Sunday, October 17, 2021

Veterans’ Memorial becomes reality



A Veterans’ Memorial at Veterans’ Community Park is one step closer to reality. Bryan Milk, City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director, said specifications are to be completed within the next 30 days and will allow for an open bidding process to begin on the construction. A fundraising committee has been formed which includes Leo Sutera, Steve Stefanides, Carole Roberts, Valerie Simon, Bryan Milk, Keith Dameron, Lee Rubenstein, Dave Belgrade and Jim Lang. They are committed to work diligently to bring the memorial to life. “It is the goal of this committee to have the memorial built by Memorial Day,” said Lee Rubenstein, Commander of the local VFW and chairperson for the fundraising committee. “We need around $125,000 to complete the plan. The City of Marco Island has pitched in, the VFW has pitched in and now it is up to the rest of us to make sure this memorial is finished for those men and women who gave their all for our nation!”

Plans for the memorial have been scaled back from the original master plan as presented by the Veterans Community Park Advisory Committee two years ago.  The new design calls for a paver walkway leading into a large 120’ circle. Around the perimeter benches will be placed. The inside circle will feature emblems from each of the five branches of the military with three flagpoles opposite the walkway. According to Bryan Milk, City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director, Royal Palm trees have already been placed around the circumference of the memorial area.

Lee added, “Opportunities to memorialize one’s service record or to honor a family member with a Patriot Paver are available from $100 upward. There are benches, flag poles and brick pavers of varying sizes and prices. Thanks to Leo Sutera’s effort on the benches, many have been spoken for, but, there is still time! This is a fine tribute and a fitting honor, something the veterans of the area have been working on for a long time. We will be reaching out to the community for support. Businesses, service organizations and individuals will be contacted during the next few weeks with details.” For further information contact Lee Rubenstein at 239-564-9894 or Bryan Milk at 239-389-5035.

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