Veterans memorial to be built in Heron Lake
HERON LAKE -- The city of Heron Lake and its surrounding area will soon have a veterans memoria built to honor those who have served their country.
"We seem to be pretty well on schedule," said Bonnie Henkels, a member of the Veterans Memorial Committee in Heron Lake.
According to Henkels, one gentleman always had the idea of having a veterans memorial, but the dream became a reality when the committee acquired some land donated specifically for the memorial site.
"One thing led to another, a group of us got together, and now we're moving forward with it," Henkels said.
The memorial, which will be located near Heron Lake's Community Center, will cost an estimated $80,000.
"It will all depend on the number of names that we actually need to put on the granite," Henkels said. "The cost would change if we need to add more granite slabs."
The committee already has around $20,000, according to Henkels.
"We're moving in the right direction," she said.
The committee is pursuing grants, individual and corporate donations and fundraisers to help cover the rest of the costs.
While fundraising hasn't begun, the committee does have a few ideas, including sub sandwich sales and events at the school.
"Right now we are just trying to get as many veterans that want their names on the memorial as possible," Henkels explained. "Then we'll start trying to get some corporate donations, too, hopefully beginning in January."
Veterans living and deceased, as well as men and women currently serving in the Armed Forces, will be included in the memorial. They can have their names placed on the memorial for a $150 tax deductible donation.
The committee will be making every effort to get in contact with all veterans and relatives of veterans in the surrounding area, Henkels said.
"Our every effort is to make sure we get to as many veterans that want to be on the memorial as possible," Henkels said. "They served our country, and they deserve to be on it."
The committee is also looking for sponsors who will be willing to help support a veteran financially.
"It doesn't have to be relatives," Henkels said. "In fact, we're thinking that some of the early veterans might not have family in the area. We're thinking someone else in the area might sponsor them."
There are also other aspects of the project that need funding, including flags, sidewalks and lighting.
"If they don't want to do the $150 to sponsor a name, any amount is welcome to help pay for lighting, sidewalks and flags," Henkels said.
The goal for completion is in 2014, but meeting it depends on donations and volunteer work during the process.
"We're hoping to have a deadline for names to be sponsored by next spring," Henkels said. "We hope to have everything done by Memorial Day of 2014."
There will be a grand opening ceremony for the memorial upon completion.
"We're also doing a biography, a small book with information of each veteran whose name will be on the memorial," Henkels said.
For now, though, the committee is mainly interested in getting names and including every veteran in the area.
"They don't have to be from Heron Lake," Henkels said. "Generally we're just trying to get the information out there. If people are interested, we'd like to hear from them. We don't want to miss anyone."
Donations and sponsorships for a veteran can be made by turning in a form that can be found on the city's website, www.heronlakecity.org, by June 1, 2013.
Daily Globe Reporter Brianna Darling may be reached at 376-7321.