June 21, 2024 at 2:09 p.m.

Midsummer Days to highlight beautification boosters, vets’ memorial


By DENISE MARTIN | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment
News

This year’s Midsummer Days Grand Marshal selection  highlights an ideal— and not an individual— in calling attention to work being done to bring a new veterans’ memorial to the City of North Branch. The non-profit North Branch Beautification Association was chosen by celebration organizers as Grand Marshal for this weekend’s Midsummer Days Parade.  

 The North Branch American Legion Post has been putting together Midsummer Days for 98 years.  The parade travels east to west along main street (Highway 95) starting at 2 p.m. Sunday June 23.

The three founders of the North Branch Beautification Association, Joe and wife Laura Scaramell and daughter Christine Larson, have been named by the American Legion Post to ride in the lead parade car Sunday. 

The Beautification Association was the brainchild of the Scaramells and Larson. Joe tells the Press that involvement in the veterans memorial came about because there needed to be a non-profit 501C3 to accept donations and be the contact on the project budget, so it was only natural for the Beautification Association to step in and help out.

The memorial design and development process has taken time since the Central Park location was authorized by city elected officials, but the needed steps are being accomplished by volunteers and generous businesses providing services as they are able –  like designing and printing a brochure for the project with up-to-date details.

The North Branch Beautification Association has a newly launched website (www.nbbeautification.com), Scaramell added.  The behind the scenes aspects of the project are right around the Legion Post’s keystone event, which is actually really good timing, Joe observed.

Although he isn’t a veteran, Scaramell has a passion for this memorial.  He said he moved to Minnesota from Long Island, NY right before the attack on the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, and he lost friends that day.  He became determined he would find a way to help remember and honor those who protect our freedoms.  

The committee originally started from a fundraiser for downtown hanging flower baskets, something it continues to make happen every summer. 

The memorial project plans to raise about $500,000 in order to be done in an appropriate fashion and to last forever as a point of pride for North Branch.



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