Tuesday, May 22 , 2018, 1:23 pm | Mostly Cloudy 64º


Local News

Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial Nears Fundraising Goal

Monument would be be developed around a flagpole installed and dedicated five years ago at Beattie Park, overlooking the city

An artist’s concept shows the planned Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial at Beattie Park.
An artist’s concept shows the planned Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial at Beattie Park. (Contributed)

After five years of planning and fundraising, efforts to build a memorial to remember the Lompoc Valley’s fallen warriors now sit just a short way from reaching a key financial goal.

“We’re hopeful that when the word gets out that we’re really close, that maybe we’ll attract more interest in making donations and that will get us even closer,” said Bob Schrum, chairman of the Fallen Warriors Memorial Committee. 

The Fallen Warriors Memorial, in the planning and fundraising stages since 2011, could move closer to reality with donations to push the fundraising to the goal of $200,000.

“We’re going to get this done, no matter what. No matter what we’re going to build this memorial,” Schrum said.

Organizers said the committee is 5 to 10 percent short of the goal to build the memorial planned to be developed around a flagpole installed and dedicated five years ago at Beattie Park, popular with families and with a view overlooking the city. 

“We felt that with its location overlooking the city, and all of the use it is seeing from the citizens of Lompoc, it would be nice to have a place for someone to sit and reflect on the losses that we sustained in defending our country,” Schrum said, his voice filled with emotion. “We will build this thing. 

The memorial will include the names of 51 fallen warriors with ties to the Lompoc Valley, starting with Elbridge L. Badger from World War I, and ending with Landon Jones, who died when his military aircraft crash into the Red Sea in 2013. 

"It's for 51 people we're building it," said Laurie Lane, another committee member whose son, Army Sgt. 1st Class Michell Lane, was killed in Afghanistan. 

Committee members have spent hours researching whose names belong on the memorial, with the names listed online here.

The committee, which falls under the umbrella of the nonprofit Lompoc Valley Parks, Recreation and Pool Foundation, has worked to raise money, collecting small donations from Lompoc residents and nonprofit groups.

The proposed Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial would be built around the flagpole at Beattie Park. Click to view larger
The proposed Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial would be built around the flagpole at Beattie Park.  (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

For the past three years, it has organized the Red, White & Blue Ball as a key fundraiser.

In addition to raising funds, efforts have focused on trimming costs of the memorial and lining up contractors to donate labor so the project expenses are lower than in the initial estimates.

The memorial, a 30-foot diameter plaza, has undergone some minor design changes since it was first created. For instance, benches won’t have backs, a matter of safety, security and cost. 

The revised project is undergoing engineering review, a necessary step before applying for a permit from the city, which Schrum hopes will be submitted in three months.

“One of the things I would like to come across with this article is how much we appreciate the citizens of Lompoc and the city of Lompoc for their support in making this project happen,” Schrum said.

Donations to the Lompoc Valley Fallen Warriors Memorial may be mailed to P.O. Box 656, Lompoc, CA 93438, with checks made payable to LVPRPF/Fallen Warriors.

The committee plans to ensure the memorial is maintained in a respectful condition into the future, Schrum said.

“Our effort to support the fallen warriors and this memorial does not end with construction and the grand opening. We will continue to do what we can to honor our fallen warriors,” Schrum added.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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