KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The eternal flame at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial will no longer be extinguished after July 4, thanks to an individual and business grassroots fundraising campaign. The flame that burns atop the 217-foot Liberty Memorial tower was to be extinguished due to budget cuts unless $45,000 (the annual flame operating costs) in private donations was raised. Pioneer Services, a Kansas City-based company, donated $5,000 to keep the flame lit between Memorial Day and July 4, and offered to match all contributions up to a total of $22,500.
At a rally this morning at the base of the Liberty Memorial, it was announced that $41,000 had been raised from individuals and corporate donations, with contributions ranging from $5.00 to $5,000. With Pioneer Services' matching contribution, the Save the Flame campaign raised more than $60,000 in less than four weeks.
At this morning's celebration event, attended by several hundred persons, National World War I Museum President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Alexander, and Pioneer Services President Tom Holcom, thanked those individuals and corporations that stepped up over the last several weeks to save the flame.
"The eternal flame is a symbol of our eternal gratitude for those who sacrificed so much," said Holcom. "I'm proud to have been part of an effort recognizing the sacrifice of our veterans, young and old, and have been amazed at the outpouring of support from the local community and across the country."
"We truly appreciate the individual and business grassroots campaign that helped saved the flame," said Alexander. "In particular, I would like to thank Pioneer Services for their leadership in this effort, 106.5 FM The Wolf, and The Kansas City Star for making this so successful."
Other major contributors to the campaign included Bank of Kansas City, Lockton Insurance Co., and the William T. Kemper 2nd Charitable Trust; each donated $5,000 to the effort.
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