Petit Family Foundation, Rotary donate $1,500 toward Gold Star Family monument

Posted on Feb 4, 2017

by Brian Johnson

PLAINVILLE — The Petit Family Foundation and the Plainville Rotary Club presented checks for a total of $1,500 Friday to support the creation of a monument to honor Gold Star Families.

Representatives from both organizations were joined by Town Manager Robert E. Lee in the council chambers of the Municipal Center for the check presentation.

Gold Star Families are those who have lost an immediate family member in wartime. The memorial, first proposed by resident Bob Doolittle, is planned for installation at Veterans Memorial Park. It was estimated to cost $2,300 and Doolittle previously said he would be willing to pay for a large portion of it himself. American Legion Post 2 from Bristol had previously donated money in support of it.

Rep. William Petit Jr.; his father, William Petit Sr.; and Kim Petit, office assistant with the Petit Family Foundation, presented a $500 check to the monument.

"I thought it was a wonderful idea and very generous," said Rep. Petit. "This was a real grassroots effort and I thought that we should contribute to it as a foundation. Plainville was always so supportive to us and we wanted to give back. Also, we need to honor our veterans and their families. My dad is a Marine and flies the flag 365 days a year, so you don’t forget it."

Rotary Club President Jane Buden and members Bob Yudkin and Stacy Boyajian presented a $1,000 donation.

"This is a wonderful cause," said Buden. "I echo what Dr. Petit said about it being important to honor those who served locally. My father served in the Navy and all of my brothers served as well."

Lee noted that the Rotary Club has supported many town projects such as this one over the years.

Doolittle, who was inspired by a similar monument that he saw in Glendale, Arizona, served from 1967 to 1971 in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska and left the military as a staff sergeant.

Daniel Burgess is co-chairing the monument committee with Doolittle. His brother was killed Feb. 20, 1968, in Vietnam, making his mother a Gold Star Mother and him a Gold Star family member.

"I’ve known Bob a long time and I believe that this is a good tribute," said Burgess. "Anyone who wants to do anything for the benefit of others is inspirational."