State budget includes $25,000 for Moving Wall's Wareham visit

By Matthew Bernat | Jul 18, 2017
Courtesy of: Friends of the Wareham Veterans Council Jerry McDermott, Eversource Community Relations & Economic Development Specialist presents a $1,000 Eversource grant to Friends of Wareham Veterans Council Vice President Ted Pemberton, Treasurer Ilene Klaver and President Jean Sarnelli.The group learned this week that the state budget includes a $25,000 earmark for the Moving Wall.

A $25,000 earmark to bring the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall to Wareham next month is in the state’s budget, State Rep. Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham) announced recently.

The Friends of the Wareham Veteran’s Council has been raising funds for the past year to bring the half-sized replica of Washington, D.C.’s Vietnam War Veterans Memorial to town Aug. 17 - 21.

“I told [the governor's] legislative director how difficult it has been for the Friends to raise the money necessary to cover the cost associated with having the Moving Wall here in Wareham,” said Gifford. “But, knowing the Baker-Polito Administration's commitment to all who have served our country, I was very optimistic and delighted to get the call yesterday that the $25,000 earmark was preserved.”

Hosting the wall, which is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors, is estimated to cost $50,000.

Jean Sarnelli, president of the Friends of the Wareham Veteran’s Council, said the group has raised approximately $40,000 so far. She said the group hasn’t received official word from the state on the earmark. Until that happens, they don’t plan on stopping their fundraising efforts.

“We haven’t received notification that the check is on the way,” said Sarnelli. “So we’ll continue to fundraise because there may be unexpected costs. We could see 50,000 people in a four-day period. You don’t know what’s going to come.”

The Friends have another fundraiser scheduled for Aug. 5. That event, a 1950s/60s dance, will take place at the Wareham-New Bedford Elks Lodge, 2855 Cranberry Highway, from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Tickets cost $30 in advance for a couple and $35 at the door. Single tickets cost $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

Tickets are available at Dog Days Cafe in Onset and Rockland Trust in East Wareham.

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