. “These are brave men and women who serve. They could lose limbs. They should be able to use the bathroom at the VFW!”

Dylan learned the cost of design and renovation for such a bathroom: $10,000.

Immediately, he created a GoFundMe page to help.

Dylan will also be at the downtown Starbucks this weekend, soliciting donations.

In many ways, today is a normal Saturday in Westport. But it’s also an important national holiday.

Dylan Mace has provided a meaningful way for us to honor it. Just click here to help.

(Hat tip: Vicky Capozzi)