The campaign to support the memorial, now that it will remain after a 25-year court battle, is continuing with the launching of an appeal to the community for support.
Manchester has been joined by an impressive roster of well-known San Diego philanthropists and community leaders who have announced major financial gifts to replenish the coffers of the Mount Soledad Memorial Association. MSMA purchased the 27-foot-tall cross, part of a Korean War memorial built in 1954, about a year ago for $1.4 million.
An agreement was reached to allow the sale of the cross, along with its surrounding memorial granite plaque walls, from the U.S. Department of Defense to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association Inc. The La Jolla veterans group bought the half-acre parcel containing the controversial Mount Soledad cross from the Department of Defense.
“We are extremely pleased at the outpouring of support from the community,” said Lou Scanlon, association president. “The success to date of this fund raising drive exceeds our expectations. We are very grateful for the amazing support shown by the community at this early stage of our efforts.”
Prominent donors have stepped forward to generously donate major gifts and have brought the total amount raised to kick off the fund raising drive to more than $1.5 million dollars. Major donors to the foundation include former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory, Dick Woltman, Tom and Cookie Sudberry, Dr. Peter Farrell, Kim and Marilyn Fletcher, Steve and Stephanie Williams, Jenny Craig and Mike McKinnon.
“The generosity of these major donors is unprecedented,” said Scanlon. “It is an indication of not only their great generosity but also of their dedication and commitment to make the Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial one of the most impressive veterans memorials in the nation. It is a real tribute to our veterans and all who have served.”
Major support has also come from the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Indians. Former California Governor Pete Wilson is serving as honorary chair of the campaign.
The community campaign, known as the Veterans Beacon of Freedom Campaign, will be highlighted as well throughout the community on Veterans Day 2016. Those wishing to donate now can do so by going to the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association website at www.soledadmemorial.com or by calling 858-459-2314.