Statue donations pick back up

By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers

 

WYANDOTTE — After last week’s announcement that donations for the Purple Heart Memorial Garden project had waned, money has started to trickle back in.

 

The project, taken on by the Beautification and Historical commissions, the local Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, was intended to be funded by donations and the sale of engraved bricks.

 

All members of the group working on the project, including city employees, have donated their time.

 

Natalie Rankine, the city’s part-time special events coordinator and member of the Beautification Commission, said that donations and brick sales had “stalled” since December.

 

“It is probably due to the economic times and the climate right now,” Rankine said. “We just haven’t been receiving very many donations.”

 

After her announcement at last week’s City Council meeting, Rankine teamed with Margaret Roberts to hold a tea fundraiser last Sunday at Bishop Co-Op.

 

Roberts, a co-op resident, hosted the tea, which ultimately raised over $750.

 

“I’m just really amazed,” Mayor James DeSana said. “It just shows that the seniors share many of the interests we have in our community.”

 

The city’s Purple Heart statue, originally dedicated in 1943, was removed from its base at the intersection of Biddle and Superior last year to be cast in bronze for preservation.

 

A Walk of Honor consisting of the engraved bricks also is included in the project. Flags representing the five branches of service, as well as the Prisoner of War and Missing In Action flags, are planned to partially surround the statue.

 

The entire project is estimated to cost about $220,000 and was slated to be completed this year, has been put on hold due to lack of funds.

 

So far, the group working on the project is about $64,000 away from its fundraising goal of $222,000.

 

DeSana reminded residents and city employees that there is still time to make donations and to buy bricks.

 

Engraved bricks are on sale on the city’s Web site, www.wyandotte.net, and fliers are posted in City Hall. The larger bricks are $100 and the smaller bricks are $75.

 

For more information call the Wyandotte Museum at (734) 324-7284.

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