Auction, dinner to raise funds for Wichita war memorial

WICHITA — A benefit auction and dinner will be held Sunday at American Legion Post 256, 4301 W. Pawnee, to help build a Wichita memorial honoring Kansans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The auction is from 2 to 4 p.m. Items may be viewed starting at 1 p.m. The dinner is at 6:30 p.m.

The event is to help Operation Freedom Memorial Foundation raise $300,000 for the memorial to be built at Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Wichita. It will honor Kansans who have died while serving in Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

More than 80 Kansans have been killed in those wars. Their names will be etched on three, 8-foot black granite walls.

"This is for the respect due the soldiers and their families so they're not put on the backburner and forgotten," said Ron Purdie, a member of Post 256, which is hosting the event.

Auction items include oil changes donated by area car dealerships, battlefield cross pendants and a line of wearing apparel from Steve McQueen's movie, "Bullitt."

Through Friday, tickets for the dinner are $15 for one person and $25 for a couple. The price increases $5 at the door. To purchase tickets, call Purdie at 316-648-0076 or call Post 256 at 316-943-1309. For more information go to

Donations for the memorial through Post 256 may be made to Kansas Fallen Soldiers fund at Central Star Credit Union locations — 101 N. Main, Haysville, KS 67060; or at 9555 E. Corporate Hills Drive, Wichita, KS 67207.