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Tuolumne County Women Veterans’ Memorial Competition Announced

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A Memorial Design competition has been announced to acquire a suitable design for the Tuolumne County Women Veterans Memorial.

Frank Smart, Vietnam Veteran and Veteran Activist, was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

The Memorial will be built on Fuller Drive in Twain Harte next to the local Press Café and across the street from the Rock Café.

Last December the County Board of Supervisors approved the use of the 35 foot by 31 foot space surrounded by a split rail fence at the entrance to the county owned swimming Pool.

The competition will begin on Monday, February 28th, 2022 and the final date for submissions will be Sunday, April 30th, 2022. The submissions will be turned into the Aloft Art Gallery at 105 S. Washington Street in downtown Sonora, no later than 4m that day. The gallery is open 10 am until 4pm, 7 days a week.

The design submissions will be graded by women veterans, art association members, and Smart, whose idea it was to build such a Memorial.

The competition is open to full, or part time residents of Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador counties but smart noted that all submissions will be ultimately be considered regardless of where the designer lives. There will be a $500 stipend for the winning design and the designers name will be on the front of the memorial.

The project will be built under the auspices of the Twain Harte Area Chamber of Commerce, whose current President is Dianne Knepper, and in conjunction with the Mother Lode Art Association. A six-woman Veterans Advisory Committee is also helping design the criteria for the Memorial.

“It is high time Tuolumne County recognizes the contribution of women veterans,” Smart said. “They have served this country before it was the USA and often overlooked or their deeds are lumped in with the men/”

Today women represent 17% of active-duty military personnel and 15% of the veterans populations, according to Smart.

Increasingly women are taking on more combat-related roles in the military, flying combat missions in jet aircraft, flying armed, attack helicopters, leading units in the Military Police, in the Engineers, and several women have completed Ranger training.

The Memorial will be built with funds raised by selling Commemorative Bricks, applying for grants and public subscription. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to join this effort and show their appreciation for the sacrifices of women and veterans throughout the history of this nation.

Information on the Memorial Design competition will be availabl3e on the Mother Lode Art Association’s website and there will be packets of the Design Criteria available at the Aloft Art Gallery.

For more information, contact Smart at fsmart@rocketmail.com

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.

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