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House Passes H.R. 588, Clearing a Path for Proper Recognition of Major Donors within the Education Center at The Wall

Senate will consider bill to eliminate "huge hurdle" to Education Center fundraising efforts

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This evening, with a 398-2 floor vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 588, the Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgement Act of 2013. The bipartisan bill, authored by Congressman Don Young (R-AK) and co-sponsored by 38 other members of Congress, now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration and action. When enacted, the bill will correct a problem with the original legislation that authorized the construction of the Education Center at The Wall, making it possible for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) to acknowledge donor contributions by displaying, inside the facility, an appropriate statement or credit acknowledging the contribution.

Read the full text of the bill here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:h.r.588:

VVMF's president and founder, Jan C. Scruggs says, "We are grateful for the work already done by Congressman Young and the bill's co-sponsors in the House. We are eager to get working in the Senate, and to work with Majority Leader Harry Reid, Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski to see this through."

The Education Center was authorized in 2003 by the 108th Congress. Enabling legislation mandates that it be privately funded. While vigorous fundraising continues, the enabling legislation includes a restriction on donor recognition that inhibits a more successful effort among some of the potentially most generous donors. Recognizing donors in meaningful ways is an effective means of cultivating stronger relationships that may lead to additional, larger gifts, and stronger personal engagement.  Some potential donors over the years have delayed giving donations because of this issue.  H.R. 588 removes that restriction while respecting the inviolability of the National Mall.

The bill allows only short, discrete, and unobtrusive acknowledgments or credits; does not permit any advertising slogans or company logos; and complies with National Park Service (NPS) guidelines for indoor donor recognition. Final design approval will be granted by the NPS and will look similar to that on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial and other sites on the Mall.  The donor recognition envisioned for the Education Center will be inside this 43,000 sq. feet underground facility and will not be visible from the National Mall.  

Scruggs continues, "The Education Center has long since passed the design approval process and is now ready to move forward. Time is of the essence, and H.R. 588 is a clear, concise, and straightforward fix to a problem that has severely inhibited our fundraising efforts among substantial donors."

About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall

Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War.

The Education Center at The Wall will be a place on our National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. With plans to begin construction in 2015, the Center is a technologically-innovative learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact that the Vietnam War and other wars had on their friends and family members, their hometowns and the nation. The Center will feature the faces and stories of the more than 58,000 men and women on The Wall, honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served. The Center will also celebrate the legacy of service that links the heroes of America's past to those still serving today. It will provide an opportunity for visitors from around the world to more fully understand and appreciate the extraordinary sacrifice of those who have given their lives in the nation's defense.  Visitors will not simply read their names.  They will see these patriots and get to know them in ways not envisioned in any other facility on the National Mall. The Education Center will truly be a place of learning and reflection about the values exemplified by the lives of those who have served and died for our country.

Learn more about the Education Center at The Wall by visiting www.vvmf.org or by calling 866-990-WALL.

Contact: Lee Allen
Phone: (202) 393-0090, ext. 109
[email protected]

SOURCE Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

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