Funds Grow For Hoosick Veterans Memorial Wall
by Bea Peterson
After the raffle winner was announced in Wood Park on Memorial Day, the Town of Hoosick Veterans Memorial Wall committee vowed to raise $10,000 by the fourth of July. With the greatest appreciation to a generous community, the committee was surprised and pleased to make that goal, and, in the weeks that followed, exceed it. On Tuesday evening, July 28, they gathered in Wood Park to proudly move the thermometer to the $27,000 mark. However, they still need to raise $18,000 to reach the project completion goal of $45,000. Ten thousand dollars has already been expended to create the lovely brick walls that stand on either side of the WW I veterans memorial in the park. The remaining phases include bronze plaques with veterans’ names on them, an attractive walkway and landscaping. The committee is hopeful that the fund raising and collection of veterans names will be finished by November 11 of this year. After collection is completed, names must be verified and then submitted for placement on the plaques. The goal is to dedicate the completed project on November 11, 2011.
Generous donations from the Walter A. Wood Alumni Association and the Reynolds Foundation have added thousands toward the goal. Phil Leonard, who is handling the finances, said of the 118 checks he has received, three were for $500, a few were for $250 and the majority of them were for $100. “The smallest was $20,” he said. Every check, no matter the size, is important to the committee. “Their donations show us that the community wants to see this wall happen,” he said.
Frequently the committee feels overwhelmed by the task of raising funds and collecting names. “It’s difficult to ask for money during these economic times,” said Marilyn Douglas. Leonard is concerned that names that should be on the plaques will be left off. “There are people in Town that I know who have not filled out a form and sent it in,” he said. He feels the committee has a good handle on the WW II veterans. The WW II names collected can be viewed in the Hoosick Town Hall and in the Hoosick Falls Village Clerk’s office. Leonard is very worried that he doesn’t have all the names of veterans who have served since then, especially Korean and Vietnam veterans and those that have been in the service or who have served in the many conflicts since then, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
For a name to be placed on the memorial wall, the man or woman must show proof of any type honorable discharge from the military. The veteran must have been a resident of the Town of Hoosick or Village of Hoosick Falls at the time he or she joined the military or must be a resident of the Town or Village for 15 years or must have been a member of the Hoosick American Legion or VFW for 15 years or must have been a member of a National Guard Unit which had been Federalized.
All eligible veterans from all branches of the service, or a family member on their behalf, are encouraged to complete a form available at either the Town Hall or Village Clerk’s office and mail it to Town of Hoosick Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 536, Hoosick Falls, NY, 12090.
Donations in any amount may be sent to the same address. Checks should be made out to the Veterans Memorial Wall.