The first annual Veterans Memorial Fundraiser is planned for Saturday, Sept. 19, at Holdrege’s South Park and will include some of the Swedish Days activities that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
South Central Nebraska CERT in cooperation with other area organizations is planning the Veterans Memorial Fundraiser, a full-day event to raise money to build and maintain a new veterans memorial.
The event will take place from 8 a.m.-11 p.m. with a groundbreaking at 4 p.m. and an official renaming of the South Park to Veterans Memorial Park.
“We have all been cooped up for a long time with this virus, and everyone will be ready for a full day of fun,” event coordinator Cody Tiedje said.
Tiedje leads South Central Nebraska’s County Emergency Response Team (CERT), which consists of about 35 volunteer community members trained to help in times of emergency, such as tornadoes or other disasters.
Tiedje and his team are leading efforts to organize the Sept. 19 event, which he hopes will become an annual celebration to raise funds for the veterans memorial construction and maintenance. Originally, the event was planned for early June, but the date was pushed back due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The Holdrege Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with CERT in 2020 to bring in some of the Swedish Days events and activities that were canceled in June, including a smaller scale rib-fest (not sanctioned) and bounce houses, a rock-climbing wall and other fun for kids.
Other partnering organizations include the Phelps County Development Corporation, the Phelps County Community Foundation and the Holdrege Veterans Memorial Committee, which is coordinating the construction of the memorial.
The new Holdrege Veterans Memorial will honor veterans who served in one or more Federal services of the United States Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard. It will be constructed on the northwest side of the South Park baseball field where it will be visible from Highway 183. It is estimated that at least $150,000 will be needed to build the monument, which will include five granite monuments listing the names of local veterans.
All proceeds from a hotdog/hamburger feed and silent auction at the Sept. 19 event will go toward the construction of the memorial. Donation buckets will be set up throughout the park.
Tiedje said the event will take place throughout the entire South Park. The day will start with cornhole, Frisbee golf and horseshoe tournaments. Between 150-200 vendors will sell food and handmade items in the northwest corner of the park. A first responder and military show and shine will be featured on the east side of the park. A children’s story walk is also planned.
The veterans memorial groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will include the Holdrege High School choir singing the national anthem and a fly-over.
Evening entertainment will include a beer garden and live bands.
For more information about the event, please contact Tiedje at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-991-6161.
For more information about the veterans memorial project, please visit www.HoldregeVeteransMemorial.com.