With less than three months under their belt, members of the county’s 9/11 Memorial Fundraising Committee have already raised $530,176 to help pay for The Rising, Westchester County’s September 11th Memorial being constructed at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, committee chairman James Houlihan today announced.
The Rising honors the 109 residents of Westchester County who were killed on September 11, 2001. The base of the memorial, called the Circle of Remembrance, bears the names of those who died and inscriptions about them provided by their families. It was dedicated this past September 11 with a poignant and inspirational ceremony attended by the families and friends of the 9/11 victims along with nearly 1,000 people from all over the county.
“The outpouring of support from individuals, non-profit organizations and members of our corporate and business communities has been gratifying,” Houlihan said. “In the less than three months since our committee was formed, we’ve received more than 230 donations totaling $530,176. These donations plus the thousands of dollars pledged in in-kind services, brings us one step closer to meeting our goal of $1 million.”
The Louis R. Cappelli Foundation, Houlihan Parnes/iCap Realty Advisors, Columbia Home Loans and Fuji Photo Film U.S.A., Inc. are among the many corporations and organizations that have made major donations to the memorial.
Houlihan said that the Friends of Westchester County Parks, the non-profit organization that is accepting the memorial donations, contributed $100,000 of the proceeds from its Gala fundraising event held last May towards the project. The county Board of Legislators has funded $150,000 in bonds to support the project. Another $50,000 is coming from a state grant obtained by former Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow.
The cost of the project is approximately $700,000. The additional funds raised by the committee will be used to create an endowment for ongoing maintenance, signage at the site, special lighting and additional landscaping.
Houlihan praised his counterparts on the fundraising committee. He said, “All the members of the 9/11 Fundraising Committee are hardworking and compassionate people who have taken a personal interest in this project. They have written thousands of letters, hosted breakfasts and made presentations to numerous groups to help spread the word about the Memorial.”
When completed in spring 2006, The Rising will stand 80 feet high. The stainless steel structure, designed by noted New York architect Frederic Schwartz, will have 109 individual steel rods, representing the 109 Westchester residents who perished in the tragedies.
All donations to the Friends of Parks September 11th fund are tax-deductible. All monies received will benefit the memorial. For more information or to make a contribution, log on to www.friendsofwestchesterparks.com or call 914-995-2951.