Michigan District II Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus Father Louis Hennepin Province
Our Michigan District II “Operation Patriotism” project, “Patriot Fountain” will be dedicated this Sunday afternoon in Battle Creek, Michigan at 1:00 p.m. This will be a great exercise in showing patriotism and respect for our service members. Bring the children. Free food and refreshments after.
A Battle Creek fountain with sentimental meaning is being dedicated at its new home at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The 77-year-old fountain, which just a year ago was set to be demolished, was restored and now sits on the VA’s 200-acre property in Fort Custer, near the center’s greenhouse. The buzz about saving the fountain began last year when Battle Creek resident Kacie Brunner began a Facebook page with the idea and set-up coming from her co-worker, Melissa Matson. The fountain’s home had been a piece of property, north of the intersection of Dickman Road and Brydges Drive, that was being cleared and prepared for future development by Battle Creek Unlimited. It originally was most likely built in 1933 by Civilian Conservation Corps workers, according to archived documents. Brunner, a Battle Creek City Water Department employee, and her co-workers, had admired the fountain through the years, keeping it clean of brush. Brunner said one day when she and her crew were on the fountain’s former property working, her boss told her the property was scheduled to be demolished with 20 feet of fill put in, and that’s when she went to work to save the fountain. “I couldn’t bear the thought of it being bulldozed under,” Brunner said. “We thought nobody else knew about (the fountain),” Brunner said of her and her co workers. “But it turns out a lot of people knew about it and thought it was their little special place, too,” Brunner realized after getting so much response from the Facebook page. Todd Greenman, VA Medical Center public affairs officer, said the fountain is a perfect fit for the campus. “It really fits in well with the greenhouse, and it’s a quiet area where people can go — patients, family,” Greenman said. The move is all thanks to a donation to the VA from the Knights of Columbus, which gave $5,000 to have the fountain moved, restored and re-installed with running water. Each year the Knights of Columbus chooses a VA hospital and donates toward a project. This was Battle Creek’s year. “We were just glad it could be saved, and we call it the ‘Patriot Fountain,’” said Gus Groat, a member of the K of C. The Battle Creek organization will have a presentation during Sunday’s dedication, Groat said. Brunner, who said Battle Creek Unlimited gave her a deadline of six months to move the fountain or they would have to move on with their plans of demolition, is thankful the parties involved played a role in saving the fountain. “And the VA has done such a fantastic job,” she added. “I remember when this fountain was in the woods and at times looked like it had been completely forgotten about.” “There couldn’t be a better group of people to enjoy the fountain than the veterans,” Brunner said. “I’m so grateful for their sacrifices and I have a deep respect for them.”
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