5K VIP Road Race Being Planned

I am in the process of planning a 5K road race that could be used as a prototype event for a national series; much like the Stroh’s Run For Liberty back in the mid 80’s. I am going to make a survey available to runners to gauge their interest in the event. If you are a runner or one who might like to support the memorial through a running event, I welcome you to take the survey. Visit my running site at www.YourRunningMemories.com and click on the link. A successful series would generate much needed publicity about the memorial project throughout the running community. That may lead to some media coverage as news of the events spread. This road race would be very special. It will honor the participants as the Very Important People (VIP) they are for helping to raise funds for the memorial. It will be an event a runner would not want to...

Tribute Sponsorship Abandoned

We designed a Tribute Sponsorship Program and launched it in January, 2011. The focus was corporate support for local fallen heroes. Basically we divided the projected cost of the memorial by the number of fallen heroes and assigned that dollar figure to a personal tribute destined for display on the memorial. That rounded figure was $3,500. I spent three months earlier this year contacting major corporations. None of them would sponsor a single tribute to honor a local fallen soldier. Several responded with, “It just doesn’t fit with our marketing campaigns.” Every corporation I contacted was flush with cash. A representative from the Wal-Mart Foundation told me they were not interested in sponsoring a tribute for the fallen soldier from Fayetteville, AK., hometown to their headquarters. The corporation had $7.4 billion in cash on hand at the time. A vice president at a local corporate headquarters (Raleigh, NC) told me they simply did not have enough money to sponsor a $3,500 tribute. They had $647 million in cash on hand. I got similar responses from many representatives. A substantial number would not respond to our messages or phone calls. It appears that they decided to use the ‘plausible deniability’ option. We decided to abandon the program. I am now making an assumption, but I believe the failure to attract corporate support may have something to do with our status as an unknown entity. Maybe they simply will not risk supporting an organization they never heard of. We’ll never know because representatives either would not respond or would not respond honestly. I wonder if the representatives would have responded differently...

List Preparation

I spent the day preparing a list of local Tribute Sponsorship contacts for Monday’s calls. The list includes Fortune 500 corporations and local political leaders. Outback Steakhouse, who supports Operation Homefront, suggested on their website to contact a local restaurant about donations. After speaking with representatives at other stores like Target and Staples, I learned that individual stores are authorized to give gift cards, merchandise, and in some cases cash, but the donation level had a very low cap. I may end up contacting Outback’s corporate offices. If any of you can recommend a company or individual who may consider sponsoring a hero’s tribute, please contact...

Why Are We Doing This?

Many people ask my why we took on such an immense project. That is a reasonable question. Carl Regutti, an award winning sculptor and chemist, and I refined a technique to do very high-resolution etching on oxide or PVD colored stainless steel. We began R&D in 2004 and continued experiments through 2006. Due to the nature of the coating and the durability of 316 stainless, these etched pieces should survive the elements for thousands of years. During this R&D, Carl and I began contemplating how we might honor our military heroes. Both of us are getting older, and neither of us served in the military. Carl has a brother who is a high-ranking military officer. My father was in the OSS during WWII and my mother was a stenographer on the War Crimes Trials in Nuremberg. She later worked for the CIA and then US Customs as an inspections supervisor. We both feel very strongly about the sacrifices our military men and women have made to keep this country free. We researched the DC memorials and read how long they took to put in place. By the time the WWII Memorial was completed the parents of the fallen had all passed away, never getting to see the tribute to these heroes. The Commemorative Works Act adds another impediment to the memorial process. So we designed a memorial that features the black, surgical stainless steel tributes we perfected in the lab. Honoring our fallen heroes in the wars on terrorism was our first thought. After conversations with representatives in DC who oversee monuments, we were advised that if we wanted...

Bank of America

I just started to compile my list of NC based corporations to approach about sponsoring a tribute to a local fallen warrior. If you have not read about our Sponsor A Tribute program, a sponsorship is only $3,500. (That program has been discontinued.) A few years ago you may remember reading this headline: Bank of America will receive $20 billion in fresh US government aid and $118 billion worth of guarantees against bad assets. Bank of America has an online form to apply for grants. Here’s what I discovered. The following is from the Bank of America website. The following organizations are not eligible for funding: Organizations that deny service to a potential client or beneficiary on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran, or disability status Individuals, including those seeking scholarships or fellowship assistance Political, labor, fraternal organizations, or civic clubs Religious organizations (for example, churches and synagogues). Some secular community service programs such as soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, and job banks are eligible, even when sponsored by religious groups. Individual pre-K-12 schools (public or private) Sports, athletic events, or athletic programs Travel-related events, including student trips or tours Development or production of books, films, videos, or television programs Memorial campaigns I was shocked. Here’s a company who gladly took billions of tax payer dollars and they post a list like this! Based on their restrictions, a grant submission would be futile. What are these people...
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