Home Community Highland Park’s permanent memorial receives $1 million donation

Highland Park’s permanent memorial receives $1 million donation

Highland Park’s permanent memorial receives $1 million donation

The City of Highland Park has received its first major contribution to a everlasting memorial it’s developing to honor those impacted by the 2022 Highland Park shooting.

Jon and Mindy Gray donated $1 million for the “place for reflection and remembrance,” based on a press release from the City.

Jon Gray is a Highland Park native and the president and chief operating officer of Blackstone, a number one global investment firm. The Grays helped spearhead initial relief efforts in 2022 with contributions to the Highland Park Community Foundation.

“I grew up not removed from where the devastating tragedy occurred and have cherished memories of decorating my bike to take part in the July 4th parade,” Jon Gray said in an announcement. “We proceed to mourn with the community and our hearts exit to the victims and their families. Beyond providing immediate support to those impacted, my wife, Mindy, and I wanted to affix within the City’s vital effort to create a long-lasting place of remembrance and reflection for Highland Park.”

The City has also created a dedicated website to the event of the place of remembrance. The positioning accommodates information on upcoming meetings, local self-care services, volunteer opportunities, and more.

In response to previous Record reporting, in early 2023, the town began a “multi-year process” to develop and install a everlasting site in honor of those impacted by the shooting, which killed seven and injured greater than 50, on July 4, 2022. Within the immediate wake of the tragedy, supporters built impromptu memorials near downtown Highland Park. Town then installed a short lived memorial for the seven victims near the City Hall rose garden. Officials have said that memorial will remain until a everlasting substitute is finished.

In January, the City’s Place of Remembrance Working Group — which comprises Mayor Nancy Rotering, City Manager Ghida Neukirch, Park District Executive Director Brian Romes, City Resiliency Manager Cynthia Vargas, and Councilmember Anthony Blumberg — reviewed a study on 11 similar memorials across the country, reminiscent of one in Parkland, Florida, to honor the victims of a 2018 school shooting.

The research of the memorials showed that on average they took five to 10 years from the related tragedy to finish and value between $5 million to $10 million; though, outliers existed in each category. Most of the projects also benefited from the establishment of a foundation to assist fundraising.

The working group will meet again on Friday, March 1, on the other hand on April 3.

“We’re lifted by the kindness of former Highland Park resident Jon Gray and his wife Mindy,” Mayor Nancy Rotering said in an announcement. “Thanks from the underside of our hearts for this generous gift that can help us create a everlasting place of remembrance, a critical a part of our community’s long-term resiliency.”

Until the everlasting memorial is complete, the temporary memorial situated on the Rose Garden adjoining to City Hall might be maintained, the City has pledged.

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