In the early days of the fundraising effort for the Golden Belt Memorial Park Veterans Memorial, a anonymous donor stepped forward and pledged a matching gift of $5,000 when $5,000 had been raised.
Barton County Commission Chairman Kenny Schremmer said Monday that he had spoken with this donor over the weekend and he decided to offer his match now. In addition, he offered another $5,000 as a challenge to other contributors.
On the Commission agenda included the approval of a $1,995 bid from Suchy Construction for a concrete slab as part of the memorial’s first phase.
This was about all project promoters were hoping for as fundraising efforts for the $55,000 project had ground to a halt. The Memorial Parks Advisory Committee had decided to use the $4,800 raised to get something accomplished at the site north of Great Bend. This way, Committee Chairman Mick Lang said, there would at least be something for people to see. This might spark a renewed interest in money-raising efforts
The committee’s goal was a modest one – have the slab, a stone with the emblems of the various military branches and flag pole installed by Memorial Day. This would likely exceed the scant funds raised thus far, but the Commission was agreeable to covering what was left.
This won’t be necessary now, thanks to the generous contribution from this unknown donor. Now, the first phase of this important memorial will be completed.
It is important to honor our veterans, both those who are living and those who have passed. This county-wide tribute will do just that.
Now, it is even closer to being completed.
When done, the memorial will feature representations of each branch of the military, including Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Merchant Marines (who received veterans status for the years 1942-46). A gray granite marker will contain emblems for each along with the inscription “A nation that forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten. This is but a small tribute to all the veterans whose names are forever etched on these tablets. We are eternally grateful for their service to this nation. All gave some, some gave all.”
One person has given a lot to see this comes to pass.