Each year, the graduates of the Waukee Leadership Institute complete a class project.


The Waukee Leadership Institute Class of 2017 is no different and will introduce the Waukee Veterans Memorial this year. The memorial will feature a series of monuments with one for each branch of the military on the south lawn of the Waukee Community Center, right in front of the main entrance to the building.


The mission of the Class of 2017 is to “uplift the community ideals that we all value so greatly and in doing so, build a central place for all to come to respect and honor those that have served to protect our community, those that continue to serve so that we may enjoy our freedom, and those that have lost their lives or their loved ones to service.”


The monuments will contain the official military branch seal, a project designation monument and a donor plaque.


Project co-chair and Waukee City Councilwoman, Anna Bergman, is a member of the Class of 2017 and said that they got the idea for the memorial from local veterans


“Just in talking with them about what they want in the community, what they wanted to see and, really, the bottom line is we wanted to build a place that’s for everyone in the community, regardless of if they have friends or family that have served or are serving or if they just really want to pay respect to our police and fire departments for the obvious hard work they do,” Bergman said.


Bergman said that they will have the seals of the branches of military as well as local police and fire departments at the top of each monument.


She said that they decided on what their project would be in October of 2016 and since then, it has been about how to get financing, deciding on an official design and talking to the community to hear about what they wanted to see in regards to the monuments.


“So a lot of the research and background work, we did before the holidays and then now, the new year’s kicked off where we finally have decided on our design and are ready to move forward a little more aggressively,” Bergman said. “So we’re pretty good progress on it so far.”


As far as constructing the project, Bergman said that it will have to wait until winter starts to wrap up and the weather gets a little nicer. She said she anticipates a late March or early April completion. She said that it was really important that they get the project done in time for Memorial Day festivities.


Those interested in getting involved or making a donation, event sponsor or other partner can get in touch with either project co-chair, Bergman or Bill Orton. Bergman can be reached at 515-229-0236 or ambergman@yahoo.com and Orton can be reached at 712-830-4946 or at worton@westbankstrong.com


All donors will be recognized at Waukee Veterans Memorial events and in written materials. Larger donations will be recognized by being placed on the donors plaque on one of the monuments itself.