HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Fleet Reserve Association is a national advocacy group for enlisted members and veterans of the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. The Pearl Harbor-Honolulu branch has 1,100 members alone.
Inside their building on Nimitz and Valkenburgh, there's a treasure trove of military memorabilia -- from replica newspaper from the day Pearl Harbor was attacked to collector coins to U.S. flags flown on significant days.
For years, community groups used the hall for gatherings, but the Navy determined it no longer needed the property.
"I was shocked. I mean we do a lot of support for the military and it's going to impact the community a lot if we lose it," said Glenn Shaw, president of Branch 46 of the Fleet Reserve Association.
To buy the land, the Fleet Reserve Association needs to find $650,000 dollars by March, the end of its 25-year-lease. The group had expected to stay for 99 years. So far, its raised nearly $190,000. The rest needs to come from grants and loans.
"Mentally it drains you because you think what can I do? Who can we reach out to," said Scott Bryan, Fleet Reserve Association Brach 46 secretary.
The Fleet Reserve Association says if it's unable to raise the money for the land, it'll have to return the property to the Navy as it was 25 years ago. That means razing the building which would eliminate all the funds they've raised so far.
"If we lose the place, then we have to spend the money to dismantle the place. They will make us. It has to be put back the way it was," said Bruan.
The community hall is used by the Honolulu Fire Department, veterans, scouting groups and many outside organizations. Next door, Holy Family Catholic Academy bought its property from the Navy. The Fleet Reserve Association hopes it can do the same before time runs out.