Momentum continues in the fundraising effort that will create the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial.
The fundraising goal of $1.9 million will fund the construction of a Living Memorial that is free to everyone who wishes to honor our veterans and first responders.
5K Run Draws a Crowd For Memorial
The Second Annual Veterans and First Responders 5K Run/Walk and Memorial Mile Run/Walk drew close to 300 participants on May 19 at Naranja Park in Oro Valley. The event helped raise funds for the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial at Naranja Park. 
 
“We are so pleased that so many people came to run, walk and support the Living Memorial,” said Executive Board member Vickie Shoopman. “We hope they continue to keep the memorial in mind and at the forefront as we work to raise the funds to honor our veterans and first responders.” 
 
The Living Memorial will create a space in which we honor and celebrate our heroes while educating future generations about the meaning of service and sacrifice to our country. There will be no charge to visit the memorial, where young people can learn that liberty and safety are attained through selfless acts of kindness and valor. They will learn the history of the cost of their freedom. Adults can see a physical representation of the timeless determination it takes to maintain our status as the greatest nation on earth. Families and friends who have suffered loss can visit a solemn place of remembrance.
Board Member Believes Heroes Deserve Our Gratitude
Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial is honored to have Kay Williams as a member of its executive board.

Kay’s involvement in honoring and celebrating our veterans is personal. Her father lost part of his foot during his service in World War II in the European theater. Her brother came home from the Vietnam conflict with post-traumatic stress, having seen his two closest friends killed. Her nephew is permanently disabled from the effects of an IED explosion in Afghanistan. 

“When you see the impact on our veterans, first responders and their families, you want to ensure there is a permanent place of honor and recognition for them, their service and sacrifice,” says Kay, pictured above on the left with board member Curt Stowell. “Our military, our veterans and our first responders stood or continue to stand watch, protect us, act when necessary, and always serve. They deserve our recognition and gratitude. This memorial serves as a singular place for generations to come to know the sacrifice that our freedom and security demanded from those who serve and continue to serve.”
Pathway of Heroes Honors All
Upon entering the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial, visitors will walk along the Pathway of Heroes with 10-foot walls representing the branches of the Department of Defense and First Responders. A 24-foot high obelisk at the center will represent the strength and courage of our heroes.

The fundraising goal of $1.9 million will provide for the construction of the Living Memorial to be located on 2.5 acres in Naranja Park, allocated by the Town of Oro Valley, in full view of the Catalina Mountains’ Pusch Ridge. It will contain art, monuments and landscaping that are symbolic to all branches of the Department of Defense and First Responders and will be free to all visitors.
P.O. Box 68712 | Oro Valley, AZ 85737 | www.soazveteransfirstrespondersmemorial.org