Students in Krista Beck’s first grade class at Geist Elementary School came together and donated their loose change to help raise funds for the Hamilton County Fallen Firefighters Memorial. After all the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters were counted the first-graders donated $150 to the project.
“It was tremendous,” Local 4416 President Tony Murray said. “It’s a really nice gesture.”
The Memorial Committee was grateful for the students’ hard work and wanted to find a special way to show their appreciation. In addition to the visit by the firefighters, the class also will receive a brick paver that will be displayed at the memorial sight.
“They can visit and find their brick years from now,” Murray said.
Beck said this project has helped students remember the sacrifice firefighters make for their communities and remind them that they are never too young to help others.
Local career and volunteer firefighters have come together as a committee to construct a memorial for three Hamilton County firefighters who gave their life in the line of duty. The goal is to raise $275,000 to build the monument on the grounds of the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville by September.
Murray said small and large donations have been made – a total of approximately $20,000 since the Oct. 13 campaign kick-off.
“A lot of interest generated is from Current’s participation,” he said. “The word is getting out… We’ve applied for some grants. We’re on our way.”
Glen Schwartz and his family donated $12,000 at the kick-off announcement.
“For us it’s a very ambitious project. We’ve received support verbally and $20,000 in the span of a few weeks. I’m very happy with the public support,” Murray said.
Murray said the first milestone is raising $30,000 for the down payment on the bronze statue of a grieving firefighter by Arizona sculptor Nicholas Wilson. The statue will include three bronze helmets to honor the three firefighters who died in the line of duty. In the event that another emergency worker dies tragically, another helmet will be placed.
Murray said the “100 percent original piece” takes several months to create. The park-like setting of the memorial is designed by Hittle Landscaping and includes two key items: a piece of metal beam from the World Trade Center in New York City and the sculpture.