Jackson Hole’s American Legion Post 43 hit its fundraising goal for the new Town Square veterans monument, clearing the way for it to unveil the project by Memorial Day.
“Of all the years I’ve lived here, this has been the most gratifying fundraising I’ve participated in,” said Bruce Hawtin, one of the members of the Legion’s fundraising committee. “We’ve raised all the money — $100,000 — in 30 days. It’s absolutely incredible.”
Half of that sum came from Bill Baxter, owner of the Wort Hotel and the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Soon after that donation last week, Hawtin said, a member of a prominent family in the valley called the Legion to ask what they had left to raise. They told him about $7,500.
“He said, ‘There will be a check in the mail today for $10,000,’” Hawtin recounted.
The Rotary Club of Jackson Hole’s lunch group donated $2,500, and at last week’s meeting, club members tossed another $2,500 into a hat for a total donation of $5,000.
Help also came in the form of a few more large contributions from prominent families, and dozens of smaller gifts, which T.R. Pierce — another fundraising committee member, along with Ed Liebzeit — said “meant just as much.”
“It has nothing to do with me or Bruce or Ed,” he said. “It has to do with this community being so supportive of a good cause. It’s reflective of the community.”
The Legion continues to receive donations, and Pierce hopes to deposit the excess into a fund with the Community Foundation to be earmarked for maintenance and to add the names of future veterans to the monument.