Classes of 1966 Make Nearly $4,500 Donation to New Haverhill Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Workers completed a major phase of the project in early May. (WHAV News photograph.)

Just in time for spring landscaping, the Haverhill High, St. James and Haverhill Trade School classes of 1966 have turned in almost $4,500 to benefit the city’s new Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Mill Brook Park.

Organizer Kathy Bresnahan explains the class has always been active, but members were particularly motivated to help.

“One of our classmates was listed on that original monument as having become a casualty of the war,” she said.

Bresnahan explains Frederick Durocher died in Vietnam in 1968. She adds collection efforts were especially successful thanks to an anonymous donor who matched the donated money dollar for dollar.

Ralph T. Basiliere, chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc Committee, said the Commission has remarkably raised $15,000 and received added in-kind services even since Gov. Charlie Baker’s closure order. He thanked the class for its efforts as well as assistance from fellow commissioners Amanda Buckley, who met with class of 1966 members, and Thomas J. Sullivan, city councilor.

Sullivan said he is pleased with the progress. “The project is coming along nicely. It’s on budget—if not under budget—it’s on time, and I’m sure we hope to have it wrapped up by this summer.”

Precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic had stalled two project fundraisers, putting some of the proposed landscaping in doubt. The Commission has also resumed selling raffle tickets with first, second and third prizes of $5,000, $3,000 and $2,000 respectively. Tickets are $100 each and only 250 tickets will be sold. Basiliere promises “no contact” raffle ticket sales by calling him at 978-891-2281.

Basiliere said installation of the granite monuments should be delivered and installed tentatively August 19.

If all goes well, Sullivan is ready to send out the dedication invites. “And we hope to have a socially distant, but appropriate, dedication ceremony when the time comes.”

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