NEW BERLIN VETERANS MEMORIAL
Michelle M. Wittmer was a Wisconsin National Guard soldier serving in Iraq when she was killed in action in 2004. She was the first Wisconsin National Guard member killed in action since WWII and the first female casualty in the history of any U. S. National Guard unit.
Led by Michelle Hawley and supported by the Wittmer family, friends and various Veteran groups, a formal request was made to the NB Parks & Rec Committee to rename Valley View Park in her honor. The request was assigned to a committee for study.
Following considerable discussion the committee voted to table for further study and research. Notable dissent was expressed by Don Hermann – Commander of the NB VFW Post. He stressed the fact that there were numerous NB residents who had also made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. He noted that there was currently no Veterans Memorial honoring any of NB’s fallen warriors.
Following more discussion the issue was tabled again. Don Hermann suggested a Memorial at the new City Center would be more appropriate. Mayor Ted Wysocki informed the committee that he was working with the VFW on a Memorial for all Veterans.
Mayor Wysocki then created an Ad Hoc Committee to recognize NB Veterans. Named to serve were the following;
Ted Wysocki – Mayor
John Hopkins – Alderman
Lee Sisson – Plan Commission
Nancy Duff – Park & Rec
Mary Jane Whitty – NB Schools
Don Hermann – NB VFW Post
Larry Thysell – Library Board
Michelle Hawley – Citizen
Rich Cerone – Citizen
The first meeting of this group was December 18, 2004 in the Common Council chambers at City Hall. Mayor Wysocki outlined the specific purpose of the committee. His expectation was that the group would meet 4 – 5 times and then present their recommendation to the Common Council for action.
Don Hermann was elected Chairman.
All members contributed specific ideas and Alderman Dave Ament suggested renaming Coffee Street in the City Center to;
Michelle Wittmer Parkway.
Commentary - In its formative years the group struggled to establish a footing and a direction. While engaged and committed the group faced a sequence of obstacles, each of which required difficult decisions. But, they continued to press forward.
The first committee meeting was hosted by Mary Jane Whitty in the Teachers Lounge at Eisenhower High School. A crew from Channel 4 TV recorded the meeting. The key decision reached was to recommend to the Common Council that Coffee Road be renamed Michelle Wittmer Parkway through the new City Center.
Further discussion addressed the notion of establishing a Memorial in the City of New Berlin for Veterans of all military branches. Mayor Wysocki agreed to prepare a proposal to locate this new Memorial at the site of the new Library in City Center and to present this to the Library Board.
An appeal to honor Jay Balchunas was deferred. It was during this period that Larry Thysell indicated that the Library Board might not be interested in the Memorial. He suggested the old Library for consideration.
Don Hermann gave a report on a proposal that suggested placing the Memorial within the front courtyard of the new Library. He provided a rendering of how the Memorial would look. The primary focus would be a bronze sculpture of a young boy holding a folded American casket flag. The Statute would be placed on a marble base with markers representing all branches of the military. Costs were estimated to be between $50 to $75,000 with all funding to be raised by private donations. A copy of the photo follows.
Other discussion revolved around the street naming issue and the probable need to establish a 501 (C) (3) Charitable Foundation.
Original Photo May 2005
Don Hermann reported contact had been made with the sculptor and that the Rock of Ages Memorial Company would prepare and present design ideas and cost proposals.
Design ideas and Memorial site location were discussed. General consensus was to continue to pursue the front of the new Library. Don Hermann suggested the following inscription for the front of the Memorial;
Dedicated to the memory of all citizens of New Berlin who have given their lives in the service of their country. And to all who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Earl Hilgendorf from Rock of Ages Memorial presented his design proposal to be located in front of the new Library. Cost estimate was $75,000 excluding the Flags, Statute and Lighting.
Lee Sisson suggested the following inscription for the back side of the Granite base;
For those who have fought for it, Freedom has a taste that the protected will never know.
Ted Wysocki suggested the original inscription be modified as follows;
In eternal gratitude to the citizens of New Berlin who gave their yesterdays for our tomorrows in the service of their country, and to all veterans who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.
Both inscriptions were endorsed and approved by the group. Plans were then finalized for the conceptual presentation to the Library Board for their approval.
Don Hermann reported that the Library Board had rejected our proposal. Only one member voted in favor.
Earl Hilgendorf presented a revised design reducing the height to approximately 7 feet.
Michelle Hawley introduced Attorney Jack Melvin, a member of her National Guard JAG unit. He agreed to research our options on the 501 (C) (3) Charitable Foundation.
Mayor Chiovatero reported that John Vogel had been selected to replace Rick Cerone as a citizen member.
Attorney Jack Melvin agreed that collaboration with the VFW to utilize their Charitable Foundation would be legal and beneficial.
As a result of the Library Board rejection, alternate sites were explored (Current Site, Malone Park, Historical Park, old Library, etc.) Earl Hilgendorf agreed to visit each site and give us his recommendations.
Commentary - With the New Year came an expanded and broader sense of purpose and direction. This was coupled with a renewed source of energy led by the addition of Mayor Jack Chiovatero, Dave Gilligan and Rush Wilkins.
Mayor Chiovatero advised that Rush Wilkins would join the group replacing Larry Thysell. It was also agreed we would immediately move our meetings from the new Library to NB City Hall.
Common Council approved the new Memorial site at the corner of National Ave and Casper Drive. Utilities, lighting and potential conflict with abutting neighbor were discussed.
The VFW accepted the request to collaborate on using their Charitable Foundation. Fund raising brochure ideas were reviewed. A Post Office Box was established and promotional ideas were contributed. Donor recognition levels were explored.
Specific cost estimates were presented by Earl Hilgendorf from Rock of Ages Memorials. It was agreed the name of the group should be changed to;
NEW BERLIN VETERANS MEMORIAL COMMITTEE
Rush Wilkins agreed to serve as “point” spokesman for the group in all Press and Media relations. A press Conference was planned and Mayor Chiovatero reported that Dave Patzer of Scan Group would donate 18,000 printed brochures to be inserted in the next issue of the city Newsletter. On site signage was approved. Letterhead design was finalized and Press Release packages were presented.
A new Web Site proposal by Ted Wysocki was accepted. The initial Press Conference was conducted by Rush Wilkins in the Community Room at the new Library. This action netted valuable space in the Journal, Citizen and Freeman newspapers.
The Plan Commission approved the site and a large sign was installed.
Don Hermann announced the first large donation of $10,000 from the VFW and presented the first budget showing donations in excess of $16,000.
The Memorial design and construction cost proposal of $64,000 by Rock of Ages was endorsed and approved.
Fund raising ideas and additional promotional plans were discussed. The site sign dedication was staged with additional coverage by the media.
A video was developed and is now featured on the City Cable channel. The Web Site is up and operational. Plans to actively participate in the Memorial Day celebration and July 4th activities were explored. A donor list with contact assignments was finalized and distributed.
Mary Jane Whitty presented ideas on fund raising by N.B. school children and the possibility of funding to cover the costs of the flag poles was proposed and endorsed.
The first payment of $6000 to Rock of Ages was approved. Rush Wilkins distributed customized Tee Shirts for members. Two paintings have been donated by George Zielinski to accommodate a Raffle at the booth during the July 4th activities. Agreement was reached with the Sculptor Lundeen for the Bronze Statue. It was agreed the Statue would face West.
Site landscaping, design and lighting were discussed.
Cash donations = $24,552
Down payment of $6000 for Statue was approved.
Mary Jane Whitty introduced Eisenhower Middle and High School students who presented two $1500 checks which were raised through a variety of Car Washes, Dances, etc. This was applied toward the purchase of the three flag poles.
The Raffle license was received from the state and the July 4th Booth and Parade (Float) plans were finalized.
Landscape options were explored.
Cash donation = $30,000 (approximately)
A potential substantial cash donation in return for naming rights at the Memorial site was summarily rejected.
The July 4th Booth activity generated considerable enthusiasm and resulted in one key result, the recruitment of Dave Gilligan to the group.
Cash donations = $31,780
A scheme to distribute Brochures at various commercial locations was established and progress developing donors was reviewed.
The Library Board rejected our request for display space to promote the Memorial.
Landscaping ideas were debated including one to consider an Amphitheater concept.
Cash donations = $37,835
The concrete foundation is complete.
Planning for the annual Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting ceremony were finalized.
Rush Wilkins presented the idea of a large potential ($50,000 +) anonymous donor.
Cash donations = $45,639
John Vogel assumed responsibility as Secretary of the group. Flag proposals were reviewed, finalized and Mary Jane Whitty reiterated her commitment to provide funding generated by student activities. Donor solicitations and recognition were discussed.
No cases of pneumonia by those serving in the booth at the Tree Lighting ceremony were reported.
N.B. West High School students presented a $1500 donation.
Ruekert & Mielke’s offer for Landscaping design was gratefully accepted. The N. B. Now Blog is operational.
Commentary - Numerous site and funding issues characterize this, the 3rd full year of engagement in this endeavor. Community acceptance also became a reality as the Memorial was constructed, dedicated and promoted.
Cash donations = $48,595
Pavement on east side of site is to be removed. Other landscaping issues discussed.
May 19th (Armed Forces Day) was selected as the date for the Memorial dedication ceremony. Nancy Duff volunteered to plan, organize and script the event.
Cash donations $60,475
Landscaping and dedication ceremony were reviewed.
A special embroidered patch was designed and 100 initial pieces were donated by Al Stiegler. These are to be sold for $10 each.
Final payment for the bronze sculpture was authorized.
Cash donations = $67,709
Nancy Duff presented plans for the Memorial Dedication Ceremony including a promotional article in the city Newsletter. A Memorial brochure was also inserted in this issue.
Ted Wysocki presented plans for a Casino Night fund raiser at the VFW hall in May.
Mary Jane Whitty presented another check for $1500 bringing the total from both High Schools to $6000. Additional landscaping ideas were discussed with the idea of using stamped concrete for the sidewalks.
Dave Gilligan was formerly introduced as the newest member of our group.
Cash donations = $70,639
Dedications plans were finalized. Flag Pole purchase and installation plans were finalized. Heartland Business Systems donated printed invitations for dedication ceremony.
This was an active month with both the Dedication Ceremony and the Casino Night events.
The Dedication was a special event with Don Hermann as M. C., printed programs, special invitations, the N. B. Community Band and a gaggle of local dignitaries. A well done was extended to Nancy Duff for her exceptional effort.
Casino Night was sold out and both the VFW and Ted Wysocki were recognized for their contributions.
The need to improve our Web Site was discussed and Dave Gilligan volunteered to fix it.
Cash donations = $86,086
John Vogel presented an idea to sell commemorative Bricks to be installed at the site.
Cash donations = $91,001
Landscaping and lighting issues were discussed.
Cash donations = $96,401
The Christmas Tree issue was resolved.
Brick sales as a fund raiser was approved.
Cash donations = $98,431
Landscaping and Brick sales were discussed. Rush Wilkens announced that the Kasian brothers of Green Acres nursery would donate & plant the trees at the site.
Web Site improvement is to be coordinated by Dave Gilligan.
Cash donations = $104,115
Dave Gilligan created a promotional brochure for the Brick sales activity. Plans to promote at the Christmas Parade were discussed.
Dave Gilligan developed a new Web Site.
Landscape issues / costs were discussed. Brick brochures and a pricing schedule were finalized. Preferred Electrical donated time & material for lighting.
Mary Jane Whitty, along with Zack Szanianski from the Student Council at Eisenhower presented a $2000 donation to the Memorial. This brings their total to $5000. Coupled with the $1500 from West H. S. we have received $7500 total from New Berlin school students to support this worthwhile effort.
A new issue was introduced concerning the ability to establish an organizational structure that will insure the integrity and character of the Memorial in the future. It was agreed to keep this on the table as we move into the New Year.
Commentary – With completion of the Memorial in sight and funding available to pay vendors on-time, there was a feeling of accomplishment among the group. The resolve was not diminished but there was a sense of “rounding 3rd base and heading home”. As in the past year, landscaping issues dominated the discussion and Rush Wilkens provided the necessary and critical leadership in resolving these challenges.
Cash donations = $108,330
Planning for the 2008 Casino Night event was discussed and Rush Wilkins volunteered to head up this activity, which will be located and staged at the Ale House (New Berlin Entertainment Center)
Landscaping and Brick sales were discussed and the new Brick brochure will be inserted in the next city Newsletter.
Cash donations = $108,689
Brick sales = $5300
Rush Wilkins reviewed plans and promotion for the Casino Night. Authorization to invest up to $7000 was provided.
Panton Builders presented a concept called “Faux Brick” for the sidewalk in the Memorial.
Cash donations = $108,809
Brick sales = $5900
Casino Night details were reviewed. An announcement is included in the city Newsletter. A wide variety of promotional effort will be invested.
The sidewalk construction contract was signed.
Cash donations = $109,584
Brick sales = $12,300
Parking spaces on North side of Memorial will be included in Panton contract. Work will be completed this month. Johnson Aggregate donated the gravel. Casino Night plans finalized.
Brick placement will separate Veterans and general community. Johnson Sand and Gravel donated the gravel.
Brick sales = $17,000
Sidewalk is sealed and complete. Brick configuration and layout finalized. Schmitz Redi-Mix donated the concrete.
Despite outstanding promotional efforts, ticket sales to the Casino Night fell short of expectations.
William Zaborowski was introduced as the newest member of the committee.
Cash donations (June 28th) = $121,695
Brick sales = $30,650
In-kind Donations = $29,482
Total revenue raised to date = $181,827
Rock of Ages and Panton Builders have been paid in full. Site grading and seeding was authorized.
Mayor Chiovatero reported that the City insurance policy will cover liability for the Memorial site.
Planning for the July 4th Booth activity was finalized. Because of the delay in seeding (heavy rains) we will unfortunately need to fence off the Memorial site to protect the new grass.
Cash Donations $121,775
Brick Sales 33,150
In-kind Donations 29,482
All Invoices have been paid.
The critical need for on-site water was discussed and Rush Wilkens reported he had a donor who offered to pay for the Sprinkler System (Estimated $5000 cost). Grading, seeding and brick repair are also needed.
Cash Donations $121,935
Brick Sales 33,150
In-kind Donations 29,482
All invoices have been paid. Current cash balance is $24,449.
Landscaping bids were reviewed and it was agreed to invest up to $10,000 for the installation of a lateral (with meter and faucet) from Casper Drive. Another $2725 was authorized for topsoil and seeding.
Publicity continues in both the city Newsletter and the New Berlin NOW, thanks to the good efforts of Rush Wilkens.
Ted Wysocki proposed staging a third annual Casino fund raiser in 2009. He volunteered to organize and run it, and move it back to the VFW facility.
Cash Donations $121,974
Brick Sales 34,950
In-kind Donations 29,482
It was agreed to pay $15,000 to cover majority of landscaping and irrigation expenses.
A total of 40 new bricks will be installed by the committee this month. Total bricks sold = 290.
Mary Jane Whitty has a family who volunteered to care for the flower beds at the site. She also advised that we will be invited to participate in a Veterans Day celebration at Eisenhower Middle School.
Cash Donations $121,974 (455 Donors)
Brick Sales 35,650 (295 Bricks)
In-kind Donations 29,482
All invoices are current.
Landscaping discussion included long term maintenance of the Flower area, oil stains on several bricks and the somewhat unsightly fence on the East side of the property.
Dave Gilligan reported that the Historical info and numerous photos have been added to the Web Site.
John Hopkins advised that Highland Memorial Gardens had offered to donate a bronze plaque for our donor recognition area. It was agreed that the Committee would need to select and fund a large granite stone for the plaque.
Mary Jane Whitty announced the Veterans Day celebration will be November 11th and the Middle School students will present a sizable donation. A proclamation will be created by Mayor Jack Chiovatero and Don Hermann will participate in the program.
Cash Donations $123,975 (456 Donors)
Brick Sales 36,250 (300 Bricks)
In-kind Donations 29,482
Total Revenue raised to date (December 4th) = $189,707.
Ted Wysocki reported the New Berlin Garden Club will assume responsibility for the flower garden area. He also advised we will receive a major donation from the estate of Al Stigler. In view of this it was agreed to cancel plans for the 2009 Casino Fund raiser.
Commentary - There is a general feeling of comfort and satisfaction with results to date. Roadblocks and obstacles of every imaginable type have been met and the project nears completion with a Memorial design and site location second to none.
While crossing the finish line is in sight there are still challenges that will require continued dedication and effort from the committee. Chief among these is the need to create an organizational structure that will insure the integrity, character and funding for the Memorial looking to the future ahead.
Cash Donations $124715 (459 Donors)
Brick Sales 37250 (309 Bricks)
In-kind Donations 31162
Total Revenue raised to date (January 7th) $193127
New flags have been purchased. Highland Memorial has offered to provide a “Donor” plaque if we will purchase the Granite stone and pay for the installation. It was agreed to accept this offer and finalize Plaque content in the period ahead.
Cash Donations $124755 (465 Donors)
Brick Sales 39152 ( 316 Bricks)
In-kind Donations 31162
Total Revenue raised to date (February 5th) $195069
Larry Stephens, representing the estate of Al Stigler, presented a check for $11731 from an insurance policy held by Al. He also presented $1545 which was donated during Al’s funeral.
Discussions on landscaping included the need to re-lay the Bricks, add a Rain Sensor to the sprinkler system and repair the Telephone enclosure on the North end of the site. Also, it was noted that the “Christmas Tree” was in bad shape.
The Monument Stone design was approved.
The notion of securing a 501 ( c )3 Charitable Tax status for the Memorial was discussed and approved by a unanimous vote.
Cash Donations $136800 (467 Donors)
Brick Sales 39852 (322 Bricks)
In-kind Donations 31162
Total Revenue raised to date (March 5th) $207814
Cash Balance $24610
It was agreed that Site maintenance had to be provided on a regular basis by a professional and a bid from Chuck Bedwell, New Berlin Landscaper, was accepted for the coming year.
The Memorial web-site has been updated by Dave Gilligan.
Location of the Donor Monument was finalized.
Preliminary discussion was held on ideas for promoting the Site on an annual basis. The concept of forming a “Society” was introduced by Lee Sisson. Included was a Membership Development plan.
John Vogel reported he completed the application for a grant from the Room Tax Grant Program.
Cash Donations $136850 (468)
Brick Sales 40152 (324)
In-kind Donations 39602
Total Revenue raised to date (April 2nd) $216604
Cash Balance $24482
Brick Installation needs to be corrected. Stano Services was selected to provide this service.
Mary Jane Whitty proposed staging a “New Berlin Military Family Day” to recognize New Berlin Veterans and their families. This promotion would be designed to recognize people, achievement, history and pride. The concept was embraced by all and available dates were explored. It was stressed that the event should be unique and special to our Memorial, and the date selected should be free from conflict with existing established events.
A set of “Soldiers Prayer” silhouettes has been donated and a decision on how and where they can be used will be made later.
Cash Donations $136850 (468)
Brick Sales 40952 (334)
In-kind Donations 39602
Total Revenue raised to date (April 30th) $217404
Cash Balance $25207
A $3600 bid from Stano to remove and replace the Brick section was approved with the expectation that the work would be completed by the July 4th celebration. It was also agreed to commit $400 to replace the “Christmas Tree”.
Rush Wilkens introduced the idea of sending a letter on behalf of the Memorial Committee to New Berlin students graduating from the Military Academies.
Cash Donations $136850 (468)
Brick Sales 41252 (337)
In-kind Donations 39602
Total Revenue raised to date (June 4th) $217704
Cash Balance $23799
Noting that Cash and In-kind donations have remained static for the past three (3) months, an Operating Plan for the balance of this year and 2010 needs to be crafted. Rush Wilkins, Ted Wysocki and Lee Sisson agreed to take a cut at this.
During this meeting a plan was presented by Lee Sisson describing how the organization should be structured going into 2010. The plan calls for a non-profit organization to be established with responsibility and authority to operate, maintain and promote the Memorial. It was decided that before moving forward on this reorganization we would complete our current tasks.
Rush Wilkens presented a comprehensive and uniform set of rules for permanent commemorative information at the site. It was unanimously accepted.
Don Hermann described the July 4th activities which will include a Booth (tent) at Malone Park. The classic WW II Jeep will also be available and we will use this opportunity to promote the Memorial Site.
Cash Donations $138066 (475)
Brick Sales 42902 (350)
In-Kind Donations 39602
Total Revenue to Date (July 23) $220570
Cash Balance $23270
Revenue from July 4th Tent totaled $501 including $150 in Patch sales by Dave Gilligan.
Rush Wilkens, John Hopkins and Ted Wysocki selected the location and placement for the new Monument at the Memorial site.
Mary Jane Whitty presented the plan for the 1st Annual New Berlin Military Family Day scheduled for October 3rd. It was agreed that any proceeds from food sales be donated to the Citizens Youth Academy.
Ted Wysocki presented details for the 1st Annual Al Stigler Golf Tournament scheduled for September 3rd at the New Berlin Hills Golf Course. Proceeds will be divided equally between the New Berlin Soap Box Derby, New Berlin Veterans Memorial and the Wisconsin Lions Camp.
Cash Donations $138216 (480)
Brick Sales 43702 (359)
In-Kind Donations 43462
Total Revenue to Date (August 27) $225380
Cash Balance $20961
The “dearly departed” Maple tree has been replaced by Green Acres. Rush Wilkens also reported that Action Landscaping will replace the Christmas tree.
Details for the Military Family Day event were presented by Mary Jane Whitty. Sprecher will provide signage along National Ave.
The Chamber of Commerce has cancelled the Annual Christmas Parade but the New Berlin Lions Club will continue to sponsor the Annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, scheduled for December 5th at the Memorial site.
Cash Donations No Change
Brick Sales N/C
In-Kind Donations N/C
Total Revenue to Date (September 16) N/C
Cash Balance N/C
Bill Ray was introduced as our newest member of the Committee. Bill is a Navy Veteran and a GE Retiree. He was recruited by Lee Sisson.
Schmelling Landscaping will install the new Christmas tree.
Details for the Military Family Day were discussed.
Ted Wysocki presented a check for $869 from the 1st Annual Al Stigler Golf Tournament. He reported the event was an outstanding success.
Bill Ray unveiled a new Brick Mapping project. All agreed this will be a great addition to the Memorial site when the on-site locator is installed. It will also be featured on the Web Site.
Cash Donations $139084 (483)
Brick Sales 44102 (362)
In-Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to Date (October 1) $228992
Cash balance $21858
Specifics for the Military Family Day were finalized as follows;
Mary Jane Whitty - Overall event responsibility
Rush Wilkens - M. C.
Don Hermann - Presentation of Colors
Jack Chiovatero - Opening & closing
John Vogel - Presenter
John Hopkins - Presenter
Bill Ray demonstrated continued progress with the Brick Mapping project.
Cash Donations $139084 (483)
Brick Sales 45262 (373)
In-Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to Date (November 5) $230153
Cash balance $22221
Appreciation was expressed to all for their contribution in making the 1st Annual New Berlin Military Family Day an outstanding success. The new Monument recognizing major donors was dedicated with approximately 250 citizens participating in this celebration.
Amy Skrpchak presented a donation of $700 from the New Berlin Junior Women’s Club. All expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation.
Recognizing that our mission has been achieved (and then some) on this, the 5th Anniversary of this committee’s creation, the question of the next chapter or “Shaping the Future” of this activity was discussed and debated. It was the general consensus that more can be accomplished in terms of recognizing and serving New Berlin Veterans and their families; therefore, it was agreed to continue moving forward with this worthwhile investment of time and effort.
It was agreed to explore various options available and settle on a strategic direction at our final 2009 meeting next month.
Cash Donations $140845 (487)
Brick Sales 45462 (375)
In-Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to date (December 3) $232113
Cash Balance $23665
Don Hermann reported a donation of $1500 from the Elizabeth Brinn Foundation…not included in the above revenue metrics.
Following a spirited discussion on the future of this activity it was agreed, effective January 1, 2010, the New Berlin Veterans Committee would be changed to the
NEW BERLIN VETERANS MEMORIAL SOCIETY
Next, an Operating Budget for the calendar year 2010 was adopted as follows;
Contribution to Reserve $3300
A critical part of the revenue stream will be $4500 income generated from our 3rd Casino Night event. Scheduled for February 20th at the VFW, Ted Wysocki volunteered to chair this activity.
The year 2010 will bring both new challenges and opportunities. While community acceptance is now a reality, it needs to be expanded and our mission supported. The organizational change represents a new frontier that will enable us to engage more of the community in the process of recognizing and supporting our Veterans and their families. With a strong, committed leadership team coupled with five solid years of experience working together, we are confident that the future of the New Berlin Veterans Memorial is both distinctive and
Cash Donations $142370 (489)
Brick Sales 46162 (380 Bricks)
In Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to Date (Jan 1) 234338
Cash Balance 25536
A status review of the planning for our February 20th Casino event was led by Ted Wysocki.
Priorities for 2010 discussed were the following;
Focus energy & resources on making the Casino Night event successful.
- Change Committee structure to a Society.
- Capture & record e-mail addresses.
- Support Al Stigler Golf Tournament.
- Develop & implement a Membership Development Plan.
- Incorporate with both the State & Fed’s.
- Support Brick Locator project.
- Select Officers & Director leadership.
- Plan & stage 2nd Annual Military Family Day event.
- Create non-profit corporation.
- Create & sign lease with City.
- Plan & stage 1st Annual Society meeting.
Don Reynolds was introduced as our newest member of the Committee.
Cash Donated $143970 (489)
Brick Sales 46262 (381 Bricks)
In Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to Date (Jan 28) 236038
Cash on Hand 25166
Landscaping plans for the coming year were review by Rush Wilkens. It was agreed to continue the contract with Chuck Bidwell.
Ted Wysocki presented the Casino Night results showing a profit of $413.
The topic of reorganization was foremost in our discussions with Lee Sisson presenting the following three handouts.
- New Berlin Veterans Memorial Society
- Value & Benefits of Membership in the Society
- Membership Development Direct Mail project
Bill Ray reported on the strong collaboration with the New Berlin Women’s Club and in particular their National Dash Race on July 4th.
Cash Donated $149555 (489)
Brick Sales 46362 (382 Bricks)
In Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to Date ( ???) 241724
Cash on Hand 27519
Dave Gilligan reported our Web Site had been “Hacked” but was corrected within two days.
The initial draft of our new Society Bylaws was reviewed and adopted with several minor revisions. This will continue to evolve as we move closer to achieving a 501 ( c ) 3 tax exempt corporate status.
A membership Development Plan was approved consisting of an initial Direct Mailing to our existing donor base in excess of 600 names. Included is a cover letter, membership application form and a self addressed bounce-back envelope. Estimated costs of $600 were authorized.
Cash Donations $149845 (?) (489)
Brick Sales 46362 (382 Bricks)
In Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to Date 9April 7) 242014
Cash on Hand 27614
The new Maple Tree installation has been completed. The new Member Application form has been added to our Web Site.
Bill Ray distributed a copy of his new spread sheet mapping out the current location of each Memorial Brick installed. A date was established for installation of new bricks.
The July 4th Booth activity was discussed. Bill Zaborowski volunteered to serve as chairman of this event. Don Reynolds will provide the tent and Bill Ray will coordinate with the New Berlin Jr Women’s Club.
Membership applications and dues have been received from over 100 new members as a result of the Direct mail project covering our costs and then some. Don Hermann reported that applications continue to be received weekly. Over 50 new e-mail addresses have been captured and almost two dozen new members have volunteered to help with Society activities.
A f/u letter acknowledging their application and providing a colorful, attractive new member card created by Bill Ray and Ted Wysocki has been mailed. This will continue as additional new applications are received. Names of volunteers were distributed for contact to qualify level of interest.
Rush Wilkens reported that Schober, Schober and Mitclell will develop necessary documentation for 501 ( c ) 3 incorporation. They will handle the project through to completion for approximately $1500. Authorization to spend up to $2000 on this was approved.
It was also agreed to recognize member dues on an annual “calendar year” basis. The initial $10 dues will be increased to $15.
Rush Wilkens reported our new promotional brochure will be printed free by Scan Graphics (Dave Patzer) and will be available for distribution at the Memorial Day celebration.
Cash Donations $149845 (489)
Brick Sales 46362 (382)
In Kind Donations 45806
Total Revenue to date (May 6) 242896
Cash on Hand 28346
In his discussion on Landscaping, Rush Wilkens recognized the New Berlin Senior Citizens Club for their help. He also reported that Wachtel Tree Service will provide an annual tree inspection at no charge.
Bill Ray advised new Memorial Bricks were installed and others relocated. It was agreed that future relocations will incur additional charges.
This years Military Family Day will be October 2nd and will again be chaired by Mary Jane Whitty. She will draft an article for the September issue of the city newsletter. She also reported that there will be a Veterans Appreciation Day November 11 at Eisenhower High School.
Bill Zaborowski presented plans and schedules for the July 4th event.
The Nomination Committee headed by John Hopkins presented the following names for Society leadership positions in the coming year.
President Ted Wysocki
President – Elect Lee Sisson
Past President Don Hermann
Vice President Rush Wilkens
Secretary John Vogel
Treasurer Open TBD
The possibility of another Casino Night event in 2011 was discussed and debated. Don Reynolds agreed to organize a group to analyze, evaluate and recommend our future direction with this fund raising activity.
Cash Donations $150345
Brick Sales 46692 (387)
In Kind Donations 45806
Society Memberships 1647 (138)
Total Revenue to Date (June 3) 243113
Cash on Hand 29048
A new Brick Extractor Torture Tool (BETT) is needed and authorization was granted.
Bill Zaborowski gave a final update on our July 4th planning. Included will be our presence at the Friday night concert at Eisenhower High School. While the primary emphasis at the booth will be to promote the site and the society, the following products will be available at the booth for sale or giveaway.
Framed Posters - Dave Gilligan & Rush Wilkens
Custom Golf Shirts - Rush Wilkens & Dave Patzer
Patriotic Wrist Bands
Stick-on Site / Society Labels
A quick review of the incorporation effort resulted in recognition that a rework will be required.
In a special and emotional ceremony Don Hermann was recognized for his substantial contribution, energy and leadership on the creation and development of the New Berlin Veterans Memorial. A framed and engraved photo of the site and a custom Golf Shirt were presented along with the gratitude and appreciation of all members.
The financial statement for the first 6 months of this years is as follows;
Cash Donations $150580
Brick Sales 47762 (394)
Society Memberships 1867 (156)
In Kind Donations 49881
Total Revenue to Date (July 1) 250091
Cash on Hand 29973
Closing out the first half of 2010 marked almost 6 years of concentrated effort. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, over ¼ million dollars has been contributed toward this worthwhile endeavor. Our ongoing organizational and promotional efforts have benefitted by the addition of new members who bring fresh ideas, energy and support to combine with the passion of our original founders.
Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws for the Society were unanimously adopted. Society leadership was elected as follows;
BOARD of DIRECTORS
Mayor Jack Chiovatero
Alderman John Hopkins
Alderman Ted Wysocki
Supervisor Bill Zaborowski
Chairman Don Hermann
Mary Jane Whitty
President – Ted Wysocki
VP President Elect – Lee Sisson
Past President – Don Hermann
Secretary – John Volel
Treasurer – Bernard Hintzke
Mary Jane Whitty provided an update on planning for this year Military Family Day which is scheduled for October 2nd. Among the dignitaries will be a representative from the Fisher House.
Rush Wilkins reported that the State of Wisconsin incorporation efforts have been completed. Application for 501 (c) 3 status can now be initiated.
Ted Wysocki will now move forward with the transfer of financial administration from the VFW. Bernie Hintzke presented an analysis of local Banking institutions and it was agreed to locate our relationship with PNC Bank.
Mary Jane Whitty presented the final plan for Military Family Day.
Rush Wilkins reported the 501 (c) 3 package is complete. He also introduced a “Conflict of Interest” policy which was discussed and approved. He also introduced a plan to expand our next Memorial Brick installation ceremony. The date scheduled is October 30th.
It was agreed to cancel the Casino Night event due to State of Wisconsin ordinances and standards regarding games of chance.
The Military Family Day event was reviewed. Despite a great plan, extensive promotion and a dynamic program, attendance was slim. It was agreed the weather was a major factor and 2011 timing will be reviewed and possibly moved forward a month.
The installation ceremony for Memorial Bricks has been rescheduled to November 6th. Rush Wilkins is contacting all Brick donors and he anticipates a large turnout for this event.
The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony will be expanded this year due to the special efforts of Ted Wysocki and the New Berlin Lions Club.
Liability Insurance was discussed and Jack Chiovatero will confirm our coverage with the City.
Bernie Hintzke questioned the timing for our financial reporting and the issue of a fiscal and calendar year was introduced.
Ted Wysocki proposed we relocate our future Board of Director Meetings to the VFW. This was unanimously endorsed.
Ted Wysocki reported the Al Stigler Open Golf Tournament was an outstanding success and presented the Society with a donation for $1200.
Dave Gilligan reported all Web Site updates have been completed.
Rush Wilkins reported the 501 (c) 3 application has been completed. We can now move forward with a Leasing Agreement with the City and Ted Wysocki and Jack Chiovatero will proceed forward with this.
Membership renewal plans were discussed and it was agreed that new members joining in the 4th quarter of 2010 would be extended full membership through the calendar year 2011. Bernie Hintzke proposed a new “Family” category with an annual dues of $25 be added. This was adopted and will be offered with our 2011 dues renewal appeal.. Numerous documents need to updated.
The installation ceremony of Memorial Bricks was completed with an overwhelming turnout of approximately 75. The Web Site has been updated to include photos of the families participating at this ceremony.
All fund transfers from the VFW accounts have been completed and Bernie Hintzke will begin providing financial status repots on a monthly basis.
All agreed the LED lights of various colors decorating trees at the Site were distinctively outstanding. This can be expanded as a special event in future years.
It was agreed the Annual Membership Meeting should be scheduled at a different time to maximize membership attendance and participation. To accomplish this a variety of changes to the Bylaws were introduced, discussed and approved.
Rush Wilkins advised the Board he is taking a leave of absence Dave Gilligan was elected to replace him as VP _ Marketing.
The Membership renewal campaign was discussed and it was agreed to release a follow-up mailing to those who have not responded. Selected members were chosen for personal contact.
Ted Wysocki presented the following budget for the balance of our fiscal year ( Jan – June 30, 2011).
Contribution to Reserve $4544
Concluding EOY Commentary
This past year donations were successfully solicited and Memorial Bricks and Society Memberships sold to provide support for Site maintenance and promotion, ending the year with an increase of 29% in our cash position. This was accomplished due to the generosity of our members and other community supporters.
Strategic pillars going forward are the following;
1. Strengthen Financial Position.
2. Grow Dues-paying, Supportive and Active Membership.
3. Establish Collaborative, Beneficial Relations with other Organizations.
4. Improve, Expand and Embellish Image within the Community.
The fundamental algorithm for this is Organizational Stability and Society Membership Growth.
Membership renewals totaled 117 and featured a combination of both families and individuals. A second mailing was authorized to be followed by a campaign of telephone contacts directed at those who have not responded.
Planning for the Annual Membership Meeting will be chaired by John Vogel and Bill Ray. It will be staged in late July at the Library.
Don Reynolds presented the layout and design for our new promotional brochure. It was approved and he will ask Scan Group to donate printing for 20,000 copies.
Dave Gilligan provided an updated version of the web site. During the past two months a total of 584 hits have been recorded.
Ted Wysocki presented a proposal for Software development to automate and accommodate work flow associated with Society activities. The cost is estimated at $2000 and it was approved unanimously.
A Membership Development and Retention plan detailing strategies for the next 5 years was presented and approved. The plan calls for membership to grow to 250 by EOY 2015.
Bill Ray reported on progress with Member Tribute Bricks. The next Installation Ceremony will feature a photo option which will be coordinated by Dave Gilligan.
Ted Wysocki presented a proposed no-cost contract with Wachtel Tree Service for tree fertilization. It was approved unanimously.
John Vogel reported the Corporation has received State Sales Tax exemption.
Don Reynolds presented details on the new tent which has been ordered. Featuring our Logo on all 4 sides it will be available for use at our Safety Saturday exhibit.
Office equipment acquisitions have been completed with a combination of donations and purchases, all within planned budget.
Memorial Day will mark our next Brick Installation Ceremony. Rush Wilkins, Bill Ray, Don Reynolds and Dave Gilligan will combine their talents to coordinate.
Membership renewals total 124 – both families and individuals.
Ted Wysocki reported on progress with the Lease issue and that discussions with Attorneys Blum and Schober continue.
John Vogel presented a detailed outline of the Annual Membership Meeting. The date is July 28th at the Library.
Ted Wysocki advised that Middle School children raised funds to send a WW II VFW member to Washington D.C. on the next Honor Flight. He and Mary Jane Whitty requested that we allocate $300 to provide a bus to get the students to the airport to welcome home these participants. It was approved enthusiastically and unanimously.
Ted Wysocki proposed that the Society participate as a sponsor in the traditional Memorial Day Ceremony at Highland Memorial Park. The cost is approximately $400 and the proposal was endorsed and approved.
The first Society Newsletter has been e-mailed to members. We are using a distribution service provided by Bernie Hintzke. The cost is minimal and the initial expectation is to use this communication technique on a monthly basis.
Dave Gilligan reported the Software project is 90% complete.
Planning for the next Brick Installation Ceremony is complete. It will be at 1 pm on Memorial Day and a large turnout is expected. Special emphasis will be placed on a Fathers Day Brick promotion. Rush Wilkins is coordinating.
Ted Wysocki presented the following committee leadership assignments for the balance of the year.
Membership Development - Lee Sisson
Marketing & Promotion - Dave Gilligan
Site Preservation - Rush Wilkins
Financial - Bernie Hintzke
Nominating - John Hopkins
The new tent / booth was featured at the Safety Saturday event. This activity helps showcase the Veterans Memorial Society to the general public and should be repeated. All agreed the new tent serves to enhance our image in the community.
Bill Ray reported the Data Base Software is complete and meets all our expectations. Training will begin by mid-year.
The lease agreement with the city has morphed into a discussion on Insurance coverage – both Liability and Property / Casualty. Ted Wysocki is working to resolve.
Mary Jane Whitty reported that 52 students participated in the Welcome Home Ceremony at the airport.
Don Reynolds and Dave Gilligan provided highlights on the Memorial Brick Installation Ceremony. Approximately 150 citizens participated and Rush Wilkins was recognized for his contribution and this record turnout.
Planning for the July 4th activity was reviewed by Don Reynolds. Included will be a booth for all 3 days and a military vehicle to participate in the parade.
Rush Wilkins reported that two (2) Maple trees at the site are on “life support” and not expected to survive. Options and costs for their replacement will be investigated by Rush and shared at a future meeting.
Ted Wysocki proposed that Mary Jane Whitty be nominated and recognized by VFW Post 5716 as Patriotic Citizen of the year at their Patriotic Day event. This was enthusiastically endorsed and overwhelmingly approved.
Memorial Brick promotions have gone well and the next Installation Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, September 11th. A special feature will include laying of the Michelle Wittmer tribute brick. In response to a special request it was agreed to allow a Merchant Marine tribute brick to be installed in the Veterans section.
Final plans for the Annual Membership meeting were reviewed by John Vogel. The nominating committee will propose the following slate of 2011 – 2012 Directors for election;
3 year term (2011 – 2014)
2 year term
Mary Jane Whitty
1 year term
Ted Wysocki presented the preliminary budget for the coming year.
Recognizing the need to complete a Lease agreement with the City, Don Reynolds and Rush Wilkins were appointed to resolve the insurance issue.
While June closes out our fiscal year with a healthy balance sheet it marks the half-way point in our 2011 operating year. Combining the notions of possibility and purpose, the Board of Directors expressed confidence and optimism on both the near term and long term future of the Veterans Memorial.
JULY - SEPTEMBER
July marked the 1st Annual Membership meeting of the Society. Organized by John Vogel and staged in the Community Room at the Library, financial, membership and other reports were shared and Directors were elected as shown in the Nominations report by John Hopkins in the June report (above).
The July 4th activity, organized by Don Reynolds, was reviewed and it was agreed this was a worthwhile investment of resources and should be repeated next year.
At the August BOD meeting John Hopkins presented the following slate of Officers for the coming year;
President – Ted Wysocki
VP/President Elect – Lee Sisson
VP Marketing – Dave Gilligan
Secretary – John Vogel
Treasurer – Bernie Hintzke
All were elected unanimously.
An update on the site was provided by Rush Wilkens. A number of the Maple trees have died and need to be replaced. Rush was authorized to proceed.
The need for Insurance coverage (both Liability and Casualty) was discussed and Don Reynolds agreed to pursue this issue.
Rush Wilkens introduced an idea to promote Memorial Brick donations as a Christmas gift. He was encouraged to proceed.
Details on the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony were presented by Ted Wysocki. He is coordinating this event with the City and the Lions Club.
he second annual Brick installation ceremony was a resounding success with 150 – 170 citizens participating. Thanks were expressed to the organizers…Rush Wilkens, Dave Gilligan, Bill Ray and Don Reynolds
Bernie Hintzke informed the BOD of his resignation as Treasurer and Director. The BOD accepted the resignation and expressed appreciation for Bernie’s service and contribution.
OCTOBER - DECEMBER
A presentation was made on the 2nd Annual Al Stigler Memorial Golf outing which was organized by Ted Wysocki and others. Larry Stevens presented the Society with a check for $1700 from the proceeds of this special event.
Rush Wilkens reported he had discussed the open Treasurers position with Dan Lavinio and was encouraged by his response.
Rush also reported on progress with establishing a Society office in the Veterans Museum room at the Library. NBVMS volunteers will be needed to provide a presence in the room.
Ted Wysocki reported that Insurance coverage has been finalized and he has signed a contract.
Bill Ray shared an update on progress with our Software development project. He also explained our arrangement with Constant Contact who will provide e-mail distribution of our Newsletter.
Specifics on our 2012 Membership renewal campaign was provided by Lee Sisson.
Following his election to the Board of Directors, Dan Lavinio was named to fill the position of Treasurer of the Society.
At our December meeting Mary Jane Whitty introduced students from N.B. Eisenhower Middle School who presented a donation of $2360 to the Society. Mayor Jack Chivaotero accepted the donation and the students received a standing ovation and expression of sincere appreciation from the BOD.
Under the leadership of Don Reynolds a Lease Agreement has been finalized with the City. The lease gives the Society responsibility for the site and all maintenance and preservation
of assets without cost to the City.
Thanks to the commitment and dedication of volunteers, solid progress continues to be made in all areas of the NBVMS operations. Revenues from donations, membership and bricks will greatly help to fund site maintenance and general upkeep during 2012. Completion of the data-base software and relocation to our new office in the Library should be completed in the first half of the New Year. While both challenges and opportunities continue, the Board of Directors expressed encouragement and confidence in the period ahead.
JANUARY – MARCH
Membership re-newals totaled 75. It was noted that 45 members did not renew. A telemarketing campaign will be launched to contact each of the non-renewals.
Bill Ray reported that the N.B. Junior Womens Club will donate $700 from their 2011 Dash event.
Rush Wilkens outlined the plan for Library volunteers. They are Rush, Ted Wysocki, John Vogel, Don Reynolds and Lee Sisson. All records have been relocated.
Honor Flights will receive a $1000 donation and Ted will coordinate.
Shore West Realty donated $700 to the Society. Bill Ray and Rush Wilkens outlined the reorganization of the Brick layout to accommodate expansion of the Veterans section. Construction is scheduled for April.
In February membership renewals have reached 100.
In March Mary Jane Whitty reported another donation of $1000 from students at Eisenhower Middle School.
John Vogel was named as the Society’s representative to receive the annual VFW Patriotic Citizens Award. The ceremony is scheduled for the first Sunday in June.
Dave Gilligan reported that promotional brochures will be included in the next mailing of the N. B. Leaflet Newsletter. Distribution is approximately 15,000.
Rush Wilkns reported two new Maple trees have been planted at the site.
APRIL - JUNE
It was agreed the Society would donate $375 to the Memorial Day celebration at Highland memorial Park. Promotional brochures (500 – 700) will be inserted into the program.
John Vogel advised the Annual Meeting for the Society is planned for July 26th at the Library. Dave Gilligan volunteered to update the Memorial DVD.
Rush Wilkens reported a new Evergreen tree has been secured to replace the one that has been on life-support for the past year.
In May it was noted that we passed notable milestone with the “sale” of our 500th Memorial Brick. The Memorial Day Brick Installation ceremony had 75 citizens in attendance.
The N.B. Newsletter mailing generated 6 new memberships and 16 new Brick sales.
Don Reynolds presented the plan for our July 4th Booth activity at Malone Park. Two Military (Army) vehicles will be provided for the Parade.
JULY – DECEMBER
The Annual Meeting was held at the Library on July 26th. A total of 35 Society members participated. Ted Wysocki highlighted some of the numerous accomplishments over the past year including;
Financial progress with an Equity balance of $36,384.
- Membership growth to 129 active, dues-paying members.
- Administrative stability.
- Memorial preservation.
Ted was recognized as a founding member whose contribution and leadership has cast a long shadow of enduring quality and care over the Veterans Memorial.
Dave Gilligan provided an overview of Marketing activities this past year followed by his introduction of a moving and inspirational new 4 minute video on the Memorial.
In his role as Chairman of the Nominating Committee, John Hopkins presented the slate of Officers and Directors for the coming year. They were elected unanimously and are as follows;
Officers – 1 year term
President - Lee Sisson
Pres Elect - Rush Wilkens
Past President - Ted Wysocki
VP – Marketing - Dave Gilligan
Secretary - John Vogel
Treasurer - Dan Lavinio
Directors – 3 year terms;
Mayor Jack Chiovatero
Alderman John Hopkins
In his comments closing the meeting, Lee Sisson thanked Ted Wysocki, the Officers and Directors for their contributions. He expressed confidence in the period ahead noting the strong clarity of cause and purpose in Protecting, Preserving and Promoting the Memorial and everything it represents in the community. He further noted that our strategy going forward was to;
Simplify and Repeat with concentrated focus on;
Volunteer – Recruitment
Communications and PR
Bill Ray reported on a special Brick Installation ceremony for one family with nine (9) Memorial Bricks installed. It was agreed this was a good investment of our time and effort and should be promoted in the future where possible.
Rush Wilkens provided an update on Site maintenance for the year and all agreed that Stano is doing a good job. Rush will pull together proposals for a decision in early 2013 on our contractor for next year.
It was agreed to extend the partnership with the Library for another two years. John Vogel will coordinate.
Rush Wilkens outlined plans for a “targeted” campaign to enable growth in Membership and Bricks sales for the coming year.
The Board agreed that the fence along the west side of the site needs to be replaced. With a cost estimated at $4 – 5000 it was agreed to seek donations. Don Reynolds will coordinate solicitation effort and John Hopkins volunteered to approach Hal’s Harley for their support.
ary Jane Whitty proposed that we honor and recognize both Eisenhower and West Middle Schools for their support and contributions to the Veterans Memorial. This was endorsed by all and Plaques will be developed with the first presentation to be made in November on Veterans Day. The second will be presented in 2013.
Ted Wysocki announced that the 2 nd Annual Al Stigler Golf Outing was successful and he presented the Society a $1500 donation.
In response to discussions and debate on the merits of replacing the landscaping mulch with colored stone at the site, Rush Wilkens presented a cost estimate of $3000. The Board agreed this is worthwhile and encouraged Rush to continue to move forward, including location of a donor to cover the cost.
Once again this year trees in the Memorial site were used in the N. B. Christmas Tree Lighting program. Ted Wysocki coordinated with the local Lions clubs and reported an estimated 300 attendees at this ceremony, the best in the past 4 years.
Bill Ray introduced the Board to a new project designed to give the Society greater visibility through use of Social Media such as You Tube, Face Book, etc. Bill was encouraged to continue with the expectation this will be completed in 2013.
John Vogel advised our partnership agreement with the Library has been finalized and has been extended to November 2014.
The NBVM Society is truly fortunate to have a committed, experienced and talented cadre of leadership as we move into the New Year. Organization targets (goals, metrics, etc.) are on track and we are optimistic this will be another year of progress and contribution to the community.