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Statue to honor cadet nurses in American wars nearing fundraising goal

Brad Williams

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A new statue to honor cadet nurses who have served in American wars is expected to be unveiled in La Crosse this July.

Fundraising for the roughly $40,000 statue is nearly complete — only $4,000 more is needed — according to project promoter Louie Ferris.

The local veteran is seeking money from donors big and small but Ferris finds that the small-scale givers are often more generous than the larger ones.

“One of the large organizations, like the hospitals, clinics or nurses organizations, they don’t seem to be all that enthusiastic,” Ferris said. “They wish luck and think it’s a great idea but are not giving any contributions.”

July 9 is the dedication Ferris scheduled in Veterans Freedom Park in north La Crosse. The most recent statue in the park is the World War I doughboy, installed there last October.

Ferris says those war memorials are quite popular.

“A lot of people, especially Korean War veterans, keep coming,” Ferris said. “It’s become a destination for many of them. But I want to see something for the (women) out there.”

River Bank is collecting donations for the nurse statue, to be modeled after retired nurse Marian Pavela of La Crosse.

The veterans’ park is west of Copeland Park, off Clinton Street.