- Written by Mike Hughes
During this holiday season, the board of directors of the Northeast Montana Veterans Fund, Inc. extends appreciation to everyone who has supported the memorial. We are coming closer to our goal, thanks to the combined efforts of our patron donors, local businesses, in-kind professional assistance, all VFW/American Legions and auxiliaries and generous contributions through various fundraisers. It is a privilege to work on a project that honors the courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country of northeast Montana veterans.
With help from so many over the past four years, the goal to build a world class veterans memorial at Fort Peck is now in the final stages of engineering. We hope to negotiate plans for contractor bids this winter and break ground in Fort Peck as soon as the frost is out this spring.
The memorial will be built with private contributions from northeast Montana citizens, businesses and organizations, and we are confident that we have most of the money necessary to complete phase one. This currently includes the Walls of Honor, all preliminary surveys, soil tests, design engineering, construction plans, the main monument, an entry sign, foundations for the flag parks, flatwork - retaining walls - walkways - vigil foundations, initial electrical - lighting and basic landscaping. Completely finished, the memorial will also have appropriate KIA/MIA/POW recognitions, sculptures and busts, artwork, murals, static displays and seating, which will have costs approaching $1 million. We have successfully raised over $500,000 or approximately half what we are eventually going to need.
We are proud to assure you that there are few administrative expenses deducted from any contributions and that the board of directors is dedicated to devoting all donations to the memorial. We have hired no employees and paid no salaries.
We would welcome year-end giving to this project and we are a 501(c)19 non-profit qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions. Donations to worthy causes during the holidays are a part of the season. Helping to build this memorial can add to the quality of the life of your family. Freedom is a precious gift.
The Walls of Honor remain a central feature of the park and will be self-funded by the sale of exquisitely etched black granite tiles, currently available for your holiday giving considerations. The wall, like the memorial, is for all veterans, all branches of the service, including National Guard and Reserves.
Our goal is to ensure that no northeast Montana veteran is left off the Wall of Honor. Until Memorial Day 2015, we will be able to group families and friends together on the walls. After that, we expect the cost of the tiles to go up and it will not be possible to group names. For additional information on the tiles, visit www.VeteransMT.org.
Here is an opportunity to give a present with a future, take a qualified non-profit tax deduction, permanently honor your family and friends by recognizing a veteran’s legacy and help us finish this park.
Phase one will establish the park for immediate viewing and enjoyment. For the remaining phases, we have plans to raise more donations with targeted grant applications and corporate requests. Tile sales are critically important at this time to help us finish the project right.
Based on current engineering estimates we expect costs for phase one to be higher than original estimates. The board decided to capture savings on the completed memorial by doing all basic infrastructure work during the initial construction. This includes landscaping, irrigation, electrical and foundations. This only seems to be good business. We have hired a landscaping architect who has experience with other memorials to help finalize site plans. We should have everything in place to start awarding work sometime after the first of the year.
It is our hope that in this season of giving you will consider a gift. Rest assured, any gifts or tiles purchased for this Northeast Montana Veterans Memorial Park will make a huge difference. Contact any of our board for additional information or specific bequest desires.
Steve Page and
Tom Markle, co-chairs
keeper of the tiles
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Ann Ronning, music teacher at Froid Public School, brought a group of happy and eager singers to the Froid Community Center Wednesday, Nov. 26, to entertain the senior citizens with songs about turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. They were treated to a piece of pie by the cook, Gloria Giese. (Submitted photo)
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Alexi Bidegaray of Culbertson shot this 5-point buck from 250 yards with one shot. (Submitted photo)
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Several women from Trinity Lutheran Church made noodles from scratch for their chicken noodle soup that was sold at the Trinity Bazaar Thursday, Dec. 4. They also had sandwiches, dessert bars, chili, cream of broccoli and tomato soups for purchase during the bazaar. Pictured are Marie Damm, Laura Bergum, Elaine Jasper, Lori Jasper and Genny Nordmeyer. (Photo by Nancy Mahan)
- Written by John Plestina
Shoring up economic relationships between northeast Montana and Canadian neighbors was stressed during a Culbertson City Council meeting, Monday, Dec. 1.
Highway 2 Association president Bob Sivertsen of Havre told the council that the oil-rich region is booming both in northeastern Montana and across the border.
“He came to visit about our relationship with the Canadian trade and how this is a booming area even up in Canada,” Mayor Gordon Oelkers said.
He said Sivertsen is doing a good job of keeping people informed about efforts to improve infrastructure and with the economic aspects.
Since it’s inception in 2001, the Highway 2 Association has been a strong proponent of the “4 For 2” campaign to build a four-lane U.S. Hwy. 2 across the 666 miles that crosses Montana, for an adequate transportation system along the Hi-Line with safety, tourism, agriculture and the enhancement of energy and other economic development cited as reasons for the need.
Needs that have been cited for a four-lane highway included increased heavy truck traffic due to Bakken Oilfield development in western North Dakota and eastern Montana, including Roosevelt County.
Funding for a four-lane Hwy. 2 across the length of Montana is not funded.;
More than one-quarter of Hwy. 2 is in Montana. The route dates to 1926 and spans 2,571 miles across the northern continental United States in two segments, one between Washington and Michigan, and the other from New York State and ending in Maine.
Sivertsen said during the Highway 2 Association’s annual fall meeting in Glasgow, Friday, Oct. 17, that there has been a study that would include a four-lane highway from the Montana/North Dakota state line to Culbertson and north along the current Montana Hwy. 16 to the Port of Raymond at the Canadian border.
Culbertson City Councilman Bruce Houle is a board member of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, a proposed four-lane route that would enhance business and tourism in several plains states. It would be comprised of several existing highways between Texas/Mexico border and the Port of Raymond, passing through Culbertson.
The MDT’s Bainville- East project, four-lane beginning at Bainville and continuing to the Montana/North Dakota state line could begin construction in 2017.
For additional information about the 4 For 2 proposal, contact the Highway 2 Association at http://www.hwy2mt.org/.