MONTPELIER — A motorcycle club has vowed to help the Williams County Veteran’s Memorial on many of its projects, starting with the recently broken bench.
The help came after word spread of a vandalism incident at the memorial that resulted in the back of one bench falling off and breaking a piece of the seat.
“A prospect of ours put it out on Facebook about the bench,” said Ben “Stinger” Cox, president of the Ohio chapter of the Warrior Breed Motorcycle Club, at a meeting of the memorial’s trustees. “I saw it and put it out there as something I want to get into it and fix.”
When Cox presented the idea to the all-veterans club, they all got on board and they launched a campaign to accept donations for the $1,200 repair.
The fundraiser was started on the Warrior Breed MC Facebook page Monday and had raised nearly $600 by Wednesday evening.
While the idea started with the bench, Cox said he looked around the memorial prior to the meeting on Wednesday and wanted to do more.
“With your guys’ help, I would like to raise a whole bunch of money and redo all that,” he said.
When Bob Walkup, president of the memorial, told him they were already in the process of putting in new chevrons and redoing the concrete, Cox swiftly replied: “We can help.”
Cox said they work together on a joint venture, helping to raise money and even putting in man hours doing work such as power washing.
Walkup was glad to hear it.
“If you’re willing to jump in and help us do some fundraising and stuff (it) sounds like an awesome partnership,” he said.
The memorial’s World War II and Korean War chevrons have already been updated and installed and Walkup said it could take about $150,000 to finish the upgrades to the memorial.
Cox said they will keep their donation open through June 29 and will talk with Walkup about whether to give Walkup a check or to directly pay Fackler Memorial, which will likely replace the bench.
“We’ll start with the bench and see what else we can do,” he said.
While the trustees were meeting, they also discussed the possibility of a security system.
Walkup was unsure of the logistics, such as where to set it up and how to store it all as there is no Wi-Fi at the memorial. He also questioned the efficacy as the definition on those cameras tend to be low.
“It sounds like a great idea, but identifying people can be kind of tough,” he said. “That’s just a thought.”