A Groundbreaking Ceremony was held on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2015. Below are photos from the event and remarks made by Neil Smalley, President of the Kettering Veteran’s and Inventor’s Campaign committee of the Kettering Parks Foundation.
“Just over four years ago, two local veterans, Vince Chillecki and Jim Snyder put their heads together and conceived of an idea to honor our veterans by renaming Delco Park to Veterans Park. With the knowledge that the city must preserve the name of Delco Park (the only park in the country with this name) and the name of Charles Kettering’s, Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company, a group of Veterans, City and Dayton History Staff along with a few interested residents worked for almost 2 years to create the Veterans and Inventor Campaign launched in 2012.
This collaborative project brings together the celebration of veterans of all military branches and our desire to honor the men and women who dedicate their lives to preserving our freedom with recognition of the important contributions of Charles F. Kettering to the war efforts during WWI and WWII and the many innovative and philanthropic contributions of our city’s namesake.
In order to raise the funds necessary, the Kettering Parks Foundation formed its fundraising committee headed by former Mayor and Navy Veteran, Dick Hartmann. The committee was charged with the task of raising $500,000 in private funding to construct and sustain the Kettering Veterans Memorial and Charles F. Kettering History Walk.
Over the past four years, the fundraising committee has successfully secured $309,000 in cash commitments and $150,500 of in-kind donations. The Kettering Health Network committed $95,000 to fund the entire history walk portion of the project. Other major gift commitments have come from the Schiewetz Foundation ($40,000), Richard Hartmann ($20,000) and Jim Snyder ($20,000) and Kettering Mayor and city council ($20,000).
We were also honored to have been chosen by the Fairmont High School Spirit Chain as one of their 2015 gift recipients. Also, critical to the completion of this Project, are the in-kind gifts of services and materials committed by Heapy Engineering, Cablibre Engineering, Double Jay Construction, Phillips Sand and Gravel, Creative Banners, Flags & Poles, Kettering Irrigation, Chapel Electric, Ernst Concrete, Brumbaugh Construction, Siebenthaler Nursery, S&S Products, and Snyder Brick & Block.”