Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council receive $5,000 donation
The Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council received a $5,000 donation from Eastern Bank on Friday, Aug. 3 which will help fund the construction of a memorial monument near the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
"There is no kind of landmark out there for the cemetery," said friends President Bob Powilatis. "It's a void that needs to be filled."
With Eastern Bank's donation, the friends are now rapidly approaching their $55,000 fundraising goal for the monument. Other organizations such as the Elks, Knights of Columbus and the American Legion have also contributed.
"We have about $14,000 to go," Powilatis said. "But we're on the fast track now."
Vice President Joyce Wagner added that contributions from the community have also played a crucial role in their fundraising efforts.
"We went to the Swan Festival to raise awareness, thinking we'd maybe get $10," Wagner said. "We ended up leaving with a couple hundred. The response was amazing."
The completed 15-foot tall monument will sit beside the Otis Rotary, making it visible from all directions. According to Powilatis, solar lights will ensure that the monument is visible 24/7.
"Otis Rotary will also be renamed," Powilatis said. "We're going to call it Heroe’s Circle."
A dedication of the monument is scheduled for Oct. 27 which will mark the 100th anniversary of Veteran's Day. According to Powilatis, the friends hope to break ground on the project by late September.
Prior to the memorial monument, the friends helped to bring a traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial to Wareham High School last year.
"We had over 200 volunteers," Wagner said. "It'd odd to get that kind of response in Wareham, but we can see that people are really trying to work together. They care about these projects."
The friends will hold their next fundraising dinner at the Pierview Restaurant on Aug. 16. The dinner will run from 6 to 8 p.m.
Tickets are $10 per person and $5 for children age 8 and under.
Donations for the memorial monument can also be mailed to the following address: Hero's Circle Project, 14 Cory Drive, Wareham, MA 02571.