Crowdfunding campaign launched for Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Park in Negaunee

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

$12,000 goal to win matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

LANSING, Mich. – Downtown Negaunee will become home to a new Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Memorial Park and restored monument through a crowdfunding campaign, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, city of Negaunee and Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Michigan announced today. The campaign is being offered through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity.

If the campaign reaches its crowdfunding goal of $12,000 by June 2, 2019, the project will win a matching grant with funds made possible by MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“The memorial park will activate and connect Downtown Negaunee in a respectful way,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “We are pleased to provide resources for this effort through our Public Spaces Community Places program.”

The campaign will complete the renovation of the VFW monument and create a community plaza in Downtown Negaunee. The area surrounding will be converted to a space that will serve as an area of reflection and a gathering point for community events, complete with a patio area for comfortable seating. This space was designed in partnership with the VFW, the city of Negaunee and Local Boy Scout Troop 321.

"This park will benefit the community for people who do not know about past conflicts and the sacrifices of local veterans,” said Nick Mattson, Local Troop 321 Eagle Scout project leader. “For every dollar we raise, it will be matched by the MEDC and that money will go toward the memorial. The Boy Scouts and the VFW will be conducting the fundraising to bring the memorial back to its former glory.”

Constructed in 1949, the memorial site has experienced decay as a result of Upper Peninsula weather. These reparations will restore the monument and make the space more inviting.

“The city of Negaunee is very excited to help facilitate the partnership with Patronicity, the MEDC, The VFW and the Boy Scouts for such an honorable project,” said David Nelson, planning and zoning administrator for the city of Negaunee.

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, in which local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, nonprofits and other business entities can apply at

“Revitalizing public spaces is key to great placemaking,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. “This project is all the more special because it is paying tribute to the community’s fallen war heroes.”

The Public Spaces Community Places initiative started in 2014 with the MEDC providing matched funding of up to $50,000 for community improvement projects throughout Michigan. As of April 1, 2019, MEDC has provided $6,169,441 in matching grants. Since the launch of the program, 200 projects have been successful in reaching their goal, with more than $7 million raised from 38,535 individual donors.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.