Today ANAVETS #389 held a press conference to fill in our community about the Afghanistan Monument & Memorial Park Project here in Grande Prairie Alberta.

It was very successful in that all of our local media came out and a few of our sponsors and a potential sponsor came out as well.

It was exciting to share with everyone the fact that our application to Canada Company for a LAV III Unit (light armoured vehicle) was approved and that we have our first major donors!

Canadian Legacy Project has committed a large donation to our project and introduced us to Sunset Memorial & Stone who discounted the cost of our monument from $41,000 to $19,800.00 as their donation.

Design Works Engineering and Inspections Ltd., has donated to us the stamped engineering drawing that we need to supply to Canada Company as part of our paperwork process to take possession of our LAV III unit.

Concrete Militia has agree to do the concrete work for us at a greatly reduced cost and Lafarge  Northwest, has agreed to provide us with our concrete, again at a substantial discount!

My stepfather and welder extraordinaire, Bob Campbell, has been getting various oilfield companies that he works with to donate the materials we need for our arches and gate panels, and he is donating the welding! He's promised to get me list so we can honour their contributions.
Grande Prairie Regional Tourism has stepped up to help us increase the awareness of our project by letting their members know about it and so has Friends of Historical Northern Alberta Society, they are going to add our monuments and gardens to their APP!

The County of Grande Praire # 1 has donated the trucking costs of bringing in the substrate materials we need, up to $5,000!

After the press conference we went outside to show everyone where we plan on building the monuments and memorial gardens and Randy & Dwayne of Smash and Sons Contracting Ltd., decided that they would donate all of the ground work we need to prepare the site for our gardens and monuments!

We also discovered, thanks to the long memory of Curtis Galbraith of Big County Radio that we have an even more important reason to build theses monuments and memorial gardens than originally turns out that in 2006, a man born in Grande Prairie, Master Corporal Timothy J Wilson died in hospital in Germany after being injured in Afghanistan. (He was injured on March 2nd and died on March 4th, 2006.)

We were originally building this monument partially because of our ties to the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and their ties to D Coy Armouries here as their Regimental home during World War II.

But now that we know that a man born here, in our city, although he moved from our region at 9 years old to live in Manitoba, gave his life for our country, well it just made this project more special, more important, closer to home, if that's possible.

The more I learn about the men and women who died in Afghanistan, the more humbled I am to be leading this project.

On behalf of ANAVETS #389 and all of our partners, the Royal Canadian Legion # 54, our Air & Army Cadets, Canada Company, the Loyal Edmonton Regiment and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Museum, I want to thank those who are supporting and sponsoring our project.

You make me proud to live here.

To learn more about our project visit the brand new ANAVETS #389 website at

Belt Drive Betty,
Editor & Rider

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