By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – About 20 gathered at the Sidney Veterans Memorial Park last Thursday for a presentation made by ACCO Brands to the park committee on behalf of the company’s veterans.
ACCO Brands Senior Human Resource Manager Robin Halaquist said, since last year, presenting the donation has become a tradition complementing the company-wide day of veteran recognition at the Sidney plant.
“We had an event for all three shifts today,” she said, “and we’ve done that for many yeas, but last year I visited the (Sidney Veterans Memorial Park) and loved it, so we figured this was a good way to pay tribute to our veterans.”
Attendees Thursday, she noted, included union and salaried ACCO Brands employees.
ACCO Distribution Supervisor Chris Hutton said veteran-employees enjoy the recognition event as well as the park ceremony.
“It’s been a positive response (from employees),” he said. “We get so busy at our jobs, it’s nice that the company takes time around Veterans Day to do this. There are a lot of stories shared around this time, so it brings people together and brings out that camaraderie.”
Thirty-year ACCO employee and U.S. Navy veteran Jim Leonard called the occasion a “fantastic thing.”
“This is one of the good things that ACCO does,” he said, “to recognize veterans and individuals who served. They do this on our behalf.”
Officers from the Sidney Veterans Memorial Park Association said the $500 donation will benefit expansion of the park’s Memorial Wall, featuring photo plaques and individual service details.
Additional funding for the expansion, SVMP Association President Dick Germond said, will be raised through an ongoing mailer drive and donations.
The central Memorial Wall includes more than 260 plaques and planning for the additional two walls, he noted, has been demand driven.
Germond, a retired U.S. Navy veteran, said, “It’s very special that ACCO does this.”
For memorial plaque applications or more information on the park, located at the corner of River Street and Route 8, call Germond at 643-8318 or download a copy at sidneyveteransmemorialpark.org.