Posted: 5/24/2023

Dedicated in 1992, this stainless-steel globe represents the broad reach of World War II. We are proud to support our members and the communities we serve with many donations throughout the year. Many of the donations we provide are monetary, however we also provide gift baskets and outdated/damaged product to the local Humane Societies.

To show our continued support for safety and agriculture, each year, nearly half of our donations are provided to local FFAs, fire departments and food pantries. We also choose one larger project each year to be the recipient of a donation. The Highground Rising project was the recipient of this donation as we felt it touches many lives with its support of our service men and women.

Some of you may be familiar with the 155-Acre The Highground Veterans Park located three miles west of Neillsville, WI. The park’s website – – tells us that this is “The nation’s leading, and largest, manned veterans park. Started in 1988 to honor veterans of the Vietnam War, The Highground now includes tributes to those who served in the World Wars, the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf – Desert Storm to the present. Other tributes honor the WASP, the Military Working Dog, the Nurse and others.

Walkways of The Highground main plaza are lined with hundreds of granite Honor Stones purchased by families or groups to honor loved ones. The park includes four miles of walking trails with benches for rest and reflection, a gift shop, a museum and an administration building.  The Capital Campaign In the spring of 2020, the board of The Highground launched a capital campaign that would provide for the future of the park. It would pay off debt, build a new 12,000-squarefoot Welcome Center, make all areas of the park handicap accessible and improve parking and safety.

The capital campaign was given the name “The Highground Rising.” The focal point of the campaign is the planned Welcome Center, which will house the museum, giv e veterans groups an indoor venue for large meetings and shelter in inclement weather, and provide space for individual veterans services. “Our veteran’s use of the park has simply out grown our present facilities,” says Liz Hamilton, marketing coordinator for The Highground.

She notes that The Highground is visited by a quarter million people annually. This number is projected to grow as organizations and individuals add more tributes and honor stones to the park. Because of limited indoor space, most events--veterans reunions and support group meetings and the like--are held outside. “We feel badly if they have to be outside when its raining or when the weather is chilly,” continues Liz. The new Welcome Center will make space for these meetings inside. It will also provide a climate-controlled home for the park’s museum exhibits and storage, which is growing every year as veterans donate artifacts from various international conflicts.

The center will also feature privacy rooms for PTS counseling and other veterans services. The Highground board of directors is seeking $4 million through The Highground Rising campaign. To date, about 40% of that amount has been raised. Groundbreaking for the new Welcome Center is planned for Spring of 2023. To learn more about The Highground Rising campaign, or to make a donation, visit www://, or call Chris Pettis, the park’s executive director at 715-743-4224.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Highground Veterans Park is located at W7031 Ridge Rd. / P.O. Box 457 / Neillsville, Wisconsin /

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