2018-03-01 / Community News

Biddeford businessman to build heroes wall

Derek Volk, the president of Volk Packaging Corporation, is committing the resources and space necessary to build the Volk Packaging Heroes Wall. The structure, which will be built at the company headquarters in Biddeford, is intended to honor all men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces of the United States. Individuals or other organizations may purchase a tile on the wall and put their loved one’s image and military information on the wall.

Volk has committed that all proceeds from the wall will be donated to the Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach VFW.

Volk was traveling in another part of the state with his wife, Sen. Amy Volk (R-Scarborough), when he first thought of the idea for the wall.

“We were driving through the little town of Abbot, Maine and in the center of the town they had this beautiful war memorial,” he said. “The memorial listed all of the soldiers and sailors from Abbot who had ever served, and I thought – why doesn’t every town have one of these.”

The idea stayed with him and when Volk returned to Biddeford he looked for a place to create such a wall or memorial. He then heard about the memorial that was built in Portland on the wharf near DiMillo’s restaurant.

“It was a simple but beautiful design,” he said. “We’d like to do the same thing here.”

If people are interested in honoring someone who served they may contact Volk Packaging either through their website, http://www.volkboxes.com/about-volk/inthe armed-forces or Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/VPCHeroesWall/.

The tiles that will adorn the wall are 8.5 inches high by 11 inches long and are made of black and gray granite. The cost per tile is $150 and a portion of that fee will be used to have etching completed. The remaining portion of the fee will be donated to the Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach VFW.

“People may submit both a picture and words to describe the person being honored,” said Volk. “Some people have sent in descriptions from a military service and some people have written the description themselves.”

Volk is also looking for corporate sponsors to help with the project and they will sponsor a section of the wall. Corporate tiles are $500, or $150 to sponsor a tile for a hero who cannot afford the $150. Each section will honor 120 service men and women and Volk hopes that they will sell out and soon be committing to a second section.

“People may also donate for someone who might not be able to afford a tile,” he said. “I already have a few people who have purchased tiles and told me to use them for someone who deserves a place on the wall and might not otherwise get one.”

Volk said they will build the wall in spring and have an official ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 17.

“I’d love to get a lot of donations for the corporate tiles, but I’d also like to get donations for the individual tiles. All the money we collect will stay right here in our community and help fund the programs of the local VFW. That’s important to me.”

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