$20,000 raised so far for Company F statue of soldier

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Company F Memorial Committee has this sign out at Rotary Park in Medina, trying to build support for a $90,000 campaign for a bronze statue and other improvements to the memorial at the former Armory in Medina, now the Orleans County YMCA on Pearl Street.

Rendering courtesy of Company F Memorial Committee – A fund-raising effort has started for a bronze statue of a soldier on top of an existing stone monument by the Orleans County YMCA.

Courtesy Medina Sandstone Society – Company F prepares to leave Medina Oct. 24, 1940 for training at Fort McClellan and active duty in WWII.

MEDINA – A group working on raising funds for a bronze statue of a soldier at the former Armory in Medina has reached $20,000 of a $90,000 goal.

The Company F Memorial Committee will accept bids until Friday for the project. A 7-foot-high statue of a soldier will go on top of an existing stone base that is 6 feet, 10 inches in height.

In October 2008, the stone monument was dedicated with plaques listing soldiers who trained at the Medina Armory and fought wars on behalf of the United States. The new fund-raising campaign includes repair two of the panels that were damaged due to vandalism, and making some name corrections and additions, said Bill Menz, the committee chairman. A new 30-foot-high flag pole will also be included.

The Committee has sent out 300 letters to community members, and placed brochures throughout the county. Donations are coming in, including recent checks for $1,000 from the Knights of Columbus Council 651 in Medina (in memory of Michael Mazur) and $1,100 from the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 204 in Medina.

Menz and the committee want to recognize the sacrifice of local soldiers and their families. The Medina Armory opened in 1901 for Company F, which formed in 1891. It trained at a different location prior to the Armory. In 1977, the National Guard left the Medina Armory, a site on Pearl Street. The site has been used as a YMCA for more than three decades.

Menz was one of the soldiers to train in the Armory. That was for 18 months when he was in the National Guard in the 1950s. He served on active duty in Greenland. He attained the rank of a corporal E-4.

The monument currently includes 550 names of local soldiers who fought in wars on behalf of the United States. The soldiers enlisted and trained at the Medina Armory for conflicts from 1898 to 1945 including the Spanish-American War, Mexican-American, World War I and World War II.

In 2006, a group of Medina veterans, their family members and representatives from the Medina Sandstone Society embarked on a project to provide a permanent tribute to the 550 soldiers from Orleans County and the surrounding area who joined Company F.

After two years of planning, fund-raising and building the monument, it was dedicated on Oct. 14, 2008.

Any donations for the statue can be mailed to Company F Monument, P.O. Box 522, Medina NY, 14103. For more information on the latest efforts to improve the memorial, click here.