People in Grande Prairie now have a new way to support the city’s new Veterans Memorial Gardens. Project lead Renee Charbonneau says she has partnered with the fundraising group the Order of St. George to give people the opportunity to donate privately.
“That has given us the ability to now be able to offer those who would like to support our project but sponsorship isn’t really the right way for them… they can donate to the Order of St. George in the name of this project, get a charitable receipt and we can get the funds that we need to keep growing the project.”
The idea for the gardens next to ANAVETS Hall was first announced in December 2016. It will feature profiles of local soldiers as well as a programs building which would house war artifacts used by people from the region.
Currently, 75 of the 320 soldier information plaques have been put together with the help of a heritage grant. Those are still expected to be installed in July. So far Charbonneau has been to the city asking for funds and also recently went to the county as well.
Before any of the larger pieces like the programs building can be put in, she says they need to wait until the end of March to see if they have received the two other grants they’ve applied for.
“The end of this month will be the big telling sign… [we’re] working with the city for all of our development permits, that’s been approved and we’re working on our building permits right now. The chainlink fencing, the 75 memorials, fruit trees, concrete sidewalks and a building. That’s going to be huge this summer.”
While waiting for word on the grants, through the Order, people will be able to donate money to sponsor things like benches, trees, plaques and sculptures. Charbonneau says every little bit helps and it’s a great way to get the community involved.
“For as little as $275 they can sponsor a tree and we’ll have a nameplate made and put at the base of the tree so that people know who’s supporting and who’s remembering. I think all of those things are so important it’s that community engagement and helping people remember our history.”
The county is expected to make its funding decision during budget talks in April. People looking to donate to the gardens privately can visit the website.