President & CEO Chris Girdler shares sponsorship options at monthly Chamber of Commerce luncheon
The Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority (SPEDA) kicked off fundraising efforts for downtown Somerset’s Veterans Memorial Park Tuesday, unveiling new options for anyone interested in honoring friends and family who have served in the military.
SPEDA President & CEO Chris Girdler shared these sponsorship opportunities — which include honorary bricks, trees and benches — with the crowd at the monthly Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
“We are so excited to launch the next phase of fundraising efforts for Veterans Memorial Park, a space that will not only honor our local veterans and warriors but also beautify downtown and help relieve persistent drainage challenges in this area,” Girdler said.
A first-of-its-kind effort dedicated to honoring local veterans and their service to their country, Veterans Memorial Park is located at the corner of Oak and Main streets downtown and is a partnership between the City of Somerset and SPEDA. Construction is expected to begin in spring with a public ceremony and dedication planned at that time.
The park was announced last year during a Whiskey & War Stories luncheon honoring the founders of Horse Soldier Bourbon, the community’s first bourbon distillery. Money generated from luncheon ticket sales went toward the effort, in addition to funds raised during an auction at an accompanying private event. Since that time, the SPEDA Community Foundation has raised money for the project in a number of ways, including a 22-Push-Up Challenge that raised awareness about veteran suicide rates.
First & Farmers National Bank is the park’s title sponsor. Its star attraction, as shown in detailed architectural renderings, will be a military tank set atop a platform adorned with the words “United We Stand,” emblems from all branches of military service as well as the First & Farmers logo. The park’s other features include a reflection area with a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, and structures that pay tribute to local veterans who achieved success through their service.
“We are so grateful to First & Farmers National Bank for their significant financial commitment to Veterans Memorial Park and our efforts to honor Somerset and Pulaski County’s military heroes,” Girdler said. “These additional opportunities now open the door for the community to get involved, to honor and recognize our veterans in a stately and respectful way.”
While SPEDA welcomes monetary donations of any amount, these preset options are a fitting way to honor local servicemen and women while complementing the park’s beauty, Girdler said.
The following sponsorships are available:
Bricks (8-by-4-inch and 8-by-8-inch): $500 and $1,000
Memorial bricks will be laid throughout the park. They will be engraved with the name of the donator or in honor/memory of a loved one of the donator’s choice. 8-by-4-inch bricks are available for $500, while 8-by-8-inch bricks are available for $1,000.
Tree with placard: $5,000
Trees will be planted throughout the park with accompanying placards, which will display the name of the sponsor or honor a loved one of the sponsor’s choice. These are available for $5,000.
Benches with placard: $10,000
Sponsor a place for visitors to sit as they’re enjoying the park. Benches will include matching placards including the name of the sponsor, or in honor/memory of a loved one of the sponsor’s choice. These are available for $10,000.
Girdler encouraged anyone interested in hearing more about these options to reach out to him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 425-5409. He is also available to speak about the park project to groups and organizations in the community.
To purchase a brick, tree or bench, or to make a financial contribution, visit https://somersetkyleads.com/speda-community-foundation/, scroll to the bottom and click “Become a Sponsor.”