HUNTLEY – A group of Huntley residents feel now is the time for the village’s first memorial park honoring military veterans, and they are working with officials to make it happen.
The recently-formed Huntley Area Veterans Foundation, made up of seven volunteers, has spent the summer working to collect donations and talking with village officials on possible locations and designs for a memorial park.
President Dawn Ellison said the group could present a proposal to Village Board members later this month, as they await word on their application to become an official nonprofit organization.
“It’s time that we recognize the veterans. If you look at the world today, it’s because of them that we have it,” Ellison said. “We are one of the few towns that don’t have a veteran’s memorial.”
A lifelong Huntley resident, Ellison has seen 26 of her family members serve in the United States military. She said she is determined to see a memorial park built in her hometown.
The Huntley Senior Citizens Club boosted the effort recently, when it donated $2,500 to the volunteer group. The foundation also has secured a commitment from the Huntley American Legion on a $5,000 donation, pending the approval of the group’s nonprofit application, Ellison said.
Ellison, her family members and friends who form the foundation want to raise $285,000 to build a park west of the Huntley Village Hall, 10987 Main St. The group has three other locations in mind, as they work with the village on a proposal, Ellison said.
Based on rough designs, the park would feature seven granite slabs, detailing the different U.S. military branches. The granite memorial would also feature the names of Huntley-area veterans who died in action, Ellison said.
The park would display the American flag and the different flags of each military branch and include gardens, pathways and benches.
Long-term, a memorial for prisoners of war and Purple Heart recipients could be added to the park, Ellison said.
The group hopes to have the park opened to the public by Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 2015.
People and businesses interested in donating to the Huntley Area Veterans Foundation can contact President Dawn Ellison at 847-669-3668.