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Memorial Update 6/15/2013

Class of 1962 Memorial Project News

If you haven’t gotten excited about the class of 1962 Memorial Project yet, you need to check your pulse to see if your heart is still beating!  Your memorial project committee has just completed what can only be described as a crazy, hectic and busy week.

We started out last Saturday by beginning construction of the full scale model of the proposed veterans memorial as you can see in the photos on the class website.  This model is being built to use on a float in the upcoming July 4th parade in Austintown.  We will also have the float on static display at the fireworks festival on July 3rd at Austintown Park, beginning at 4 PM.  If you are in town, be sure to stop by and say hello and don’t forget to thank the hard working members of the committee for all they are doing.  You will be able to recognize the members because they will be wearing their “memorial project” tee shirts which will also be featured in the parade the next day.

The float, being constructed and decorated under the leadership of committee members Claudia Bokesch Bair and Kay Bowers Wertman will feature the memorial model, and will be towed by a beautifully painted jeep owned by Buddy Hammond, Jim Prommersberger’s brother.  The jeep is worth the trip alone and you must get to the parade to see it.  The jeep is decorated to honor Buddy’s brother and features patriotic murals.  Definitely a must-see.

The committee is also preparing a flyer about our memorial project which will be handed out along the parade route.  A very special volunteer team, consisting of members of Jim Prommersberger’s and Charlie Brown’s extended families has been assembled to hand out the flyers.  This very special team will also be identified by their unique tee shirts.

Needless to say, the July 4th parade in Austintown this year will be VERY special for this class.


On Monday this week, we held our regular committee planning meeting.  We received updates on both memorial projects, fund raising and the parade float.  Jack Kidd presented a proposal to proceed with the two plaques for the outside monument, and to have them made from laser engraved granite.  The sample provided by the maker is simply beautiful and these plaques will be permanently mounted on the monument to identify the source of the monument and the reason for it’s existence.

On Tuesday, Jack Kidd and Larry Cadman were requested by the Board of Education to address the board and give an update on the project.  On display at this meeting we had the “fallen soldier” statue, the photos of our two hero’s, and the bronze plaque featuring the poem written by Charlie’s grandson.  By all accounts, the display and the report were the hit of the board meeting and the committee received heartfelt thanks from the board members, and Superintendent Colaluca for the work we are doing.

On Wednesday, we received a phone call from Mr. Mal Culp of Austintown Schools.  Mr Culp is the person responsible for granting access to the old school to gather all the wood we have used to make our memorial pens and I can tell you he is a true gentleman and professional.  Like everyone else we have worked with at the school, Mr. Culp has given us his total cooperation.  The phone call on Wednesday was to advise us that the purchase order was issued to the contractor who will be responsible for removing the stone signs and stone door lintels at the old school.  Work on this portion of the project will begin late next week.  That news alone has committee members floating about 2 feet above the ground.  We now have a schedule for when we will actually be receiving the architectural elements from the old school that we will be using to construct the outside monument.  With this milestone met, we will have everything in place for both memorials to be complete!  The goal we have all been working toward is now within sight!

As icing on the cake, by now you have all seen the notice on the website that we have reached our fund raising goal, from pen sales, of $5000!  Look out world, here we come!

As we said in the beginning, check your pulse.  What began in August as a simple but poignant memorial service at our reunion has moved first to a concept featuring a granite boulder with a bronze plaque, onto two separate memorials which will honor two very brave young men who were our friends, and our classmates.  These memorials will reflect the courage of these men, and the love and gratitude we still feel for them.

The committee members say over and over again that we graduated with the best class ever.  This comment has been echoed by the staff at Austintown Schools and the proof of this statement will be demonstrated by the results of this project.  Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support and stay tuned, it is going to get even more exciting very soon.

Your Austintown Fitch Class of 1962 Memorial Project Committee

Click here for 6/15/2013 Vindicator Article