By GREG SCELLIN
Looking for a peaceful place to spend some time during these crazy COVID-19 days? You might want to head to the eastern edge of Fairmont and practice some social distancing at the American Freedom Defenders Veterans Memorial just south of State Highway 6.
Recent donations, including a $30,000 matching grant from the Earl and Jesse Wilkins Foundation, have made the installation of five granite service branch monuments, two benches and an entrance monument possible at the memorial. Sod was also laid over the weekend.
Heartland Bank CEO John Wilkins and Foundation executive director Lucas Swartzendruber visited the memorial last Tuesday in Fairmont.
“I think it’s great what you’re doing here,” said Wilkins before a formal check presentation. “We like doing matching grants and like to help all projects in the county. We are glad we could be a part of this.”
The memorial began with a donation of the property by Jack and Kay Harris.
“They got the ball rolling from the start,” committee member Mary Lundberg said. “It’s their pride and joy.”