Patriot Plaza moving forward

Patriot Plaza moving forward

Posted on March 20, 2015 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation

The spirit of the campaign to honor veterans, inspire patriotism within our communities and embrace freedom continues locally and beyond. Patriot Plaza, the outdoor ceremonial amphitheater and "museum" at Sarasota National Cemetery, is a gift to the nation from The Patterson Foundation.

As bookends to the June 2014 dedication of this artistic and historic space, the Legacy of Valor Campaign and the Veterans Legacy Summit were fitting ways to set the tone. The Veterans Legacy Summit introduced Patriot Plaza to a national audience of people and organizations who care about veterans and their families. The Legacy of Valor campaign cultivated collaborations among partners in our local region who demonstrated leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity and culture that led to significant impact and those partners are continuing the legacy today.

The Future of Patriot Plaza

To keep the momentum moving forward and to continue building awareness, The Patterson Foundation is sharing all of its lessons learned throughout the process to create Patriot Plaza. The donation of this space will remain a gift in perpetuity to our region.

The Patterson Foundation’s Military Initiative lead consultant is Sandy Beckley, who served 40 years in the VA National Cemetery Administration before retiring and leading the effort to construct the first-ever privately funded gift to a national cemetery. The path has been blazed and now there are five different cemetery communities working with Sandy to learn about the process. They're generating their own ideas about how to enhance the national cemeteries in their regions. Sandy is the connection on a national level for all lessons learned to gift an enhancement to a national cemetery.

Locally and beyond, Linda Gould, one of the coordinators for the Legacy of Valor Campaign and the Veterans Legacy Summit, is now the Community Connection consultant for community partnering campaigns and leveraging community partnerships.

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