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updated: 5/21/2014 4:29 PM

Lake in the Hills gets donations for veterans memorial

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Lake in the Hills is getting an injection of funds for its proposed veterans' memorial to honor those who have served.

The Lake in the Hills Rotary has pledged $45,000 in $15,000 installments over three years, and Castle Bank has pledged $10,000 spread over two years. Both groups will make the first installment of their respective pledges this week, said village board member Russ Ruzanski, chairman of the veterans memorial committee.

"We are very grateful for it," Ruzanski said.

Officials already have roughly $42,000 in the bank and hope to get the project off the ground around Labor Day.

"That's the target right now, Labor Day or shortly thereafter," Ruzanski said. "We are going to do some sort of a groundbreaking on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Give ourselves the summertime to raise funds."

Ruzanski said Village President Paul Mulcahy, both Navy veterans who served during the Vietnam War, have been pushing the project for several years.

Officials anticipate it could cost up to $250,000 to erect the memorial, including in-kind donations, and take possibly three years to complete the project. Village trustees visited memorials in several communities, including Schaumburg, Streamwood, West Dundee and West Chicago, to get ideas for their project.

The conceptual design for the memorial includes five large slabs of granite representing each of the branches of the military connected by a 2-foot wall. It would be erected near the gazebo behind village hall at 600 Harvest Gate, at the southeast end of the property.

An American flag would stand in the center of the memorial, flanked by an Illinois state flag on one side and a flag representing prisoners of war and those missing in action on the other.

"We've got a temporary setup out in the middle of a field with an American flag and three banners around it advertising the location of the memorial," Ruzanski said. "We've staked it out where we think the actual centerpiece of the memorial will fall. Part of phase one of the memorial is going to be to continue the pavers out to the center of the open area out there."

Officials will be drumming up support for the project at community events, including the Memorial Day parade, Ribfest in July, two summer outdoor concerts, and the Summer Sunset Fest Labor Day weekend. Once the memorial plan is finalized, they will begin seeking sponsorships for bricks and pavers.

"I'm going to grab every opportunity we can get," Ruzanski said. "The first big (fundraiser) will be the Ribfest in the early part of July."

Castle Bank's contribution is earmarked to sponsor one of the memorial pillars. Some bank locations are accepting donations for the veteran's memorial fund.

Contributions can be sent to Village Hall, 600 Harvest Gate, Lake in the Hills, 60156. For details, call (847) 960-7400.

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