County Dedicates Gaines Veterans Memorial Park
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (Feb. 26, 2019) – Charlotte County dedicated the William R. Gaines Jr. Veterans Memorial Park in a ceremony Saturday. Gaines, a Charlotte High School graduate, was killed in the bombing of the Marines Corps barracks Oct. 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon. More than 160 people attended the ceremony at the park on Edgewater Drive in Port Charlotte, including members of Gaines' family and fellow veterans of the Marines' peacekeeping mission in Lebanon,.
Speakers included commissioners Ken Doherty and Stephen R. Deutsch, Fire Chief Bill Van Helden, Sheriff Bill Prummell, state Rep. Michael Grant, Gaines' Marine comrade Jeff Mosher and his younger brother, Michael Gaines. The park was dedicated not only in honor of Gaines, but all veterans and first responders.
The Gaines family set up a foundation to raise money to fund improvements at the former Sunrise Park and seeded the foundation with a $500,000 donation. Plans include new amenities such as a playground, walkway, bocce courts, picnic pavilion, exercise stations and an observation tower.
The William R. Gaines Jr. Veteran Memorial Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible as permitted by law. Their tax identification number is 81-539-3249. To donate by mail, send a check to: William R. Gaines Jr. Veteran Memorial Fund, 3280-55A Tamiami Trail, Unit 121, Port Charlotte, FL 33952.