Brick sale begins for Veteran’s Memorial

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Veterans' Memorial Committee officially kicked off what they hope will become the major fund raiser for their Veterans' Memorial at a press conference at Riverfront Park in Niles Thursday.
To raise money, the committee is selling bricks on which veterans, families and businesses can put their names in honor of all veterans -- past, present and future.
Lou Liebetrau, who first floated the idea of a Niles memorial to its veterans and is committee co-chair, said a brick will cost $40 for families, private individuals and businesses, and $25 for veterans.
Each brick can include up to three lines of print, with each line a maximum of 14 letters and/or spaces long.
Although the brick sale hasn't been widely announced until recently, Liebetrau said they have already sold quite a few.
In total, however, she said the committee has already raised perhaps more than $30,000 for the Veterans' Memorial.
That amount, she said, stems mainly from donations by Alex and Sandra Moore, who donated $10,000, and William and Betty L. Alford, who recently donated $15,000.
John G. Street, Niles Township Police chief and brick committee chair, said it is no coincidence they chose to announce the brick sale prior to this weekend.
He said the immediate space around the monument will host 3,500 bricks.
The first ones to buy, however, will also have the opportunity to let their brick become a part of the monument itself, he said.
That is exactly what Walter Biggs and his wife, Doris, did Thursday.
He is thrilled about the effort to have a memorial erected in Niles.
Biggs, in addition to the brick they bought for his wife's brother, said they will also buy one for themselves.
According to the committee, when erected, the Veterans' Memorial will be located in the Riverfront Park just south of the amphitheater and north of the Main Street Bridge.
It will be in the shape of a pentagon with a tapered marble column with the five service flags surrounding the column, and benches will be placed around the inner area of the pentagon.
Mike Ellis, also a committee co-chair, said the total cost of the Veterans' Memorial, however, is likely to be less than first projected.
He said the monument alone will cost $57,000, and when the committee has the money they need for the whole project, it will take four months from ordering the monument until it is ready for delivery.
Ellis said the monument, which is a combination of four designs, will be erected by Bill Cooper of St. Joseph.
Ellis said the monument, when erected, is designed to not be an obstacle for the Riverfront amphitheater and it will be surrounded by low plantings.

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