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New Porter Township Memorial taking shape, brick-by-brick

PHOTOS PROVIDED Sue Heltman and Kevin Frank, chairman of the recreation board and park manager, look at the engraved bricks that have been installed to date at the memorial.

MILL HALL — A new memorial at a recreation park in Porter Township is starting to take shape, as memory bricks engraved with loved ones names in memory or in honor of veterans or lifelong residents of the township are put into place.

Much thanks goes to people like Sue Heltman, who recently purchased seven bricks engraved with the names of family members — all of whom are veterans — and watched as they were installed in the memorial.

Heltman said her in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. William H. Heltman, were dairy farmers in Porter Township and raised their family there. After graduating from high school, their three sons enlisted in the U.S. Army — Robert F. Heltman, Ronald G. Heltman and Thomas W. Heltman. Robert and Ronald served in the Korean War.

And, three daughters of Ronald and Sue Heltman also served in the military. They are Ashley C. Heltman, who served in the U.S. Air Force; Barbara S. Heltman, who served in the U.S. Navy, and Yvonne D. Heltman, who served in the U.S. Army.

The seventh brick that Sue purchased is engraved with the name of Jose Rodriguez Galarza, Sue’s son-in-law, who served in the U.S. Army.

Sue said she was looking for a way to honor her family members and since her family is originally from the township with a bit of history, the memory bricks are a perfect way to honor her family.

All of the bricks are being engraved by Andrew Noll, owner operator of Clinton County Memorials, who recently moved his business to 1061 Kryder Road in Mill Hall. Noll can engrave up to 25 characters on each brick.

To date, 49 bricks have been installed by township employee Rich Brungard, caretaker of the park.

Bricks can be ordered for $50 per brick by contacting the township office at 570-726-6733, e-mail portertownship@yahoo.com or the website at portertownshippa.com.

The memory brick program began last year on June 8 at the township’s Heritage Day celebration after the Porter Township Recreation Board decided to relocate the veterans memorial and build a new memorial using “memory bricks” to honor or remember friends, family members and others, according to Kevin Frank, chairman of the recreation board and park manager.

The veterans memorial stones were relocated to the township recreation park creating a beautiful platform in the park with the veterans large stones displayed in the center surrounded by benches and plants from the walk way to the trail around the park. The memorial stones are being placed on the platform.

This project offers a chance to acknowledge someone that may have lived their life in the township and given to the community, as well as a family member who someone may just want to honor and remember, Frank said.

A dedication ceremony is being planned for May 2021.

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