This Saturday, August 23rd Starting @ 2 PM
By Lisa Morgan
When former marine and Cathedral City High School teacher Lee Wilson, Jr. approached the owners of Palm Canyon Road House with his mission, there was no hesitation whatsoever to join him in his cause ~ the fundraising for “Hero Banners” creating a “Walk of Heroes” along Palm Canyon Drive in downtown Palm Springs and at the Palm Springs Air Museum. The purpose? To honor all local residents of Palm Springs and Palm Springs Unified School District who in time of war gave their lives for our freedom.
“I stopped counting after 100 the number of cities in Southern California that honor those in active duty overseas. The difference here is, we are honoring those who died serving our country during war, some of whose stories were never told due to censorship at the time. The purpose of the project is to honor all local residents of Palm Springs and Palm Springs Unified School District who, in time of war, gave their lives for our freedom. Sponsored by the Palm Springs American Legion, Owen Coffman, Post 519, friends and family of our 27 heroes are invited to leave photos that can be used during patriotic events and to keep as a permanent record in our archives. We especially need photos and information about our World War II, Korea and Vietnam heroes.”
So far the support for the project has been phenomenal, but the goal has yet to be met. “Out of 54 banners total, we only need 13 more sponsors,” shared Wilson. “For downtown Palm Canyon Drive, we need sponsors for the following fallen heroes: Benjamin F. Ward, Albert James Reaume, Stephen P. Pavel Jr., Vernon M. Troutt, David K. Manson and Russell G. Torres. For the Palm Springs Air Museum, we need sponsors for the following heroes: Albert James Reaume, Leonard Ray Bryant, Pete Nila, Stephen P. Pavel Jr., Vernon M. Troutt, Gary Lee Saxton, and Leveret Roscoe Prosky.”
On Saturday, August 23, local musicians will be turning out in droves to help raise money for this honorable project. Palm Canyon Road House will be hosting bands starting at 2:00 PM. The list of local talent lining up to donate their time to participate has been overwhelming: The Hoochie Coochie Band, Wicked Jed, Clay Christopher, Matt Barnes, Peter Harbur, Jimi Hiel, Mark Fry, Erik Mouness, Ron Anchak, Lou Cope, Kevin Quinn, Richard Lindsey, Paul Vigil, Stan Joyce, Ed Todd, Chris Sigwald, Kymm Galvan, R Buckle Road members Greg Vincent, Michael Pedersen and Lisa Lynn Morgan, and international reggae recording artist, RASUN and many more. Closing the night is Ethan Vega and 10 Fold at 9pm.
“Proceeds from the August 23rd event will go towards purchasing the hardware to mount the banners at the air museum,” said Wilson. “Roughly, we need around $4,000 to purchase enough brackets to display all the banners. Think about it, people from all over the world visit our air museum! They will see our banners and know we honor our own!” He added, “Cathedral City, a PURPLE HEART CITY, needs sponsors for banners too! Cathedral City will hang banners for the following heroes: Albert James Reaume, Leonard Ray Bryant, Gary Lee Saxton, Ming Sun, and Suresh Abayasekara Krause, all Cathedral City residents. Cathedral City will display banners on HWY 111 in front of City Hall and in Patriot Park, on the corner of Dinah Shore and Date Palm in time for the Healing Fields Flag Ceremonies in November. We need sponsors for Reaume, Bryant and Saxton for Cathedral City.”
Donations can be made during the event, and a petition will also be on hand showing the City of Palm Springs the public support for the hanging of the banners during select national holidays. People wishing to donate to the Palm Springs Hero Banner project but are unable to attend; please send a check or money order made out to the Palm Springs American Legion Post 519. In the memo portion of the check; please write HERO BANNERS.
Palm Springs American Legion Post 519
Attn: Dave Stevely, Finance Officer
400 N. Belardo Rd.
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Banners cost $70 each, however brackets can cost $300. In the unlikely event they raise more money than needed for our banner project, all additional funds will be made to the Legion Scholarship Program.
For more information about the event, contact Greg at Palm Canyon Road House at (760) 327-4080 or through their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/palmcanyon.roadhouse
You can also find updated information by requesting to be added to the Facebook group page: Palm Springs Fallen Hero Banner Project