From left, SPEDA President and CEO Chris Girdler, Horse Soldier co-founders John Koko and Mark Nutsch, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley, Brig. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton, and Horse Soldier co-founders Bob Pennington and Scott Neil present a check for $4,500 to go toward the new downtown Somerset veterans' park. 


Perhaps the best part of Wednesday’s “Whiskey & War Stories” luncheon at The Center for Rural Development was the announcement that came at the end.

Chris Girdler, President and CEO of SPEDA (Somerset-Pulaski Economic Development Authority) announced that downtown Somerset would soon be home to a brand-new veterans’ park — one made possible in large part by Wednesday’s exciting event. 

“This is something that many of us believe will be an incredible addition to downtown Somerset as well as all of Pulaski County,” said Girdler. “Somerset-Pulaski County is such an incredibly patriotic community, and I can think of nothing better to be able to celebrate that patriotism as well as being able to honor those veterans and warriors who’ve served our country and allow us to live in the freedom under which we are today.”

Proceeds from “Whiskey & War Stories” went toward the project, announced Girdler. At the close of the event, Girdler and the members of Horse Soldier Bourbon team joined with Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley, and Brig. Gen. Haldane B. Lamberton for the official presentation of a check worth $4,500, for that purpose.

This officially launched fundraising efforts for the project.

The artist’s rendering of the park by Deco Architects features an image of a tank on a pedestal with the words “United We Stand” emblazoned upon it, and emblems for each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The location of the park has not officially been announced. However, in a Somerset City Council meeting October 12, the city purchased two properties on the corner of North Main and Oak Street, and it was said at the time that they were expected to become the site of a veteran’s memorial park.

Girdler said that he hopes to finalize a location and timeline for the park soon. 

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