Guilford County, NC, commissioners OK $250,000 for veterans memorial
By JOE KILLIAN | News & Record, Greensboro, N.C. | Published: January 10, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. — The Carolina Field of Honor at Triad Park has nearly reached its fundraising goal, thanks to a $250,000 donation approved Thursday by the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
The planned memorial at the 426-acre Triad Park is in honor of veterans from all branches of military. Organizers hoped to raise about $2.1 million before dedicating it on May 31. But with that date less than five months away, they found themselves about $290,000 short.
“We’ve uncovered every rock we can find,” said former Greensboro Mayor Bill Knight, who is assisting the memorial effort. “But it’s gotten really slim here of late.”
The cities of High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem have jointly given $250,000 to the park. The town of Kernersville gave $10,000. Triad Park, which straddles the Guilford-Forsyth county line, is a joint venture by the two counties.
Organizers said they have $37,000 in uncollected private pledges and a $25,000 pledge coming from the Joseph M. Bryant Foundation in June or July.
Until then, organizers are going to Guilford and Forsyth counties — both of which donated land to the park — for the cash they need to open by May.
Some Guilford commissioners said Thursday that they believed the land donation was enough. They worried about taking a large amount of cash from the trail development fund to support the project.
“I do feel this is a true gem,” Commissioner Alan Branson said. “It will bring a lot of folks to Forsyth County, Guilford County, Triad Park. But we’ve already donated the land, and it’s going to be an expense to us to upkeep the park.”
In the end, Branson joined in the unanimous vote to donate the money.
“This is really what we have to do. It’s important to make sure we open the doors to this memorial,” said Commissioner Bruce Davis, a Marine Corps veteran who has been one of the park’s biggest public boosters.
“I think it’s the least we can do for those who served our country in the way they were asked to serve,” Commissioner Kay Cashion said.
“We’re just so glad to have it opening,” Knight said. “For many of our older veterans, every day of their life counts. We really want them to see this.”