The nonprofit foundation that built and maintains the Women in Military Service for America Memorial still owes $2 million for the construction of the Washington, D.C. memorial due to a lack of donations.
A payment schedule is now being worked out between the Clark Construction Group, Inc. and the foundation. Michael Alto, project executive at Clark Construction, said of the memorial foundation’s president Gen. Wilma L. Vaught, “The bill has been due. She just doesn’t have the money to pay it. She can’t tell me, ‘I’ll have the money in two weeks and then I’ll pay you,’ because she relies on donations. She doesn’t have a crystal ball to say when these donations are coming in.”
Some have told Vaught that raising money for “women’s-type projects” is inherently difficult. She said, “You would think, as you look at our project, that our sources of donations… would be the defense industry and those industries which are specifically oriented to merchandising that appeals to women, like cosmetics, for example. But these same organizations or corporations that specialize in women’s products say they have been overwhelmed with requests for money.” She also notes that the memorial needs more publicity because many, even those on military bases still do not know it exists.
Despite the foundation’s debt, however, Vaught is confident that she can lure big donors. “There’s no panic with this foundation,” she said. “None.”