FARMINGTON – A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is coming to Farmington in September thanks to a few local organizations and businesses, and fundraising through Farmington Chick-fil-A’s Cookie for a Cause.
According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, The Wall That Heals is a traveling three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The replica goes on tour throughout the United States and is 375 feet long and 7.5 feet tall. Just like the original wall in Washington, D.C., the names listed on The Wall That Heals are listed by death date.
The exhibit has toured more than 700 communities, according to the VVMF website, and is anticipated to come to Farmington in September.
The local committee, The Wall that Heals, Farmington, is a group made up of like-minded people who wanted to bring the wall to Farmington, according to the owner and operator of Farmington’s Chick-fil-A, Gary Smouse, who is also vice chairman of the committee.
Smouse credits Lillian Clopine as being the brains of the project. Clopine enlisted the help of the Pinon Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church in Farmington, which is one of three sponsors of the wall. Blue Star Moms of New Mexico is the third sponsor.
Because of Smouse’s involvement with the local committee and his connection to Chick-fil-A, Clopine asked Smouse to see how he could help.
Chick-fil-A holds an annual fundraiser called Cookies for a Cause. Each year, a new organization or nonprofit is selected and 25 cents per cookie sold is donated toward that cause. In previous years, Chick-fil-A has donated to local organizations such as Grace Place Pregnancy Center, Children’s Hope Foundation and the Four Corners Home For Children.
This year, it’s The Wall That Heals, and the cost for bringing it is tied up in cookie sales.
“Instead of dollar amounts, we talk in terms of cookies,” Smouse said.
Chick-fil-A has set a goal to sell 20,000 cookies in the month of February, and while that might not seem like a lot of cookies to a city of 45,000 people, February is not only the shortest month of the year, but Chick-fil-A operates only Monday to Saturday and is closed Sundays. So while other businesses might have 28 days, Chick-fil-A has only 24 days – that averages to 834 cookies a day to hit the goal.
While Smouse said the business is on track to meet the end-of-the-month goal, the last week of the month is always the hardest push.
“We’ve sold so many cookies throughout the month, that some people are like, ‘OK, I’ve had enough cookies,’” Smouse joked. “But any help we can get to help push us toward our finish line would be greatly appreciated.”