Money has been raised for a permanent 9/11 monument in Springfield, Massachusetts.
After eight months, Springfield’s September 11th Monument Fundraising Committee completed its work.
“We are over the finish line and we’ve exceeded our goal of $300,000,” announced Frank Colaccino, the Springfield businessman who chaired the committee.
He said he was always confident the $300,000 goal would be reached.
“It feels like it took longer ( than 8 months),” Colaccino said jokingly. He added he was not surprised it took just 8 months to raise the money because “people in the community love the community and are supportive of it.”
The funds are being used to create a memorial that will include a piece of steel from the destroyed World Trade Center.
” The groundbreaking has already happened and the people actually molding the ( monument) have almost completed their work,” said Colaccino.
The monument, which is being crafted at Salmon Studios in Northampton, has the 12-foot-long, 3,000-pound beam positioned vertically in front of a curved wall that will be inscribed with the names of 498 first responders killed in the attack. At night, spotlights place shadows of the artifact on the curved wall to symbolize the Twin Towers.
Three final checks to bring the fundraising campaign to a close were presented Wednesday at Springfield City Hall.
Big Y World Class Markets donated $5,000.
$10,000 came from Springfield Ride to Remember, an annual Springfield-Boston bicycle ride that raises money for police and firefighter memorials.
Michael Crowley, owner of a Springfield-based real estate company, presented a check for $15,000.
“It is a great way to commemorate the individuals who perished in that attack and almost commemorate the first responders, who I have many in my family,” said Crowley.
The fundraising committee reported that donations came from more than 100 corporations, small businesses and individuals.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno praised the donors.
“As I have always said: we have a very generous business and philanthropic community,” said Sarno.
The monument will be installed in Riverfront Park which has been undergoing a $2 million renovation.
Once the work in the park is completed next year, the monument will be dedicated.
Starting in 2019, Springfield will hold its annual 9/11 observance at the memorial.