Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 17, 2013

City asked to help pay off memorial debt

Effingham Daily News

---- — The city is once again being asked to lend financial support to a community project — this time for the Effingham County Veterans Memorial.

Through fundraisers and donations, the committee for the memorial has been able to chip away at the $270,000 low-cost loan for the monument. However, the group still owes $30,000. John Schimmelpfenning would like to pay off the balance and move forward with the memorial and asked council members Tuesday for help in doing just that.

“Naturally, we would appreciate a donation,” he said, explaining that in addition to paying off the loan, maintenance, etching fees, improvements and flags are all expenses for the memorial.

Schimmelpfenning said there are 70 to 80 veterans waiting to have their names etched onto the monument, which already bears about 350 names.

“A veteran should not have to pay to be honored,” he said

While $30,000 is what the group needs to pay off the note, Schimmelpfenning said he didn’t have a definite figure in mind to ask from the city.

Mayor Merv Gillenwater shared his appreciation for the monument.

“I think the real thing looks even better” than the blueprint, he said.

Gillenwater also expressed his appreciation of the memorial to include non-lifelong residents of Effingham County.

“Otherwise, I’d have no other place to put my name,” he said.

Commissioner Alan Harris asked if the request for funds from the city was the only one, or if other fundraising efforts were being pursued.

Schimmelpfenning said the committee would continue to seek donations from all sources until there is enough money to cover all aspects of the memorial.

“We’ll never stop until we have that satisfied,” he said.

The council may consider the request at a later date.

Nicole Dominique can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or at nicole.dominique@effinghamdailynews.com.