Highground Begins Capital Campaign

Riley Hebert

Highground Begins Capital Campaign

3 mins
March 8, 2021

The $4M capital campaign to expand The Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville with a new 12,000 square feet Welcome Center will publicly launch with a free event on Thursday, April 8th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Condensery in Osseo.

With two campuses of more than 450 acres, The Highground is the largest privately-funded and continuously-staffed Veterans memorial park in the nation.

The organization seeks to better serve visiting Veterans, their families and the public as attendance has topped 225,000, and visitor interest is on the rise. Attendees will enjoy complimentary appetizers and a variety of beverages will be available during the social hour.

Guests will learn what the campaign has fundraised to date, hear a short program featuring details of the expansion and receive information on how to help if they wish.  Chris Pettis, Executive Director, along with Scott Schultz, fellow Marine and radio personality, will emcee the event.

A brief program will begin at 6:30 p.m. after a social hour culminating with a special announcement and fundraising total reveal.  Registration is required.

To register or bookmark the virtual event page to watch it “live” on April 8th, individuals are invited to visit campaign.thehighground.us/live/.  Committees of 50 volunteers and The Highground Board have been setting a foundation for the campaign since last year.

There is a real urgency to expand as we are simply out of space to best honor Veterans, their families and educate the public about the importance of remembering our Veterans”, says Chris Pettis, Executive Director.

As more and more service personnel are challenged with the results of their military experience, we are called to respond with support and opportunities for Post Traumatic Growth.”

Shares Gary Weirauch, The Highground Board Chairman and Campaign Chair, “Even though COVID has limited our ability to make connections, we are extremely grateful for the initial support we’ve received. Every contribution, big or small, will help us reach our goal and allow us to carry on the mission.”

Pettis says meeting the total campaign goal will also help provide full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensuring access to the entire Park and the memorial sites for those with mobility challenges and increase financial stability with the pay-off of the $450,000 mortgage.

Other benefits to meet the Board’s vision for the future include increasing specialized retreats for Veterans at the Park and Camp Victory; offering an opportunity to improve the ways the organization honors Veterans by increasing space for ceremonies, large tours and school groups; connecting Veterans to essential health services and resources; and providing a Veteran-focused gathering space for events and holiday services.

Details about the project are available online at campaign.thehighground.us.  The deadline to register for this free event is March 22nd. Early registration is encouraged to ensure a seat as space is limited. COVID safety measures will be in place for the event.

All contributions to The Highground Rising campaign are tax deductible. Pledges may be paid over multiple years up to five years.  For information about the event, registration assistance or to volunteer for the campaign, please contact Bonnie Pettis at the campaign office at admin@thehighground.us or call 715-743-4224.

This article was orginally reported by
Riley Hebert

Riley Hebert is news director for Central Wisconsin Broadcasting.