Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

May 17, 2013

Memorial Hall Breakfast funds to go for a cause

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Pleasantville — The Pleasantville Legion is hosting a breakfast tomorrow morning, Saturday, May 18, with a special plan for the proceeds. Legion members have set a goal to create and mount plaques honoring those from the Pleasantville School District who gave their lives in service to their country.

The plaques will be mounted on the walls in the entrance of the Pleasantville Memorial Hall. The hall is still owned by Marion County. Legion members Dennis Murphy and Gordon Mecham say that approximately $80,000 has been invested in several renovations to the building in recent years, with more planned as funding becomes available.

The hall is popular for family and community events, something for which the Legion is thankful and wants to see it utilized as much as possible. However, Murphy believes that people occasionally lose sight of what the building is intended to be.

"This old building is a memorial hall," Murphy said. "I think people have forgotten that."

The first plaque is already in place. Funding for the plaque was donated by Bill and Shirley Carter, and it honors the memories of Steve Raney and Ivyl Bender. These young men were killed within four days of each other in February 1968, while serving in the Vietnam War.

Though this plaque has been paid for, the Legion has already acted to say that similar memorials will be created and erected for all of the service people who meet the criteria. Donations, however, are still accepted and appreciated, to ease the Legion's burden.

Part of the challenge of the plaque project is finding everyone who meets the criteria. Murphy has been searching Marion County's genaology to try to find all who died while serving. Plaques will be erected for those who not only were lost during combat, but lost their lives in other ways while serving in the Armed Forces.

If you know of someone from the Pleasantville School District who died while serving, you are encouraged to contact Murphy or Mecham. Donations can also be directed to them. 

Saturday's breakfast is scheduled from 7-10 a.m. at the memorial hall.

Look for more on the hall, and this project, in the May 24 print edition of the Journal-Express.