ST. LOUIS -- Thanks to the generosity of the credit union movement, the widespread effort to build a national memorial to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has made a huge leap forward.
So far, a number of credit unions, leagues, vendors and individuals have pledged more than $800,000 to help the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation reach its $100 million goal, said Hubert Hoosman, fundraising chair of the African-American Credit Union Coalition, which kicked off a campaign to encourage the credit union industry to donate.
A total of $800,000 has been pledged from the CU industry, but nearly $450,000 of that has already been donated, said Hoosman who is also president/CEO of Vantage Credit Union in Bridgeton, Mo.
"To me, there's never been a more right thing to do," Hoosman said. "Dr. King happened to be African-American but he is an American hero."
The groundbreaking ceremony for the first monument on the National Mall to honor an African-American took place in November 2006. Fundraising efforts spearheaded by the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation (http://www.mlkmemorial.org) have already netted the nearly $68 million needed to build the monument and an educational center that will feature Kings' life and accomplishments.
In December 1999, the National Capital Planning Commission and The Commission of Fine Arts approved the site location for King on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The memorial is scheduled to be complete by the fall of 2008.