St. Mary alumni association receives grant

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe

The St. Mary of the Plains Alumni Association was a recipient of a $2,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas that will go towards completing the Vietnam memorial project which launched in September 2019 with the monument on the former St. Mary of the Plains campus in Dodge City.

“We are both delighted and appreciative of the foundation’s generosity and vision on this project that recognizes and honors three young St. Mary of the Plains High School graduates who gave their lives in service to our nation and their fellow soldiers during the Vietnam War,” said alumni director emeritus Janet Kliesen in a news release.

“It’s placement on our former campus grounds ensures that they will forever be associated with the school and the people of this area’s communities.”

According to the alumni association, the funds will be used for the area surrounding the monument including landscaping and finishing its plaza.

A near six-month fundraising campaign for $25,000 concluded with the grant from the community foundation. The alumni association had raised $24,300 in the lead up to the community foundation grant.

The property and facilities at the St. Mary campus is owned by the city of Dodge City which gave the alumni association permission to place the memorial near the Cavalier baseball field.

The monument is on the west side of the diamond near the walking trail.

“This memorial honors PFC James L. Nufer, Dodge City, PFC Richard J. Conrardy and SGT Gregg F. Steimel, both of Wright,” said Noller. “We believe this project is a way of saying thank you to those young men and their families for their service to our country and our continued freedom.”

A blessing and dedication of the monument are set to take place next summer at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 12.

For the project's completion, the alumni association is still accepting donations which can be sent to SMPAA, P.O. Box 416, Dodge City, KS 67801.

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