Westfields Hospital Donates $50K to Freedom Park Center
Landmark Project continues to gain support
Hudson Star-Observer, December 14, 2023.
Freedom Park Center, VFW Post 10818’s ambitious undertaking to build a facility to serve veterans, seniors and youth on the shores of Hatfield Lake continues to gain support. On Nov. 20. Westfields Hospital and Clinic President and CEO Steve Massey presented a $50,000 donation to VFW members Ken House and Dave Green in support of the project, citing its alignment to improve community wellness. “Westfields Hospital & Clinic is happy to support this community project. Having an expanded space for our seniors and veterans to come together aligns with our mission of improving health and wellness for our community. We are excited to see the progress in the facility and join as one of the many supporters of the project,” Massey said.
The 18,000-square foot complex scheduled to open in 2025 has benefited from the Department of Defense’s Innovative Readiness Training program. Freedom Park Center has enlisted local construction industry professionals willing to volunteer their time to train soldiers over the past 5 summers with valuable skills they can use during their military service and wartime missions in exchange for their labor and equipment to build the facility. House noted that Westfield’s donation will go toward building materials for the new facility and that additional partnerships are likely as the project moves toward completion and beyond.
“We’re grateful to Steve and Westfields for their support and look forward to partnering with them on programs at Freedom Park Center that will contribute to the health and wellness of our community, ” House said.
Tom Lindfors is a western Wisconsin freelance journalist and former Star-Observer reporter. Contact him at email@example.com
VFW Post 10818, October 1, 2023.
At the end of the summer, military units from Wisconsin and Minnesota ended their third season of construction activities on Freedom Park Center.
In 2021, the 612th Engineer Utilities Detachment from Duluth elevated the topography of the building site using fill donated by the New Richmond office of the Canadian National Railroad and readied the site for the next season of construction.
In 2022, the 367th Engineer Battalion from St. Cloud, MN laid the building foundation and, using giant grading equipment donated by the military, excavated a 1000-foot trench to connect the facility to municipal utilities.
2023, the 372nd Engineer Brigade from Fort Snelling, MN and other units continued construction. After pouring the floor in early summer, the crews erected walls and trusses for the roof (not shown). Roofing and sheathing will be added before winter and final construction will resume in the spring.
The labor and equipment provided by the Department of Defense IRT program leverages all cash donations and contributions of building supplies, helping make Freedom Park Center a reality.