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Unwavering Advocates Pledge to “Squad” Giving Society for The Highground Fundraising Campaign

The ongoing $4M capital campaign to build a Welcome Center at The Highground and support further Park improvements launched earlier this year. And thanks to an incredible and growing group of supporters, The Highground Rising has now raised $1.4M in cash and pledges.

Hardee’s of Neillsville, Colby and Medford, Denny & Mary Ann Solie, Crescendo Fundraising Professionals, LLC, Joan Jungwirth, Gerald & Alice Smith, Don Wittmann, American Legion Willis-Chapel Post #306, American Legion Post #175, VFW Post #8514, McNeely Financial Services, Inc., Tom & Anita Werthman, Verne & Laverne Vollrath, Pam Powroznik, VVA Chapter 639, James Feneli, Leonard & Connie Frye, Jud Holdings, LLC, American Legion Post #111, Bob & Kathy Barth, Larry & Patty Schwoch, American Legion Carl Nelson Post #324, Unity Bank Augusta, James & Nina Henchen, Michael Platt, Mark & Rosemarie Weber, Roy & Ginny Franz, Wood Trust Bank, Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co, Inc., Robert & Gloria Beyer, Partners Bank of Wisconsin, The Pineries Bank, American Legion Hanley-Ariss-Millin Post #5, State Bank Financial of Marshfield, Nels & Nancy Gunderson, Wayne Guenther, First State Bank, Robert Opelt, Roehl Transport, Inc., American Legion Brask-Fossum-Janke Post #185, Richard & Laura Culver, Verla Lysy and AMVETS Elmo Dahl Post #1 have pledged to the Squad Giving Society (between $2,500 – $9,999) for the campaign.

According to Paul Adamski, Chairman and Founder of The Pineries Bank, Stevens Point: “Will Lehner, my father-in-law, was a Pearl Harbor survivor. Our bank was pleased to support the construction of this new facility in his honor and in honor of all Veterans who have served.

Jeff Whitrock, Executive Vice President & Chief Market Development & Sales Officer at First State Bank, had this to say about the campaign: “The Highground’s mission to “honor, educate and heal” is so important to our Veterans and the families—and to help today’s and future generations understand their sacrifices. First State Bank is grateful to be a part of this project.”


The organization originally hoped to break ground on its 12,000 square foot Welcome Center in 2022; however, the continued shortage of building materials makes that impossible. The new course of action is to keep the Park functioning as is in 2022 and begin construction in 2023.

Focal points of the planned expansion will include:

  • A 12,000 square-foot Welcome Center with space for Veteran-focused events and programs, as well as mental health services
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities act (ADA), ensuring access to the entire Park and all memorial sites for disabled Veterans and visitors
  • Improved parking, allowing for safer access to the tributes and to the Welcome Center
  • Increased financial stability and long-term sustainability with the pay-off of the $450,000 mortgage

Markedly, The Highground is one of the country’s largest privately-funded, continuously-staffed Veterans parks in the nation. The Highground and Camp Victory is located in pristine Central Wisconsin on two breathtaking campuses. The 155-acre Park, located a few miles west of Neillsville along Highway 10, features an incredible view from the Plaza. Camp Victory, located approximately 18 miles north of the main site, sits on 295 thriving, wooded acres.

The organization has received limited government funding in its 35+ year history – paying tribute to Veterans of the past, present and future with a mission to Honor, Educate and Heal. Annual visitors are increasing with over 225,000 expected in the future.

Supporters are encouraged to help The Highground Complete the Mission. To pledge or donate, visit the campaign website at campaign.thehighground.us or contact Chris Pettis, Executive Director, at director@thehighground.us.