WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A group that’s been working for years to build a permanent memorial for the victims of the Station Nightclub fire has reached its fundraising goal.
The Station Memorial Foundation announced Monday it’s raised $2 million for the project.
The group said it plans to hold a dedication ceremony in the spring to unveil a memorial in honor of the 100 people who died on Feb. 20, 2003.
The Leadership Committee said it originally planned to hold a ceremony this month but were forced to postpone due to construction delays.
“It’s important that the park be fully complete to respect the memory of those who died there. The full effect of this unique sanctuary will best be realized when both building and landscaping are complete.”
According to former Gov. Donald Carcieri, co-chairman of the Station Fire Memorial Park Leadership Committee, the fundraising goal was achieved from both corporate and personal contributions.
“We are grateful to Rhode Island business – large and small – who stepped up and contributed in meaningful ways to this Memorial Park. We are also extremely grateful for the thousands of Rhode Islanders who in some way were toughed by this tragedy and responded so generously. I can’t underscore enough the collaborative nature of this undertaking which starts with Gina Russo, a survivor and co-chair of this project who has poured her heart and soul into every aspect of the Memorial.”
The Memorial Park will include individual granite monuments with each victim’s name and date of birth, a gathering courtyard, memorial steps that are each dedicated to a unique group that played an important role in the tragedy, and a commemorative walkway, all surrounded by twelve memorial gardens and stone walls.
Gina Russo is also a co-chair of the campaign, and a survivor. She said, “We’re excited to be giving this to the families they deserve this after losing their family members and for all of us we’re lost our friends and great people passed, so it’s good for us to be giving this to them.”
The memorial is being built by the Gilbane Building Company. Carcieri credited the company for supervising both in-kind and paid contractors involved in the construction.