RANDOLPH (AP) — After spending more than two years developing plans for a new veterans memorial in Randolph, committee members were prepared to spend at least another year raising the money to pay for it.
With a fundraising goal of $160,000, the veterans memorial committee kicked off the official campaign March 31, hoping to reach that total by Veterans Day — 2020.
“We figured maybe next year we’d be able to start (construction),” committee member Bob Kint said.
That estimation was way off.
The committee started with $17,000 in hand. It took only a little more than three months to increase that to $163,000, and donations continue to come in. Earth work began in early June, a year ahead of schedule.
“It’s been unbelievable. People really stepped up,” committee chairman Tim Kint said.
That started even when the Randolph Area Veterans Memorial was still just in the planning stages, committee member John Gubbels said.
“We felt like it was something that could go, but we didn’t figure it would be this fast,” Gubbels said. “Some people just heard the talk about it and they gave money.”
Four granite pillars will include the names of all men and women from Randolph and nearby communities of Belden and McLean (children from both towns attend school in Randolph) who have served in the military. Another granite monument will have laser-engraved pictures on it. A Gold Star monument will list the names of Randolph natives who died in their service. The memorial will have eight flagpoles and a separate POW/MIA section. Six granite benches will give visitors a place to sit and reflect.