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Holcombe Area Veterans memorial plans to solicit donations

Holcombe Area Veterans memorial plans to solicit donations Holcombe Area Veterans memorial plans to solicit donations

Fundraising efforts for the Holcombe Area Veterans Memorial are in the planning stages, with the group starting the brainstorming process during their monthly meeting, Aug. 20.

Dave Staudacher, veterans memorial treasurer, said the group has received three checks since the last meeting, during the treasurer’s report.

“What is our goal?” asked Judy Simpson, group secretary.

Dave Conrad, group member, said the goal is probably around $125,000, given the project scope.

Jim Mataczynski, group chairman, asked the group to brainstorm ideas for fundraising.

Conrad suggested the group write a letter to mail out, similar to what the Lake Holcombe Food Pantry did in their building efforts.

“I thought that was pretty powerful,” said Conrad.

Other group members thought a letter would be a good idea.

Brian Guthman, group member, reminded the group that some residents of the Lake Holcombe School District have Sheldon, Conrath and Gilman addresses. He said some may also have Cornell and New Auburn addresses.

Conrad also suggested putting information about the memorial in a number of local papers, to try to reach out to people with a Holcombe connection who may no longer live in the area.

Jim Flater, guest at the meeting, said a GoFundMe page may make it easy, and therefore, appealing, for people to give to the memorial project online. Conrad said they could include information on how to donate on the Town of Lake Holcombe website.

“We could frequently update it (website) as time goes on,” said Conrad.

Members agreed to look into putting donation information on the town website, and what the fees for processing online credit card donations would be.

Flater also suggested asking local businesses to put signs outside when they are open, to spread the word of the memorial.

Mataczynski thought the group could also give their presentation at the other township meetings in the district, to ask for funds.

The group is also working on when to begin stone sales, and how initial donations for people who would like to put the donation toward a stone will work. Conrad says he thinks they should get a list of people interested in stones and what message they would like, even though they are not ready to place the stones yet.

Staudacher also asked that the group look into a clause, where if the veterans memorial failed for some reason, the land would revert back to him and his wife.

“We don’t want the town to be able to sell that piece of property, if we fall down” said Staudacher.

Ron Arts, group member, said he will check with the Wisconsin Towns Association for more information on making the contingency.

Kevin Tories, a retired professional archivist, also gave the group ideas of where to get their search for veterans from the Holcombe area underway.

Tories suggested starting with documents at the Eau Claire Area Research Center.

“But, it can also be found online for the most part now,” said Tories.

Tories says some of the work may be tedious, and left the group with a list of organizations they can contact for various war-time listings. He also suggested the group check local historical societies for lists of veterans, that they can use as a start to build a list of their own.

“Probably the best way to find out about veterans who served in a non-war period, is just word of mouth,” said Tories.

Tories told the group finding a list of veterans can seem like a never-ending process, as new names keep popping up.

Flater, who had a career in the security system industry prior to retirement, also spoke to the group about ideas for security at the memorial site.

“We had been talking about, mostly, cameras,” said Flater.

Flater also told the group he is willing to recommend brands and sources of equipment, and answer questions the group may have throughout the process. He suggested the group go with a wired system, as opposed to wireless.

Members also approved Rick Denzine to survey the memorial site, for about $1,300.

(cutline) Kevin Tories, a retired archivist, provided a list of places the Holcombe Area Veteran Memorial group can start to create a list of local veterans who have served. Tories encouraged the group to reach out to the public for word-of-mouth information to identify veterans, as well as a number of historical documents they can research. Photo by Julia Wolf