Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council receive $5,000 donation

By Meghan Neely | Aug 03, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely From left: Jackie Hickey, Kevin Ward, Elenor Martin, Joyce Wagner, Bob Powilatis and Rose Berry celebrate a $5,000 donation from Eastern Bank to the Friends of the Wareham Veteran's Council.

The Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council received a $5,000 donation from Eastern Bank on Friday, Aug. 3 which will help fund the construction of a memorial monument near the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

"There is no kind of landmark out there for the cemetery," said friends President Bob Powilatis. "It's a void that needs to be filled."

With Eastern Bank's donation, the friends are now rapidly approaching their $55,000 fundraising goal for the monument. Other organizations such as the Elks, Knights of Columbus and the American Legion have also contributed.

"We have about $14,000 to go," Powilatis said. "But we're on the fast track now."

Vice President Joyce Wagner added that contributions from the community have also played a crucial role in their fundraising efforts.

"We went to the Swan Festival to raise awareness, thinking we'd maybe get $10," Wagner said. "We ended up leaving with a couple hundred. The response was amazing."

The completed 15-foot tall monument will sit beside the Otis Rotary, making it visible from all directions. According to Powilatis, solar lights will ensure that the monument is visible 24/7.

"Otis Rotary will also be renamed," Powilatis said. "We're going to call it Heroe’s Circle."

A dedication of the monument is scheduled for Oct. 27 which will mark the 100th anniversary of Veteran's Day. According to Powilatis, the friends hope to break ground on the project by late September.

Prior to the memorial monument, the friends helped to bring a traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial to Wareham High School last year.

"We had over 200 volunteers," Wagner said. "It'd odd to get that kind of response in Wareham, but we can see that people are really trying to work together. They care about these projects."

The friends will hold their next fundraising dinner at the Pierview Restaurant on Aug. 16. The dinner will run from 6 to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 per person and $5 for children age 8 and under.

Donations for the memorial monument can also be mailed to the following address: Hero's Circle Project, 14 Cory Drive, Wareham, MA 02571.

Comments (7)
Posted by: barnstorm | Aug 04, 2018 10:57

To say that there is no landmark for the National Cemetery is totally false. A 20ft. x 8ft. beautiful stone wall already sits on a grassy traffic circle inside the entrance to the Massachusetts National Cemetery location "for the world to see"! This 15ft. monument will not sit "beside" the Otis traffic circle. It is going to be located along the road inside of the entrance  to the cemetery & military complex. In fact, the location on the original permit application was to be on the traffic circle itself! Doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict that location would be rejected by the District 5 MassDOT Permit Engineer. Interesting to read that the American Legion has donated money for this $55,00 project in Bourne. Surely, it can't be our  local American Legion here in Wareham. For the Vietnam Veteran Moving Wall event, that group didn't donate a penny. In fact, their Commander did nothing to help orchestrate that project.  Yet, he and one of the members of the BOS made sarcastic predictions that the 2017 Friends  would never raise the $40,000 plus to make it happen. They did that and $39,000 more in surplus. Guess whose name is on that checking account? The 2018 Friends Group is no longer connected to or affiliated with the Wareham Veterans Council as of March 30, 2018. Their President & Group filed for that Article 2 Amendment change and now are their own independent corporation. They no longer are "Friends" of the Wareham Veterans Council and it's time for them to file for an Article 1 change in their title and name.

Posted by: BeachLover | Aug 04, 2018 19:06

Hmm. Wonder what bitter, angry and misinformed person wrote this.

Posted by: barnstorm | Aug 05, 2018 06:28

I have a copy of the paperwork from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that proves all I have written about. You better believe I'm bitter. The good people of Wareham that donated all that money to the Moving Wall event in 2017 has to be informed of the $39,000 in surplus and what it is being used for. When this all plays out, it will be this new group of "Fake Friends" that will expose their egotistical agenda to the town and how they stabbed the Wareham Veterans Council in the back. It is you that is misinformed. Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, Beach Lady........Go Pound Sand!

Posted by: WWreader | Aug 05, 2018 09:57

If you folks really are FRIENDS of veterans in Wareham, why don’t you use the money left over from the wall to, you know, HELP our veterans in town. Why spend so much energy raising more money that will do nothing to help our veterans in need but will be spent on a stupid monument? Get your priorities straight  By the way, I donated to the Wall fundraiser and the last thing I would want that donation spent on is this monument project  I am not alone in thinking this way


Posted by: BeachLover | Aug 05, 2018 16:16

All funds earmarked for the Vietnam Wall were spent on bringing the wall to Wareham.  As soon as the treasurer who was elected last January receives all documentation from previous treasurer it will be posted.  Let's hope it arrives soon!

Posted by: barnstorm | Aug 05, 2018 19:20

Hey, "WWREADER, Beach Lady"gets her talking points and marching orders from her boss..... the little man whose name is on the 2 checking accounts from the $39,000 surplus he pulled away from the Wareham Veterans Council and their 2017 fundraising group. Please tell all your friends where these "Fake Friends" will be spending the remainder of the $39,000 and the "Pasta Proceeds" to the Bourne Monument!

Posted by: WWreader | Aug 06, 2018 08:29

It's no secret that there was money left over. They can try to cook the books, but people working on the wall project have said so. Ask about the money that came from the state. There was some big fight between the parties and a split. This group changed their mission so they could spend money on any veteran issue not just Wareham's and to spend money on a useless monument when in this country veterans commit suicide each day, many veterans are homeless or living in poverty. Some veterans are waiting to get into the VA for medical care. I could go on. A stone monument does nothing for these veterans who served our country valiantly.

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