When Jody Clark read about the need for money to complete the Huntersville Veterans Park Memorial, she went to her business partner, Kandi Ranson, and said, “we’ve got to do this for them.”
Their business, Simply Southern Events of Lake Norman, organized Honoring Our Veterans Craft Beer and BBQ Festival next to the proposed site of the new park on May 30.
Clark, whose husband, Joe Clark, has served 28 years with the Marine Corps, said, “our veterans do so much and have sacrificed so much for our country. It is a wonderful cause and my heart is in it.”
The festival included three local breweries; The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, D9 Brewing Co. and Bayne Brewing Co. For a $20 donation, participants could sample five of the craft beers in a miniature commemorative beer mug.
A portion of the proceeds from local vendors and the barbecue sales were donated toward the monument as well. The Sons of the American Legion Post 321 cooked 100 pounds of pork barbecue and 224 chicken leg quarters while Tony Bailey and The Electric Rodeo band played music to keep the crowds entertained.
Sam Putnam, a member of The Sons of the American Legion, said that the Sons first came up with the idea for the monument in 2014. They took the idea to town officials and received permission to proceed.
The Lake Norman-Huntersville Rotary Club joined in and is helping the Sons to sell bricks to raise funds for the monument. The bricks will be inscribed with the name of the veteran chosen by the sponsor and used in construction of the monument.
Putnam said anyone who has served may be honored, no matter where they live. “As long as they are a veteran or served,” he said.
“We have raised about half of the $60,000 we need to raise,” said Putnam. “We were advertising a skeet shoot to raise money when Jody and Kandi called us, like angels out of nowhere, with this idea,” he said.
Putnam said the plan is to break ground in October and have the monument completed by spring of 2016. “We feel confident that we can make it. A lot of people are being very generous,” he said.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to buy a brick to honor a veteran? The cost is $90 for one brick or $75 each for two or more. Each brick has room for three lines of copy with 18 characters per line. Messages must be military-related. You can order the bricks online at http://The Huntersville Veterans Park Memorial site is located between Main Street and Maxwell Street, where they intersect with Concord-Huntersville Road in Huntersville. or call Jack Simoneau with the Lake Norman-Huntersville Rotary Club at 704-766-2211 or Sam Putnam with Sons of the American Legion at 704-619-2356.
The Huntersville Veterans Park Memorial site is located between Main Street and Maxwell Street, where they intersect with Concord-Huntersville Road in Huntersville.
For progress on the monument go to www.facebook.com/huntersvilleveteransmemorial.