The amphitheater at Bryant Commons will host its first event this weekend, and donations already have been made toward another step in Hinesville’s park project.
The Hinesville Military Affairs Committee is soliciting donations for a Veterans Memorial Walk in the Highway 84 park. The estimated project cost is just shy of $1 million.
The East Liberty County American Legion, Post 321 in Midway made the inaugural donation, contributing $600, according to George Holtzman, co-chairman for the Hinesville Military Affairs Committee’s walk sub-committee.
Holtzman said he expects more donations after the group receives a 501(c)3 status as a nonprofit organization. Certified public accountant Kent Pedrick of Pedrick & Company of Hinesville is seeking approval for the group’s tax-exempt, non-profit status.
On Tuesday, the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield’s Sergeants Major Association donated $1,000. The check was presented by Command Sgt. Maj. (Ret.) Jeffrey Ashmen at the proposed memorial site.
“The Sergeants Major Association represents all sergeants major in the area, both active duty and retired,” Ashmen said before presenting the check to Holtzman. “Our focus is community outreach, and we appreciate the opportunity to support something like this. This memorial is for those who have served and those who are currently serving. It’s a tribute for all veterans, past and present.”
Ashmen was accompanied by Command Sergeants Major Lindsey Streeter, Robert E. Townes, Joseph Cecil and Charles Davis. Also present were HMAC Chairman David Anderson; project engineer Marcus Sack of P.C. Simonton & Associates; Chief Warrant Officer-3 (ret.) Wayne Stewart, Georgia Army National Guard; Col. (ret.) Pete Hoffman, director of Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Liberty Center; and Susan Hancock, the walk sub-committee’s public relations coordinator.
Sack said the designs for each component of the memorial have been completed. It includes an entry walkway to the memorial with a monument and American flag. Guests would follow a semi-circular path that takes them by mini-monuments representing each branch of the service. There will be 10 benches along the path where visitors can rest or reflect on each branch’s monument. There will also be a special monument honoring America’s missing in action, he said. The entire memorial walk will be about the size of a baseball field.
“We’re not losing focus on our goal to dedicating this memorial on Memorial Day in 2015,” said Holtzman, who accepted the donation on behalf of the sub-committee’s chairman, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas. “Right now, Susan (Hancock) is working on a price list of project components that corporations or individuals can buy to help fund the project.”
Hancock said funding components include donations for a bench for $10,000; a special ornamental tree dedication for $5,000; service branch monuments for $150,000 or $30,000 each; the entry walkway monument and flag pole stand for $50,000; a reflection pond for $100,000; and individual bricks for $50 to $250.
Those interested in making donations can call Holtzman at 572-4300.
Checks also can be made out to the City of Hinesville for Veterans Memorial Walk and sent to city of Hinesville, ATTN: Veterans Memorial Walk, 115 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Hinesville, Ga. 31313.