As supporters of a Pendleton veterans memorial begin to assemble a fundraising campaign, they got some early seed money for their effort.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced Wednesday that it was awarding $37,364 to Pendleton to install a veterans memorial at an old fountain site near the intersection of Highway 11 and Southeast Court Avenue.

Charles Denight, the chairman of the Pendleton Arts Committee, said the grant was a “good jump start” for funding the centerpiece art structure at the memorial, which has an estimated cost of $123,753.

Denight said the memorial’s backers, which include the city and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 922, will apply for grants from the Pendleton Foundation Trust and the Wildhorse Foundation to further bolster fundraising.

But organizers are also planning a more public fundraising campaign to help the memorial reach its funding goal.

Denight said one idea that’s being considered is a donor brick campaign where donors would have their names engraved on bricks that surround the memorial.

Denight gave credit for the work done by VFW members, who have obtained the basalt columns that will be used to surround the art piece.

The columns will each feature a bronze medallion representing a different branch of the military and were purchased by the city last year.

The arts committee is starting to the selection process for an artist and expects to hire one in March 2020.

The committee is projecting that the memorial will be completed and dedicated in January 2021.

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