$80,000 is going into the bank account of the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation of Pensacola. The money was raised by the previous group that oversaw the park.
The former Wall South Foundation raised $20,000 of the total, and were holding it for a future date to disperse it to the new group, says Brown. The remainder comes from the sale of the VFW Post 706 building on Lillian Highway. Jack Brown, President of the Park Foundation, said a lawsuit over the property’s ownership has been settled.
“The $60,000 they have had since the completion of the arbitration between the VFW post and the Foundation,” said Brown. “Now, their commitments to us that they had voiced had been all along were that they had $20,000 that they wanted us to have, and the proceeds from the settlement.”
The $80,000 donation is the largest since the city took over the park a year and a half ago.
According to the Pensacola News-Journal, the nonprofit group already had about $16,000 in the bank. Brown says this new cash is flowing in at a good time. The $360,000 BP grant is coming to an end. Along with paying for a number of projects that are underway, there are costs which never go away.
“Maintaining the park and doing the landscaping, those are monthly expenses,” Brown said. “And in addition, we’ve got some things facing us that we want to do.”
The highest-profile addition to the park is a new, $120,000 kiosk, with a computer that will contain the names on the Wall South – the half-size replica of Washington’s Vietnam Memorial – and where each of the 58,000 names can be located on the wall.
The Foundation is also looking into buying surveillance cameras, after some recent vandalism involving the park’s Purple Heart landmark, which was overturned and defaced in December. Law enforcement responded to the vandalism, but leads were scarce and no suspects have been charged.
As they move forward, Veterans Memorial Park chief Jack Brown is hopeful that they can get some more funding from whatever comes out of the myriad BP lawsuits now going through the courts. That’s been mentioned, and Brown says the Foundation is looking into it.