Representatives from Union Pacific Foundation and Union Pacific Railroad presented a $5,000 grant check to Palestine Tomorrow Inc. Thursday to support the future railroad park.
Palestine Tomorrow Inc. is a sub-fund of the Texas Area Fund Foundation, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization.
The Union Pacific Foundation supports projects of merits in cities through which their rail passes.
“Palestine Tomorrow Inc. is extremely grateful for this contribution. The grant supports the construction of sidewalks and dirt work, which is necessary for the first phase of the park,” PTI Treasurer Jean Mollard said. “This park is in recognition of the contribution of the employees and train companies that have built our town.”
Union Pacific was an initial supporter of the project and has donated in other ways since December 2011. Union Pacific donated rail car wheels that have been utilized in sculpture bases throughout the downtown, and will be featured in future park designs. Union Pacific employees also have donated their time and expertise.
Palestine Tomorrow Inc. is responsible for the life-sized bronze statue, Forging History, which is currently on display at the visitor center, but will be moved to the new park area.
The bronze statue was created by Colorado-based artist Dale Montagne. With his strong family ties to the city, Montagne has worked with PTI to also design the sculpture bases. The organization is still seeking donations of any amount to cover the cost of the sculpture and installation.
“Dale was gracious and allowed us to install his piece, but we still need to raise $25,000 to cover costs.” Mollard continued. “Without his support of this town we would not have been able to install the piece so quickly and while still owing funds.”
Attending the ceremony at the Palestine Visitor Center were: Joe Adams, Union Pacific Foundation; Roderick Riley, Union Pacific Shop; Steve Presley, Palestine Tomorrow Inc. board member; Jackson Hanks, Palestine Tomorrow Inc. board member; Sharon Grizzle, Palestine Tomorrow Inc. board member; Jean Mollard, Palestine Tomorrow Inc. board member; Will Brule, City of Palestine Council member; Wendy Ellis, Palestine Economic Development Director; Laura Westgate, Main Street Manager; Roy Crouch, Community Services Director.
For more information on the Palestine Tomorrow Inc. park project contact treasurer Mollard at 903-391-1002, or the Visitor Center at 903-723-3014.