Article by: Heather Holmes
CEDA Team Member, Heather Holmes, Housing and Recreation Director for the City of Stewartville has been working with the Stewartville VFW Post 8980 and American Legion Post 164 to fundraise and build the Stewartville Veteran’s Memorial (SVM) Park on the south edge of the City. The project was a dream of Maurice Sinn, one of the original members of VFW Post 8980 and the last survivor of the original group.
“This has been an incredible honor to work with the group on moving this much anticipated project forward,” said Holmes, a veteran herself. “The City of Stewartville, Olmsted County, local businesses and citizens have been so generous. It is humbling to see the incredible support.”
The estimated total cost of the project is $300,000 and to date about $100,000 in cash and in-kind donations have been raised including a generous donation of $25,000 from an anonymous foundation which also offered a Matching Grant of $50,000 which will expire on December 31, 2020.
On July 21st, 2020, a $5,000 donation was presented to the SVM park committee by ONB bank at their newest location in Stewartville. Josh Buckmeier, ONB Vice President, states “when the “Rogers” presented to us early this year, we knew we wanted to contribute towards the Veterans Memorial Park. We are even more excited to learn our $5,000 contribution will turn into $10,000.”
Located on the southside of Stewartville on the west side of highway 63, The Memorial Park will provide a location for events and for visitors to honor local veterans. Work has already begun on the site. Grading has been completed and the underground electrical conduit is being installed. The next step will be the concrete work which includes new curbing off Highway 63 as well as sidewalks and picnic shelter base.
“This project is a huge undertaking,” says Roger Peterson, Stewartville American Legion Post 164 Commander. “But with the City’s support and Heather’s assistance along with the matching grant of $50,000, we hope to hit our goal and double every dollar received until the end of the year.”