The Century Walk Corporation

Naperville folks come through again

April 16, 2003 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL)

The generous businesses and residents of Naperville have done themselves proud once again.

The spirit of giving and volunteerism that infuses our city has resulted in the creation of so many amenities over the course of time. These range from the original library to the Riverwalk, from Naper Settlement to Safety Town, from many of the facilities at North Central College to Century Walk.

Now, after an extensive fund-raising campaign, the commission that has been raising funds for the Commander Dan Shanower/Sept. 11 Memorial has announced that it has reached, and indeed exceeded, its monetary goal.

To date, pledges of both funds and in-kind services stand at $276,457, which exceeds the project budget of $269,000.

The memorial, which should be ready for a dedication ceremony on Sept. 11, will honor all the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. U.S. Navy Cmdr. Shanower, a Naperville Central High School graduate whose parents still live here, was killed in the attack on the Pentagon.

The memorial will be built on city land between the Municipal Center and the DuPage River. It will include an eternal flame, a perennial garden, benches and a 70-foot wall featuring faces drawn by schoolchildren intended to represent Sept. 11 victims. Central to the memorial will be a sculpture incorporating a beam from the World Trade Center, granite from Pennsylvania and 100 pounds of rubble from the damaged portion of the Pentagon.

As the commission raised funds, one of the important last donations was to have been a $40,000 grant from the state of Illinois. The grant had been approved but has been held up by Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the wake of the state's financial problems. That money may now never come.

However, rather than scale down its plans, the commission worked hard to raise the $40,000 from private funds and, to its credit and to the credit of Naperville businesses and residents, that last amount was successfully raised.

Napervillians should be proud of the work this commission has done, and also proud of the spirit of our community that makes major projects such as this one a success -- even in an economy that makes charitable giving difficult for both individuals and businesses.

As always, when an important project needed to be accomplished, Naperville came through.


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