Military Working Dogs Honored at Tribute Event with Tourism Grant

Highground Veterans Memorial Park receives $10,000 JEM Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. From left: Wisconsin Tourism Deputy Secretary Sara Klavas, Bob Solberg and Don Quicker

NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (May 10, 2018) – Highground Veterans Memorial Park is honoring military working dogs at a special tribute event with help from a $10,000 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. The Military Working Dog Tribute Dedication, which takes place on Saturday, June 2 at 1:00 p.m., honors all working military dogs and their handlers for their sacrifices and services in the United States military.

“We are proud to support Highground Veterans Memorial Park in their mission to honor those who have served our state and our country, including our military working dogs,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “‘The Military Working Dog Tribute Dedication is a great example of the work the Highground does to provide a place of healing and education for all.”

The Military Working Dog Tribute honors all working military dogs (scout, sentry and tracker) and their handlers for their sacrifice and service to the country. Handlers from across the U.S. will attend the memorial’s dedication to honor their K9 partners during the Vietnam War. The tribute is expected to attract 750 attendees, generating an estimated $56,000 in visitor spending in the area. Grant funds will go towards direct mail, print and broadcast marketing.

In 2017, the tourism economy in Wisconsin totaled $20.6 billion, a 3.2 percent increase from 2016. Tourism activity supports 195,255 jobs in Wisconsin, a seven-year addition of more than 23,255 jobs to the state’s total employment, an increase of 13.5%. Visitors generated $1.5 billion in state and local revenue. Business sales in Clark County reached $50.2 million, supporting 346 jobs and $2.9 million in state and local taxes.

In fiscal 2017, the Department funded 61 JEM projects, awarding a total of more than $1.1 million. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $34 million. JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The state can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first-year advertising and marketing costs, and provide support for second- and third-year projects with decreasing amounts for funding until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit http://industry.travelwisconsin.com.

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: www.travelwisconsin.com.

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Kristina LeVan | PR Coordinator | Wisconsin Department of Tourism | 608.266.0458 Office

201 West Washington Avenue PO Box 8690 Madison, WI 53708