KEARNEY, Nebraska — An 18-member group has been established to raise money and other support for The Archway monument in Kearney.
The monument spans Interstate 80 and has exhibits that commemorate the Oregon, Mormon and California pioneer trails, the Kearney Hub reported (http://bit.ly/1oMg7OP ). It also honors the nation's highway systems and railroads.
The Archway Society was formed from the Arch Forward committee, which raised $140,000 to help The Archway settle its bankruptcy last September. The Archway settled more than $20 million in debt by paying a total of $100,000 to bondholders and vendors.
"We always knew at that time that The Archway would need a society to support it and raise some money outside of gift shops and concessions," said Marion McDermott, Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce executive director. "We knew it would need some real community support. So, we decided it was time to get this going."
The Archway Society wants to raise $100,000 in its first year to pay for maintenance, improvements and special events.
Darren Robinson, president of the Economic Development Council of Buffalo County, said the Archway Society has already received $15,000 in donations since last week.
Individuals who contribute $50 or more to the group will receive benefits based on how much they donate. Some of those benefits include unlimited annual trips to The Archway, special invites to private events. Donors can also have their name displayed on a board and on The Archway's website.
"When people think of The Archway, they think of Kearney," Robinson said. "We really want folks in the community to come out here and be part of something special."
Information from: Kearney Hub, http://www.kearneyhub.com/