Memorial Foundation Report – September 2023

Welcoming New Board Members

The annual memorial services on October 7th and 8th are ready to proceed. Reminder the Candlelight Service will start at 7:00 pm on October 7th and the Sunday morning Memorial Service at 10:30 am on October 8th. The Sunday morning service will be live-streamed. Even if the weather does not work in our favor, we will be holding both services either in the Museum (plan B) or Auxvasse Elementary School 5 miles north (plan C) if the weather looks to be severe.

We are honoring eight Line of Duty names plus 150 others who passed during 2022 and may that we missed from 2021 and 2020. Due to the much larger group of names than usual, the Foundation will be deferring all of the 2023 names to the 2024 services. If you have any questions about the October services, please contact me at keith.smith1974@yahoo.com or 314-709-0760.

We are pleased to announce that a brick engraving recovery technology may now allow for the revitalization of faded bricks to nearly new condition. Several of you have expressed concern regarding the fading look on several engraved bricks. As a Foundation we had arrived at serious discussions for re-engraving of existing brick vs. actual replacement. We will be monitoring how well this recovery process works in the short and long term. Note: we were only able to complete half of the bricks requiring attention this year and focused on what we saw as the most deserving at this time. The balance will be completed in 2024 providing the recovery process sustains the expected improvements.

By the time you are reading this article, the museum building will have all utilities fully functional, and the restrooms fully completed. We are committed to completing the interior in phased construction if necessary, depending on fundraising. We now have a utility functional building that awaits the next steps. Special thank you to WSKF Architects in North Kansas City, Missouri which partnered with the Foundation on this project 2-years ago and most recently PCE (Professional Contractors & Engineers) out of Columbia for managing this important next phase in completing the interior.

Janet Cain

The Foundation is pleased to announce Janet Cain and Tracy Gray as new board members. Janet Cain also serves as the FFAM Assistant Director for District No. 1 (North-Central MO), a position she has held for the past 15 years. Janet calls Braymer, MO home, has been in the fire service since 1999, and is a member of the Shoal Creek Fire Protection District. Janet just retired from a 30-year nursing career in June and starting a 2nd career as a Para-Professional with the Hamilton, MO School District. Janet has assisted with the annual memorial services for the past 15 years and brings that experience to the board.

Tracy Gray

Tracy Gray started his fire service career as a volunteer with the Fulton Fire Depaartment in 1990, was hired full time in 1993, and then Columbia in 2002 retiring as a Captain in 2022.

Tracy also started working part-time with MU FRTI in 2002 and is now full-time as their Special Programs Coordinator.

Tracy was active with the Columbia Fire Department Honor Guard for 15 years and accepted Honor Guard Commander responsibilities for our annual service for the past 5 years. Tracy brings a unique talent to the Foundation as he serves as the Plans Chief for the annual NFFF services, a position he has held for the past 9 years.

Thank you for your time and the continued support of your memorial and future museum.