Grant, fundraising helps Columbus near goal of expanded Veteran’s Park

Published 4:26 pm Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The town plans to purchase a lot at the corner of Peak and Ward streets, which already appears to be a part of the park. With the addition of this property, the park will cover one city block from Gibson to Peak streets. This area may be used in the future to construct outdoor seating.

&dquo;On behalf of the town and the citizens of our community, I want to express appreciation to the Polk County Community Foundation for their support of the Veteran&squo;s Park,&dquo; says Mayor McMillian.

In total now, the Polk County Community Foundation has awarded the town $23,000 from two different unrestricted grant cycles. A Bradley Fund grant of $25,000 also was given to the town. In total, the Polk County Community Foundation has pledged $48,000 towards the project. The project is estimated to cost $153,675, including the land, offered recently by the seller at $96,000, a new shelter and other improvements.

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Additional events are planned in the near future to raise the remaining funds for the park expansion.

On Nov. 7, VFW Post 9116, VFW Post 10349 and American Legion Post 250 will be sponsoring a fundraiser to help raise funds from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.. &bsp;

On November 11, WJFJ and The Town of Columbus will be conducting a radiothon to raise money for the park.

The veteran&squo;s organizations have said their goal is to secure a $10 donation from all veterans in the county, which would raise about $30,000 toward the purchase of land adjacent to the park. The veteran&squo;s organizations said the remaining amount needed to purchase the adjacent lot is $45,000.

Veterans Park provides a community gathering place for many events, such as the annual fire department Gospel Singing, Memorial Day services and Saturdays in the Park. Families and local organizations use the park for special events, and it serves as a destination of honor and remembrance for more than 2,800 Polk County veterans.

Columbus is continuing the sale of bricks to honor veterans and to remember those who are deceased. For more information about how to honor a veteran and support the Veteran&squo;s Park expansion project, contact Tim Holloman at the Columbus Town Hall at 828-894-8236.