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About Us



James Ballentine “Uptown” VFW Post 246

James Ballentine “Uptown” VFW Post 246 is a Veteran non-profit organization based in a recently renovated mid-century building. The original ballroom is now a 440 capacity music venue and nightclub. We feature three bars and a restaurant in the same building. The karaoke bar has been featured on Esquire TV’s Best Bars of America and remains untouched by any major remodeling since it’s establishment in the 1950’s. Voted “Best Party Bar” by City Pages Best of the Twin Cities 2017 and “Best Karaoke” several years in a row we offer local, national and international acts, of all genres, 7 nights a week!

We host a variety of special events for both the public and veteran members.  Our past special events hosted by our veteran and auxiliary members include:
Operation Donation
2021 State Fair Kick Off
Poppy Donations
Pride Picnic
Military Appreciation Day at the MN State Fair
Members Picnic
Blood Drive


Our Post provides a crucial link between veterans and the Minneapolis community. We have a new age feel with old school principles. Our goal is to provide a place for veterans to belong and have a sense of responsibility, engagement, and comradery post military, while enhancing the local community.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, guard and reserve forces.

We trace our roots back to 1899 when veterans of the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Philippine Insurrection (1899-1902) founded local organizations to secure rights and benefits for their service: Many arrived home wounded or sick. There was no medical care or veterans’ pension for them, and they were left to care for themselves.

In their misery, some of these veterans banded together and formed organizations that would eventually band together and become known as the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Today, membership stands at nearly 1.7 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary.


To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans.

Core Values

  1. Always put the interests of our members first
  2. Treat donors as partners in our cause
  3. Honor military service
  4. Ensure the care of veterans and their families
  5. Serve our communities
  6. Respect the diversity of veteran opinions


Gabe Thomas

Post Commander

Gabe Thomas served as an infantryman in Iraq, March 2006 - July 2007. The longest single deployment in the war on terror. He honorably discharged as an E5. As Sr Vice Commander, my goal is to get our membership up to 100%. along with finding new members, work on strategies to boost membership retention. The goal is not just to find fellow vets and get them signed up, it is to find way to keep them involved with the VFW and our community.His hobbies include hockey, fishing, the outdoors and his dog Stanley. He considers himself a Coors Light enthusiast, and is currently ICU RN at Regions hospital in St. Paul.

James McCloden

Sr. Vice Commander

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!

Jr. Vice Commander

Coming Soon!

Auxiliary Leadership

Renee McCloden


Renee's primary goal is to support veterans families and provide much needed services which not only meet basic needs but more importantly allow for quality of life.Renee qualifies for VFW Auxiliary life membership under her husband for his service in Just Cause and Desert Storm as well as by her paternal grandfather for his service in WW II.Renee is an IT professional who loves her family, awesome husband, and amazing step kids! She plays tennis and love donating time and energy to the best VFW ever, Post #246

Brendan Sapienza

Senior Vice President

Coming Soon!

Jen Sapienza

Junior Vice President

Coming Soon!

Success Stories

Dollars at Work

4400000 $ in monetary aid to veterans, active-duty military and their families
878349 volunteered hours in VA medical centers, hospitals, nursing homes and veterans homes
145550 legislative contacts to help pass or block important bills affecting veterans and their families
126000 $ awarded in scholarships
336400 youth worked with across America
292781 U.S. Flags Distributed