Springfield continues bid to fund vets memorialSPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Springfield Veterans Memorial Committee is making another push to raise the money needed to break ground on the project.
By: RANDY DOCKENDORF , Yankton Press & Dakotan
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The Springfield Veterans Memorial Committee is making another push to raise the money needed to break ground on the project.
“We are still in the fundraising mode. We won’t be putting the first shovel in the ground until we’re halfway done with our fundraising,” said committee treasurer Don Irish.
“We are about halfway toward that (50 percent) goal. We estimate the cost will be about $160,000, and we have got about $45,000 in the bank so far. We would like to hit $80,000 before breaking ground.”
Besides soliciting donations, the committee has conducted fundraisers, such as serving lunch at golf tournaments, Irish said. Upcoming fundraisers include taking part in the Oct. 13 fall bazaar and the Veteran’s Day pancake breakfast, both in the Springfield Community Center.
“These fundraisers are the last ones planned for this year,” he said. “Then, in early spring, we plan to do some raffles and continue serving meals.”
While the road ahead may seem long, committee secretary Carol Hagen actually sees it as major progress.
“We are really encouraged,” she said. “When you first start something like this, everybody has the impression that all of the money will be raised in one year. Realistically, the timeline for what we are pursuing now amounts to a four-year project. We started this Memorial Day, May 2011, and so to have 25 percent raised at this point, we feel we are right on target.”
The committee set the 50 percent target to cover major initial expenses to get started on the project, Hagen said.
“Right now, our goal is to get enough money to purchase the stone and get the price locked in,” she said.
The committee is working to get out information about the memorial project, Irish said. The public has responded with donations of about $50,000, and the committee has covered initial expenses.
“That’s a lot of money that we have already raised. We feel very good about it,” Irish said. “Most of the donations have been $20, $50 and $100. But we have had donations ranging from as large as $1,500 down to $3 or $4 when some kids got involved and donated their money.”
The community has even initiated its own fundraisers for the veterans memorial, Hagen said.
“The local quilt club made a quilt and raffled it off to benefit us, so that support has been absolutely tremendous,” she said. “And the inmates held a fundraiser at Mike Durfee State Prison (in Springfield) and donated the money to the veterans memorial. It was very substantial to receive their support.”
Fraternal organizations are providing matching funds, stretching the donations even further, Hagen said. The Springfield committee has applied for grants from the South Dakota Community Foundation and Mary Chilton DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Foundation, she added. The committee has also solicited major businesses, but is waiting for responses.