Crooked River Ranch First Responders and Veterans Memorial Wayside

Dedication: 3 p.m. Monday at the corner of Chinook Drive and Clubhouse Road in Crooked River Ranch.

To donate or buy a brick paver: Contact John Meredith at 541-948-2897 or coav8r@yahoo.com .

Less than two weeks before its scheduled Memorial Day dedication, a new monument in Crooked River Ranch still had work to be completed.

Piles of gravel and dirt needed to be placed around the Crooked River Ranch First Responders and Veterans Memorial Wayside. Its 10 flagpoles, which will fly flags representing the United States, Oregon and different branches of the military and law enforcement, had to go up. An orange construction fence still surrounded the monument near the corner of Chinook Drive and Clubhouse Road, in the heart of the community of 5,000 people.

But organizers are determined to have it ready by its scheduled May 27 dedication.

“We’re close,” Lynnelle Morgan said. “It will be done.”

Morgan, who owns Black Dog Construction with husband Brian down the street from the memorial, has been working on the project with Navy veteran John Meredith.

It broke ground on Veterans Day but, like many Central Oregon projects, construction was delayed because of heavy snow in late February.

“This is an elderly community, and there are a lot of veterans and first responders,” Lynnelle Morgan said. “Anytime we can participate in something that brings joy to others, we want to be involved.”

Meredith dreamed up the project and worked with Lynnelle Morgan on coordinating volunteers and donations, Lynnelle said.

“It’s a place where people can come down and have solace in their loved ones who served in the past or are currently serving,” she said. “That’s what we want, is for people to have something to be proud of.”

Another part of the memorial that needs to go in are brick pavers, which will be inscribed with the names of veterans of the military or first responders. The bricks cost $50 each to be inscribed.

“This was put together as a memorial on the Ranch, but anybody who has a loved one can buy a brick to put in the memorial,” Lynnelle Morgan said.

While Black Dog has donated about 80 percent of the work on the memorial, Lynnelle Morgan said it has been an effort from people and groups inside and outside the ranch. They estimate the project would have cost about $20,000 without assistance. They include Knife River and Hooker Creek donating workers and material, as well as Jefferson County, which forgave the $700 permit fee and the Bend band of Brothers, which allowed donations to be donated through its 501(c)3 nonprofit.

The flagpoles, with an estimated $4,000 total value, were donated by Charlie Smith of Crooked River Ranch.

“The cost of doing it went way down and we could provide more for the finished product,” Brian Morgan said of the donations.

Lynnelle Morgan and Meredith have donated an estimated 40 hours a month on the project since work started.

“They have donated countless hours of time into coordination and donations and informing the public,” Brian Morgan said.

The Morgans encourage anyone in Central Oregon to attend the dedication, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday

“We’d love to have a lot of people to show support for veterans and first responders of any kind,” Lynnelle said.

— Reporter: 541-548-2186, gfolsom@redmond spokesman.com

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