FRUITLAND, Iowa–After a year and a half of work, the Fruitland Lions Club will now begin work on the All Veterans Memorial. On March 16 at 9 a.m., the group officially broke ground for the project. Island Methodist Church Pastor Tom Berryman gave a brief invocation to mark the start of the project.
In 2019 at Fruitland Fun Days, the Fruitland Lions announced they would begin fundraising to create and install the memorial at a cost of $45,000. The project represented a longtime dream of Fruitland Lions Club founder Wayne Shoultz. A veteran himself, he hoped to find a way to honor others who had served. Along with the help of Barb Noble’s art students at Louisa-Muscatine Junior-Senior High School, the Fruitland Lions devised a simple but impactful monument to celebrate the service of veterans of all ages and areas of service. Though fundraising for the project slowed when the Fruitland Lions could no longer hold in-person events like the dinner they held in February of 2020, they still found ways to keep progress on the project going.
In the days following the groundbreaking, Ziegenhorn Construction came and poured the concrete base for the monument. “We are very excited that we get to get started so soon,” said All Veterans Memorial Chair Janina Hawley.
Later in the year, Iowa Memorial Granite will install the black granite monument and Kellor & Kellor Landscaping will do decorative plantings around it. Musco lighting also plans to donate lighting to go around the All Veterans Memorial. Currently, the Fruitland Lions anticipate that work will wrap up on the monument in time for this year’s Fruitland Fun Day on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.
Reflecting on all the careful planning that has gone into creating the All Veterans Memorial and the positive presence it will have in the city, current Fruitland Mayor Marty Hills said, “Speaking for the City of Fruitland, we’re very pleased to have the Lions Club make this addition to our City.”
So far, the Lion’s Club has plans to etch 103 names on the monument. However, Hawley says the monument has room for, “many, many more,” names before Iowa Memorial Granite does the engraving work in June. In total, the memorial can include up to 400 names. For additional information about adding a veteran or donating, you may call (563)-260-7952.