LAWRENCEBURG — Gov. Steve Beshear joined members of the Kentucky National Guard recently in celebrating the completion of a fundraising campaign at Walmart stores across the commonwealth. In total, Walmart and their associates raised $208,656.52.
The Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund began their effort four years ago with the funds raised from the most recent Walmart campaign helping them to reach their goal in order to begin construction.
“As commander in chief of the Kentucky National Guard, I have worked hard to show support and appreciation for our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen, as well as our veterans and our military families,” Gov. Beshear said. “I’m proud to be a part of this ceremony today highlighting the Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund Project. We value the tremendous service of our fighting men and women, and I ask every Kentuckian to join me in showing support for the Guard.”
Walmart stores across Kentucky held a six-week fundraising campaign earlier this year where each store was given the ability to be creative in their community engagement and specific fundraising efforts. Walmart started the campaign with a goal to raise $100,000 in stores across the commonwealth.
“Since September 11, 2001, eighteen Kentucky National Guard Soldiers have given their lives in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, adjutant general for Kentucky. “Hundreds more have died in the line of duty in the past century, both at home and in lands faraway. This memorial will not only remember these brave men, but it will also serve as a symbol that Kentuckians will not forget any of our Guardsmen — even those who serve in years to come.”
The National Guard broke ground on the site, located outside the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort, on Memorial Day 2014. In 2013, the Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund raised $267,000 through numerous corporate and individual contributions, as well as several fundraising
“Guardsmen and their families are our Associates, customers, and neighbors,” said David Reitnauer, Walmart regional general manager and vice president. “All money raised came from our generous volunteers, individual donors, and market wide initiatives. We couldn’t be more proud to support this worthwhile project.”
In total, the Kentucky National Guard Memorial Fund had secured $1.3 million in support of the new memorial. Funds are still being accepted and those interested in making a donation can do so at www.guardmemorial.com.