Fundraising for Will “Pyro” DuBois memorial near the halfway mark
NEW CASTLE — Fundraising for a memorial to honor Capt. Will “Pyro” DuBois is approaching half of the $120,000 needed for the approximately 8-foot-tall bronze statue.
DuBois died Dec. 1, 2014, in Jordan after his F-16 crashed while on a mission against ISIS. That final flight was his 19th mission against ISIS since being deployed in October 2014 from Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, according to an Air Force report released last July.
So far, contributors for Pyro’s Memorial have pledged nearly $48,000, John Lee, a friend of the family, said recently.
John Kobald, a sculptor based in Meeker, is working on the monument after completing 30 miniature replicas of the memorial.
Each of the 18-inch replicas will go to those who contribute $2,500 or more, with 24 still up for grabs, according to Lee.
Grady Hazelton, owner of WingNutz Bar and Grill in north Rifle, was among the early contributors to receive one of the replicas. Holding it in his hand, Hazelton said he was honored to return the favor and help the DuBois family, whom he considers friends.
“Ham (Will’s father) is always the first one to help,” Hazelton said.
Outside of the donation, WingNutz also is carrying a limited edition Pyro’s Hot Sauce, which patrons can receive for a minimum donation of $15.
After selling out the first 48 bottles, Hazelton said he put in a second order.
“This is very important for our town,” he added. “This is our hometown hero.”
Hazelton cautioned, though, that the sauce is hot. The custom-made label includes the words “moderation is for cowards,” a line from a poem penned by DuBois.
Echoing previous sentiments on the efforts, Ham DuBois expressed his gratitude for what he called a “herculean effort.”
Lee said the originally intended dedication ceremony on Labor Day 2016, Sept. 5, in Grand River Park remains the planned date.
Donations can be made online at http://www.pyromemorial.org/home.html or at any Alpine Bank location using the account FBO Pyro Memorial. Those seeking more information can contact Lee at 970-618-6782 or email@example.com.
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The Glenwood Springs-Rifle sports rivalry goes way back for GSHS baseball coach and former Demons multi-sport student-athlete Eric Nieslanik.