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Orthman Manufacturing donates $50,000 to the Lexington Veterans Pavilion
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Orthman Manufacturing donates $50,000 to the Lexington Veterans Pavilion

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Orthman Manufacturing donation picture

Left to right: Bill Orthman, Dick Prasch, John McCoy, Christy Freihage, Jackie Berke and Jim Bliven.

LEXINGTON — The Lexington Veterans Pavilion project has received another large donation, this time from Orthman Manufacturing.

Orthman Manufacturing President and owner John McCoy said they have donated $50,000 to the project and that it hits all of the appropriate areas for the company.

McCoy said it is a project that recognizes local veterans, which is “foundational,” for Orthman, he noted his father, Neil, was an Army Reserve veteran, Bill Orthman is a veteran, along with many of their employees.

He noted Lexington Veteran Pavilion committee members Jim Bliven and Dick Prasch have been tenacious and persistence in their rallying of support for the project.

Bliven is an Army veteran and served in the Vietnam War from 1970 to 1971. Prasch, served with the Marines in the Vietnam War. He was incountry during the last part of 1966, all of 1967 and the first third of 1968.

Prasch said in 2019 the Veterans Pavilion project really started when he joined the Marines in the 1960s. To this day, the Marine Corp motto, Semper Fi, “always faithful,” has been his mantra as well.

McCoy also said this pavilion is a community project and will help to benefit Lexington. He said the pavilion should garner a lot of attention and be able to host great events once it is built.

McCoy concluded saying their donation reconfirms their commitment to the Lexington community, he said when a project will be impactful to the community and their employees, they will be there to support it.

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Lexington Pavilion committee member Dick Prasch said the pavilion will serve several functions, including being educational to the younger generation, as each pillar to the services will contain a QR code that can be scanned and it will show additional information.

Each branch of the service will be recognized, along with local veterans from World War I to the latest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Lexington Veterans Pavilion will be located at Kirkpatrick Memorial Park and serve several functions.

The pavilion itself will consist of an open-air amphitheater which will be open to the public for a variety of events including concerts, area acting performances, public rallies and other larger events.

Jim Bliven said around $800,000 needs to be fundraised for the project and at the moment they have raised around $50,000. He said, “We are well on our way,” to the overall goal.

He said he wants people to know the project is for all of Dawson County, not just Lexington. Bliven added there is nothing like this in western Nebraska.

Prasch and Bliven thanked McCoy and Orthmans for their, “fantastic,” donation, while McCoy noted their vision for the project has been a driving force.

Bliven said with all the recent turmoil that has occurred in the country, this is something that can unite people again.

To donate the project, go to the Lexington Community Foundation website and a donate button is on the home page.

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