GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — Dozens of veterans, their families and everyday community members gathered outside the United States Marine Corps Memorial on Saturday to watch the unveiling of new lights after the old ones were damaged due to heavy rain.
“It means a lot to people, there are a lot of memories here, lots of ashes here,” Paula Sarlis, the President of the USMC Memorial Foundation said.
Sarlis first met with FOX31/Channel 2 reporter Gabby Easterwood in July after learning the cost to fix the damaged lights was well up into the thousands.
“The lighting was ruined by the weather, it got into the control box and shorted everything out,” Sarlis said.
FOX31 was the first news team to talk to Sarlis about the damage, and she said Saturday during a follow-up interview that FOX31 and Channel 2 viewers went above and beyond with donations.
“We got an estimate it would cost $15,000 to fix it, and FOX31 was right on it doing the story first,” Sarlis said.
In total, Sarlis said the one story done by Easterwood raised $7,000 for the foundation.
“So when you see your audience tell them thank you for us and that we love them,” Sarlis said.
All the money was able to add new solar lights for the flag poles and two big lights for the wall, so everyone driving by can remember the appreciation for the nation’s heroes.
Easterwood was presented with a certification of appreciation.
“Back when it was built it was the only thing in this area. It stuck out like a sore thumb,” Sarlis said.
The memorial was built back in 1977 and celebrated 46 years this year.