Thursday October 04, 2012
Veteran Committee Chairman Jay Zaetz and South Burlington resident Lisa Levite updated the City Council with good news: neighbors, businesses and the community are sharing financial and emotional support for the Veterans Memorial at Dorset Park, and steps toward building the physical structure are in the making.
About a year and a half ago, the Veterans Committee shared the project’s plan which consist of three monuments: one large dog tag, a cylinder commemorating the theaters of wars, and a granite monument with the American eagle emblem and insignias of all services.
Drop boxes were placed in businesses on Williston Road to help generate funds; boxes were located at Zachary’s Pizza, Dunkin Donuts, Quiznos Subs, Al’s French Frys, and Hannaford Supermarket.
Larger donations were made to the Memorial Fund and overseen by the SB Recreation Department. A year ago the committee had raised $3,000, Zaetz said. Those numbers have shot up dramatically.
“I’m happy to say we’ve collected over $50,000 in cash donations,” explained Zaetz. Of that, $4,000 was collected in coins from the drop boxes.
There are more donations expected from businesses such as a $5,000 donation from the Champlain Oil Company and a $2,000 donation from the South Burlington Rotary. In total, there is $25,000-30,000 in pending donations bringing the total funds to about $80,000; some of these funds have been spent on the deposits for the three memorials. Nearly $40,000 in in-kind donations have been made for construction and lighting.
From the two cents donated by a five-year-old, to a large business donation, every penny has helped make the plan for construction a clearer goal.
“This would not be possible without a lot of nice donations from people in the community,” Zaetz said. He also thanked South Burlington Recreation and Parks Director Tom Hubbard.
There are no administrative costs, thus 100 percent of the monies raised go toward the memorial.
The work of the committee has already been approved by the Development Review Board and they are applying to Act 250—the final step. The Veterans Committee may be “breaking ground” on the project within 30 days. The memorials are expected to be installed for next spring, and the target date for a grand opening is Memorial Day, May 27, 2013.
Levite joined the project when she approached the Veterans Committee about the “Pathway of Honor” paver project to recognize individual veterans. Levite agreed to run the pathway project.
“I’m the granddaughter of a World War 1 vet, daughter and daughter-in-law of World War II vets, sister of someone who served in the air force, niece of army, navy, air force...and I wanted to honor those men in my life that have served the country,” she said.
If you wish to honor a veteran, memorial bricks are available for purchase; they are laser-engraved, converting the clay to black glass. Small bricks are available for $75 and large squares are available for $150.
Donating a paver is not limited to just South Burlington residents; anyone can donate, and it’s on-going, Levite said.
“It’s our hope that over the years people come visit the memorial, we’ll take out a blank brick that’s there and put one in if they choose to make a donation,” she added.
Councilors commended the Veterans Committee and Levite for their hard work. According to Council Chair Rosanne Greco, who is also a veteran, those wishing to purchase a paver but are unsure of specific dates or where the person(s) to be honored served, requests can be made via www.archives.org free of cost.
For the complete Memorial project story, visit www.sbremembers.org. Information can also be found on the South Burlington Recreation Department website at www.sburlrecdept.com.
SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent