The long-awaited Edmonds Veterans Plaza has moved closer to reality with the announcement of a “blue-ribbon fundraising committee.”
The newly announced fundraising group is co-chaired by Mike Echelbarger, a prominent Edmonds real estate developer and Tom Mesaros, a member of the Edmonds City Council and longtime consultant with the Alford Group, which serves not-for-profit corporations. The goal is to raise $450,000 “to build a beautiful and lasting tribute to the men and women who have served our nation in its armed forces,” according to the announcement.
The plaza will incorporate a polished stone wall with individual areas for each of the five services, each separated by a series of miniature waterfalls. There will be matching stone seating pedestals and a small memorial garden honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Group members include “a number of Edmonds’ notables,” including Steve Pennington, Dave Jaffe, Maria Montalvo, Bill Taylor, Mike Schindler, Bob Wilcox and Ron Clyborne, the announcement said. They will spend the next 12 months contacting individuals, corporations and foundations, offering them the opportunity to participate in the development of the plaza.
The Veterans Plaza project is sponsored by the Edmonds VFW Post 8870, Post 66 of the American Legion, the City of Edmonds and local historical groups. It is chaired by Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Ron Clyborne.
“This is a wonderful project for our city and I am pleased to be involved with it,” fund raising volunteer Mesaros said. “To have Mike Echelbarger join with me as a co-chair speaks volumes about the importance he gives to this citywide effort. Mike and I are very honored that so many quality people have put their names toward this effort.
“As a veteran myself, I know the sacrifices many of my comrades made so that we might live in peace and enjoy the goodness of American life.”
The campaign is expected to last 8 to 12 months and, as success approaches, construction will begin at the corner of 5th Avenue North and Bell Street. It will be in the area that is now the plaza entrance to the Edmonds City Council chambers.
To find out more, or to be among the first to contribute, go to the Plaza website at edmondsveteransplaza.com, visit the Edmonds Veterans Plaza Facebook page, or email them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.