To help raise the $1 million for a veterans honor park in Madison, supporters of the park project have created a GoFundMe webpage for donors who want to contribute.
Members of the Ronald Westby VFW Post 2638 and the McKibbin-Mosher American Legion Post 25, both headquartered in Madison, started a joint project last year to honor past, present and future veterans and their families. They plan to dedicate the park to persons who served in any U.S. military branch, at any time, and in any part of the world. The park is intended to honor all veterans, not just Madison or Lake County veterans.
Danny Frisby-Griffin, an honor park organizer and retired U.S. Air Force officer, established the GoFundMe webpage in December. Interested parties can find the honor park webpage by using the site's search engine with the key words "veterans honor park Madison SD."
GoFundMe operates on the internet as an American for-profit crowdfunding platform that allows people to raise money for events ranging from student graduations to challenging circumstances such as accidents and illnesses. From 2010 to 2017, more than $5 billion was raised on the www.gofundme.com platform from 50 million donors.
The establishment of a veterans honor park in Madison was made possible through a land donation by Jerry and Sue Larsen. The property is located along S. Washington Ave. across the street from Lewis Drug.
The park project's supporters have scheduled another fund-raiser event on Feb. 8 and are planning a Veterans Honor Park Soup Cook-Off from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Madison VFW post.
Any interested chefs should call 256-6771 by Feb. 1 to enter their soup creations in the competition. Cooks can also sign up for the contest at the VFW post, located at 510 S. Washington Ave.
The cook-off organizers want to draw in gourmands who -- for a freewill donation -- want to taste the assorted soup entries and vote for their favorite. They are arranging prizes for the cook-off winner and organizing a silent auction, raffles -- including a 50-50 raffle -- and door prizes.
Frisby-Griffin and the proprietors of Madison's Dakota Cinema movie theater, Kelli and Tim Brown, are also working on a fund-raising effort, possibly during a showing of "1917", a movie set on the Western front during World War I.
Within the overall fund-raising campaign for the honor park, the supporters assure that contributors who provide more than $500 will have honoree names permanently etched on a polished granite donor wall.