Spaghetti dinner to raise money for Harper Woods 9/11 memorial

By: Brendan Losinski | Advertiser Times | Published April 19, 2017

 A spaghetti dinner will take place April 20 to raise funds for the installation of a Sept. 11, 2001, memorial at AMVETS Post No. 57 in Harper Woods.

A spaghetti dinner will take place April 20 to raise funds for the installation of a Sept. 11, 2001, memorial at AMVETS Post No. 57 in Harper Woods.

Photo by Deb Jacques

HARPER WOODS — AMVETS Post No. 57 in Harper Woods will be hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Thursday, April 20, to benefit a memorial honoring the first responders who were on duty during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The memorial is largely the work of Grosse Pointe Woods resident Kathy Sarvis Adamski. As a clinical incident stress management adviser, she worked with several first responders who took part in the rescue efforts that day. She noted that the Harper Woods Fire Department had an artifact from the nation-shaking event and thought it could be put to more meaningful use.  

“Back in 2011, Sean Gunnery, the Harper Woods fire chief at the time, wrote to the New York Port Authority to ask for a piece of the twin towers, and when it arrived, it was in the fire station,” said Adamski. “It was on display there, but no one was doing anything with it. So I worked with Sean to try and do something with it.”

The two gathered support for the project and laid out plans for the piece of rubble belonging to the Fire Department to be combined with a beam from the World Trade Center and a plaque that would commemorate the first responders.

“We had a mason put a 4-foot beam from the towers into the stone that was rubble from the tower. Its final resting place will be the AMVETS hall in Harper Woods,” Adamski said.

The veterans of the AMVETS post were happy to join the project and for their hall to become the location of the memorial.

“I first found out about it when I became commander there 11 months ago,” said Post Commander Ray Lacey. “Kathy Adamski came up and began talking about the memorial, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. I thought it was an even better idea to place it on our premises, and our board fully supported the idea. Everybody at the post is very proud to take part in this.”

The spaghetti dinner will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. April 20 at the AMVETS hall. Raffles will be included as part of the event, and those designing the memorial will share information about the plans for the site.

“The fundraiser will be a spaghetti dinner, and the money raised will go toward paying for the plaque, the cement work to place it at the location and the costs of the dedication itself,” said Adamski. “It is $10 for tickets and $5 for children ages 5-10, and free for kids under 5.”

The memorial itself will be unveiled at 6 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2017.

“The plaque will include the artifact number and will say that the beam was donated to the Fire Department and AMVETS post by the Port Authority of New York and will feature images of the twin towers, the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania, emblem,” said Adamski. “It also will have the emblems of the first responders and the AMVETS.”

Adamski and her fellow organizers are working hard to ensure the memorial and the fundraising efforts are done with the utmost respect.

“We are hoping to get in touch with any survivors of Sept. 11 who might want to join in and participate so we can honor them to show they have not been forgotten,” she said. “We’ll have bagpipes to play and Eagle Scouts as color guard, and we’re working hard to make sure it’s very respectful. This memorial is about the lives lost and the lives saved. It is for the community and for the lives lost on Sept. 11, as well as to honor the survivors and first responders who were involved. We want to show our gratitude and ensure generations to come will be able to see the monument and learn about what occurred and those who were involved.”

Lacey said he hopes this memorial will stand as an educational opportunity for those too young to have witnessed the attacks firsthand.

“There’s no particular significance for the AMVETS post itself other than being an honor to host this monument to the first responders,” said Lacey. “For the communities nearby, there will be a storyboard to show those who are too young to remember that day and help inform them about what happened. I think it’s good for the city of Harper Woods to have something like this here as both a reminder and a thank-you to those who protect us every day.”