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Robert Trigaux

Flight 93 memorial fundraising chair Chris Sullivan: We need more support



Flight93memorial9.11 For a permanent Flight 93 memorial, to honor those who died in the crash of hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001 in Shanksville, Pa., $15.6 million has been raised in private donations.

Fundraisers originally planned to have raised the $30 million by the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Tampa's Chris Sullivan, chairman of the fundraising campaign and a founder of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain, told USA Today. Here's the complete story and a worthy video of the temporary memorial site.

"Everybody came to realize that this was a different type of project" because a memorial falls outside the mission of many philanthropies, Sullivan told the newspaper. (Photo shows bellringers on Friday marking the names of the victims of the crash of Flight 93 at the 8th anniversary of the Sept. crash. Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.)

Chrissullivan Sullivan (in photo), challenged to raise money in a difficult economy, has echoed this theme before. Rural Shanksville lacks big corporations as neighbors, as the World Trade Center site does. As a result, raising money for the memorial "takes longer and it takes more contributors," he told USA Today. "You're not getting as many six- or seven-digit checks." He hopes the 10th anniversary of the attacks will refocus attention on building the Flight 93 memorial. Here's what it will look like though the initial design has had more than its share of controversy.

You can see Sullivan's influence by the list of supporters for the memorial -- which includes such Tampa Bay folks and companies as Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., J. Rex and Mary Lee Farrior, OSI Restaurant Partners Inc. and The Outback Steakhouse, Chris Sullivan himself, Sykes Enterprises and the Tampa Orlando Pinellas Jewish Foundation. Here's the complete list.

Want to know more or make a contribution? Here you go.

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:26am]


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