Granite Mountain Hotshots monument effort seeks additional funds to cover rising costs
'Yellowstone' actor records message to help
Now just a month away from the 10-year mark of the Granite Mountain Hotshot tragedy, the long-awaited monument on the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza reportedly has come up short on the funds needed.
Attributing the situation to a recent rise in costs for transportation and materials, the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Partnership is seeking an additional $111,000 to help get the monument installed on the courthouse plaza before the 10-year mark of the tragedy on June 30, 2023.
To help get the word out, a face familiar to fans of the television show “Yellowstone” has joined the fundraising push.
In a video that the partnership is circulating, actor Forrie Smith, who plays cowboy Lloyd Pierce on “Yellowstone,” talks about the loss of the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire nearly 10 years ago.
“June 30, 2013, 19 brave souls lost their lives,” Smith says. “Fire overran them; you all know what happened. It seems like it was just yesterday.”
The local community and leaders later came together to form the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial Partnership, Smith said, noting, “With that, they commissioned a monument designed by Miss Deborah Fellows, a good friend of mine; I call her Sis.”
The community ultimately donated $445,000 to pay for the monument, “But with the rising costs of shipping and materials and everything, we’re a little short of money,” Smith said. “About $111,000 short to get that statue put up.”
Smith concludes the video by noting that the 19 fallen Hotshots “need remembering.”
For those who want to help, checks can be mailed to 239 S. Cortez St., Prescott, Arizona, 86303. Or, donors can visit the Granite Mountain Hotshots website at www.gmhsmemorial.com, where they will find information about the monument project, as well as an option for online donations.
Fellows’ monument design features a lone Hotshot, backed by granite slabs that will be inscribed with the names of the 19 fallen Hotshots, as well as an image of the alligator juniper tree that the Hotshots saved just days prior to the Yarnell Hill Fire.
The monument will be located on the Cortez Street side of the courthouse plaza, where a concrete pad has already been prepared.
This past week, Bruce Martinez, president of the partnership, said the group still hopes to have the monument in place in time for the events commemorating the somber 10-year point of the tragedy on June 30, 2023.
Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or email@example.com.
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