Mt. Soledad Memorial Fund drive announces more than $1.5 million in support from San Diegans

The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial announced major progress in its fundraising drive to rebuild its coffers after completion of the historic land purchase that resulted in the settlement of decades of lawsuits regarding the Memorial on the peak of Mt. Soledad. The newly launched fundraising drive is aimed at replenishing the association's coffers in order to maintain the memorial and provide funding to continue developing the site as one of the finest veteran memorials in the United States. The campaign has received major boosts from community leaders and local donors. The amount raised is unprecedented for a local campaign of this size at this early stage of its fundraising efforts.

"We are extremely pleased at the outpouring of support from the community," said Lou Scanlon, president of the Association. "The success to date of this fundraising drive greatly exceeds our expectations. We are very grateful for the amazing support shown by the community at this early stage of our efforts."

The Mt. Soledad Memorial fundraising drive has set an initial goal of more than $2 million, with funds set aside for operations, expansion of education programs and future capital improvements to enhance visitors' convenience and experience. The memorial features plaques, panels and tributes to veterans from throughout the history of this nation. It is unique in that it allows for recognition of veterans of all denominations, both living and deceased, with plaques that contain their photographs and a synopses of their military service.

"We believe this outpouring of support is just the beginning," commented Scanlon. "We feel that, as the community at large understands the continuing need for donations, even more patriots will rally behind our efforts to honor the sacrifices of veterans who have served our country."

Many prominent San Diegans have stepped forward to provide major donations to jump start the drive, including Papa Doug and Geniya Manchester who last week announced a $500,000 donation, the largest gift to date for the memorial. Major donors also include former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory and Una, Dick Woltman, Tom and Cookie Sudberry, Dr. Peter Farrell, Kim and Marilyn Fletcher, Jenny Craig, Mike and Martha McKinnon and many others. Major support has also come from the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Indians. Former California Governor Pete Wilson is serving as honorary chair of the, "Veterans Beacon of Freedom Campaign."

Those wishing to donate can do so by going to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association website at www.soledadmemorial.com or call Karolyn Dorsee at Dorsee Productions 858-756-2027.

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