Skip to main content

West Valley City Journal

Mayor Helps Raise Funds for Veterans Museum

Jul 15, 2016 09:30AM ● By Bryan Scott

Mayor Ron Bigelow hands out trophies to the winners of the Veteran’s Memorial Golf Tournament, held at Stonebridge Golf Course on May 24. All proceeds from the tournament went towards building the Utah Veterans Memorial Museum. —Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Teeing off at Stonebridge Golf Course on May 24 meant golfers were also teeing off for Veterans.

Mayor Ron Bigelow hosted the inaugural Veteran’s Memorial Golf Tournament at Stonebridge Golf Course on May 24 donating all proceeds to the construction costs of the planned Utah Veterans Memorial Museum.

“It’s kind of the kickoff for getting the word out in the community,” Bigelow said.

Sponsored by the Valley West Rotary Club, the tournament included a luncheon where Speaker of the House Greg Hughes spoke along with a raffle where items auctioned off which included golf balls, fishing poles and a 32’ television. An area was sectioned with preserved artifacts from World War II.

“I’ve been to a lot of golf fundraisers and this is probably one of the best attended fundraisers I’ve been to,” Hughes told the participants during lunch.

With around 130 golfers playing, Bigelow said he was very pleased with how the inaugural tournament played out.

“They say you’re lucky if you break even in your first year, well we’ve done that and more,” Bigelow said.

Bigelow said support for the project has been pretty unanimous with members of the house of representatives, mayors of other cities, former Governor Mike Leavitt, as well as businesses have already given their support. The tournament had over 20 supporting sponsors.

“The only reason I don’t have more [people supporting] is because that’s all I’ve had time to visit so far,” Bigelow said. “It’s been very rewarding to be involved because so many are willing to participate.”

The memorial will be the only building in the state committed solely to veteran’s events and activities. Bigelow said there will be a museum aspect to the location but where artifacts will be placed will be up to Fort Douglas.

An important portion of the memorial will be to tell the history of what happened, every part of it.

“We want to do something that tells the story, the story’s not complete if you don’t include the holocaust or Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the war in the pacific and Topaz,” Bigelow said. “Just tell the history, it was what it was. Our intent is to tell the story.”

Bigelow said it’s important to understand why the memorial is being built and why World War II happened, especially when it comes to educating the youth.

“We don’t want to just talk about war but why we fought, what would’ve happened if we hadn’t entered the war or what would’ve happened if Germany had won,” Bigelow said. “The important thing is to remember the whys and what they did, because that’s what’s important to the veterans.”

As for the timeline of building the memorial building, Bigelow said they’ve now gotten the support of elected officials and are accumulating the necessary funds by seeking out support from the community.

“We want to make it a part of our community so that when we’re done, people can look at it and say, ‘this is nice, we’re pleased with what we have, we’re proud of this,’” Bigelow said.

The rough estimated goal is to raise $8 million to build the memorial while the Mayor has a personal goal of seeing at least 1,000 donors before the project actually starts.

“We’re well on our way, we’re over 100,” Bigelow said.