By Nathan Ham
The two-year anniversary of the Watauga County Veterans Memorial project is quickly approaching with a completion date expected this summer.
The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (HCCMOAA) has been driving the support and fundraising efforts to make this dream become a reality.
The HCCMOAA was formed in 2004 and consists of members from Watauga, Avery and Mitchell counties. It is a non-profit association that works hard to preserve the memory and recognition of each and every military veteran and their families.
According to town manager John Ward, the group has reached 80 percent of its fundraising goal, but still needs financial help to make sure that the project can be completed on time. Site preparations are set to begin this spring with a dedication ceremony set for July 4, 2018. The current fundraising goal is $165,000.
Banner Elk native Suzie Hallier was chosen to design the sculpture and she named it “Time and Honor.”
The memorial will be placed adjacent to Boone Town Hall on King Street, providing the most visible location to anyone that comes through downtown. The memorial will be approximately eight feet tall.
“We’re going to start clearing the site towards the end of March, depending on the weather. We can’t pour the concrete foundation until the weather breaks so we won’t have any frost delays,” said George Brudzinksi, who is leading the fundraising effort for the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.
According to Brudzinski, the biggest concern right now is still the funds needed to finish the project. There will be a pancake breakfast at Applebee’s on April 7 from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
“We’re also working with a couple of other restaurants for potential fundraisers and we’re also thinking about doing something over Memorial Day weekend with the businesses in downtown Boone. We did this for Veteran’s Day where stores can donate a percentage of their sales for the day,” Brudzinski said.
The annual Memorial Day event at Boone Mall is scheduled for May 28 at 11 a.m. and those in attendance will get to hear about the progress of the veteran’s memorial.
If you cannot make it to any of the special fundraising events but would still like to donate to the cause, Donations can be made to:
Watauga County Veterans Memorial Fundc/o High Country MOAA
PO Box 3312 Boone, NC 28607
For updates on the memorial and for other news tidbits about the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, visit their website at hcmoaa.org, find them on Facebook at facebook.com/hccmoaa or reach them by email at [email protected]. HCCMOAA is a 501 (19) Veterans Organization and donations are tax deductible.