Help us honor the Bravery, Heroism, and Acts Beyond the Call of Duty of
In doing so, honor all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during America’s armed conflicts.
Doris Miller was a cook in the United States Navy noted for his bravery during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the third highest honor awarded by the U.S. Navy at the time. Doris is a native son of Waco, Texas, who seeks to honor and remember him with a memorial site and sculpture on the Brazos River in downtown Waco.
Please consider becoming a part of this effort to remember this important American.
“Cooper Foundation felt very strongly about giving to this project,” said Felicia Goodman, Executive Director of Cooper Foundation. “The support for the memorial has been incredible and we are honored to give to such a worthwhile cause.”
The Doris Miller Memorial has received vast support from the community. From nickels and dimes collected from children in church to the recent $200,000 gift from the estate of William Travis Clarke, Jr., the memorial is a true collaborative effort. “When you take a look at how the funds for this project have been raised, it’s quite inspiring,” said Tom Stanton, Executive Director of the Rapoport Foundation. “This is a true grass roots effort to put something in place that not only benefits our community and will look beautiful, but also honors our local hero.”
“This is an important project to honor Doris Miller and all who have served our country,” said Ashley Allison, Executive Director of Waco Foundation. “We are proud to contribute to Doris Miller’s legacy with a gift to help finish off the campaign, and hope others in our community will consider doing the same.”
DORIS MILLER MEMORIAL RECEIVES $200,000 LEADERSHIP GIFT
WACO, TX – July 28, 2015 – The Doris Miller Memorial recently received the largest donation to the campaign, a $200,000 leadership gift from the estate of William (Bill) Travis Clarke, Jr. through a bequest to Waco Foundation. The memorial campaign is directed by Waco Cultural Arts Fest. Clarke was a local WWII veteran who cared deeply for the Waco community. He served under General George Patton in Europe during his tenure in the United States Army. After he was honorably discharged in 1946, he returned to Texas and obtained his pharmacy degree from the University Of Texas School Of Pharmacy in Austin. Clarke served as the pharmacist for the VA Hospital in Waco until he retired.
Leo Bradshaw, executor of Clarke’s estate, remembers Clarke’s appreciation for those serving in the armed forces. “Bill would be proud of this memorial and all that it means to the men and women that serve our country,” Bradshaw said. “I’m proud to be a part of this project and to see Bill’s legacy honored through a gift to the Doris Miller Memorial.”
The gift from Clarke’s estate will propel the Doris Miller Memorial campaign towards the $1.2 million goal, leaving only $365,000 needed to build the landscape sculpture that will feature a statue of Miller inside a stylized ship hull. “We are thrilled that Mr. Clarke’s gift brings us closer to breaking ground and honoring Doris Miller and all who served our country,” said Doreen Ravenscroft, President of Waco Cultural Arts Fest. The memorial will be located on the east bank of the Brazos River in Bledsoe-Miller Park.
Waco Cultural Arts Fest commissioned the Doris Miller Memorial project in 2011. The organization is hosting a fundraising event for the memorial, featuring Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, on August 13 at 6:00 PM at the Waco Convention Center. Ravenscroft expects the event to be widely attended by community supporters and hopes the funds raised will help finish off the campaign. To purchase tickets or for more information about the event, community members are invited to email Ravenscroft at Doreen@wacoartsfest.org.
Waco Foundation promotes solutions to community challenges, strengthens local nonprofits, engages philanthropists and manages charitable assets in order to improve quality of life in McLennan County.