MEDINA — The Hillier Family Foundation has donated $75,000 toward the expansion and modernization of the Medina County Veterans Memorial Hall, 620 N. Broadway St.
“This is a much-appreciated donation from the Hillier Foundation, which truly wants to be a part of helping veterans throughout Medina County,” said David Taylor, a Vietnam War veteran and chairman of the fundraising campaign.
Taylor said the modernization of the building, which was built in 1956, will require $1 million and includes purchasing adjacent properties for more parking and a picnic pavilion for veterans.
“We must now expand and modernize the facility if we are to grow our membership and increase the programs we want to offer,” he said. “We have taken this almost 60-year-old building as far as it can go.”
In presenting the donation Wednesday, Robert Jagger, president of the Hillier Family Foundation, of Sharon Township, and a World War II veteran, said: “The changing nature of warfare today puts a much higher stress on combat veterans than was the case in World War II and the Korean War when nations’ armies faced each other and battles were eventually decisive.
“American service men and women who fought in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan faced a far different enemy, one skilled in guerilla tactics with no distinct line of battle. Repeated tours of duty, physical and mental injuries, and the easy availability of drugs and alcohol left many returning veterans with a lifetime liability that can best be understood by other veterans to be found at the Medina County Veterans Hall. Veteran-to-veteran support is important to the welfare of young as well as older veterans in Medina County.
“That is why our foundation wants to help with the modernization of the hall.”
Robert Wyatt, a Hillier Foundation trustee and Korean War-era veteran, said the programs and services provided by the Medina County Veterans Memorial Hall serve a need government does not provide.
“The modernization project provides the opportunity for the citizens and businesses of Medina County to take part in this important effort in support of its veterans,” he said.
Taylor said the fundraising campaign kicked off in mid-February with a direct mailing to 1,045 Medina businesses and veterans.
“More direct mail will follow as we expand our campaign throughout the county because it is truly a countywide effort,” Taylor said.
Michael Paul, a Vietnam-era veteran and president of the board of trustees that manages the Memorial Hall, said contributions from area businesses are needed.
“The veterans’ contributions are coming in but we do need help from the businesses to get to our goal of $1 million,” he said. “All monies that are donated are 100 percent tax-deductible and go directly into the fund.
“There are no salaries paid and the vets at the hall are paying out of their own pockets the monies we need for brochures, etc., to run the campaign.”
Contact David Knox at (330) 721-4065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.