|DATE 06/18/2004 11:48 AM|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.
Kids Raise Funds For Veterans Memorial
|A community effort to restore the Veterans Memorial in Mt. Pleasant got a sweet boost recently from local elementary school students.Fifth graders from Sheron Larsen and Gary Ovesen’s classes at Mt. Pleasant Elementary, guided by student teacher Michael Wright, raised $1,200 by setting up a candy store in their school. All of the proceeds from sales went to the restoration of the monument, which is located on the corner of Main Street and U.S. Highway 89.
The memorial, which honors local veterans who served in the Black hawk War, Spanish American War, World War I and World War II, th Korean War and the Vietnam War, has been in a state of disrepair for years.
While doing his student teaching in Mt. Pleasant, Wright noticed that the names of the veterans were missing from the memorial and decided to make it his community service project. “He came in and told the students that the names were falling off and said “we should do something to put them back on.” The kids were all for helping out,” Larsen says.
The fifth grade social studies curriculum is based on U.S. history. Students have been studying American wars and veterans visited their classes as guest speakers, Larsen says. “There has also been a lot of talk about the war that is ongoing. The students are very into loyalty ‘both to the flag and to their country’ so this was something they were very interested in doing.”
The teachers took the initiative to the city council, which has had an ongoing effort to restore the memorial, and received an enthusiastic go-ahead. The fifth graders wrote letters to local merchants asking for donations of candy. They also solicited help from Wal-Mart and the company agreed to match the student-raised funds. Far West Bank also heard about the initiative and sent $200 in support.
“Everyone was very helpful, all of the students and teachers in the school supported our candy store,” Larsen says. “Our goal was to raise $1,200 and we made it! The kids are very proud of themselves.” The students were recently recognized by Mt. Pleasant’s mayor and city council.
The restoration project is being overseen by a citizen’s group, as well as the city council, Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council, the Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance and local members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The preservation effort includes restoring the names of veterans currently listed, adding more names and searching for names that were lost due to deterioration or were removed over the years. There are also plans to add the names of local residents who served in the war in Iraq.
In addition to the students’ gift, the restoration project recently received a $500 anonymous donation and the city and county are applying for grants to help finance the rest of the $50,000 project. The county and city are supporting the project because it’s an important historical site and because it is a way to acknowledge the important role veterans played in the development of the region. The Mt. Pleasant newspaper, The Pyramid, has also been providing assistance by running enlarged photos of names on the monument in hopes of tracking down family members. Community members have also been asked to come forward with names of people they may know who are missing from the monument.
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|For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council