CALUMET - The Copper Country is one step closer to a visit from the Vietnam Moving Wall. The moving replica is slightly smaller than the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., at three-fifths the size of the original and contains the names of soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. To secure the wall, a deposit of $2500 was needed. Through the fundraising efforts of the ROTC, American Legion Post 61 and VFW Post 3900 and local businesses, that goal has been reached.
During the month of June Jim's Pizza in Calumet ran a special promotion to raise funds to bring the Moving Wall replica to Calumet. For every soda sold at Jim's Pizza in Calumet during the month of June, owner Jim Hughes donated 50 cents to the effort to bring the Moving Wall to Calumet.
"We raised just under $1500 during the month," Hughes said.
Daily Mining Gazette file photo
Visitors to the Vietnam Moving Wall search for a name during the wall’s last visit to the Copper in September of 2007, in South Range. The wall will return to the Copper Country in 2014.
At 50 cents per soda, that is nearly 3000 sodas sold during the month of June. Hughes said many patrons knew about the fundraiser when they came in to the restaurant.
Hughes' $1500 donation and donations from around the community have helped secure the wall for the summer of 2014. According to Paul Remali, commander of VFW Post 3900 in Calumet, the initial goal of $2500 for the deposit has been reached but they still need to do more fundraising to run the event properly.
"We had to have $2,500 to show them we were serious about getting the wall and I think we're looking at somewhere close to $10,000," said Remali. "(The funding amount) is not definite yet, there's a lot of things we're trying to do."
Among those things, Remali said, are necessities such as providing portable restrooms at the event, electricity and flag poles. The VFW Post 3900 meets monthly to discuss fundraising progress and continue to look into the details that will make the event successful.
At the meeting they also discuss fundraising efforts.
While members have raised money on their own and local community members and businesses have contributed, the ROTC, American Legion Post 61 and VFW Post 3900 are also hosting fundraisers.
"We will be planning fundraisers throughout the year," Remali said. "We'll probably need four more to be safe."
The Vietnam Moving Wall will be in Calumet July 8, 9 and 10, 2014, at Legion Field in Calumet. The dates intentionally coincide with the Calumet High School class of 1964 reunion.
"There classmates (of the class of 1964) on the wall," Remali said. "That's kind of what got this started."
Community members interested in donating to the event can send a check to the VFW Post 3900 in Calumet.