Too early to collect memorial repair donations, group says

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EATON RAPIDS, MI. (WILX) - Support has been pouring in over the past several days to help restore the Fallen Heroes Memorial in Eaton Rapids.

A reward of $500 is being offered by former Senator Rick Jones for any information provided to the Eaton Rapids Police Department that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved. (Source Rick Jones)

Someone vandalized the monument at the GAR Memorial Park Thursday.

The Fallen Hero's Memorial Foundation said several people are wanting to help pay for some of the repairs to the memorial.

However, the foundation said it's a little early for that.

"It's just sad we have to deal with this," said Patrick Rich, Fallen Heroes Foundation vice president.

The group raised the money for the memorial in Eaton Rapids honoring Lance Corporal Troy Nealy more than a decade ago.

On January 9, 2020, someone removed the bronze gun and helmet.

"The community is hurt that someone would deliberately vandalize (the memorial)," said Rich.

Rich said the organization raised $10,000 needed for the memorial, then it became city property.

"We would like to fix this as soon as possible and I'm sure the city will do that," Rich said.

Rich said the tight-knit community is willing to pitch it to restore the memorial as well.

"We've had so many people call me and respond that we are trying to help the city if we can," said Rich.

However, until Eaton Rapids gets a price for a fix, Rich said he can't take donations right now.

"I appreciate all the care. This is a nice community. Everybody was very hurt that this happened," he said.

Eaton Rapids Police Chief Larry Weeks told News 10 they are still looking for who is responsible.

If you know anything, call the Eaton Rapids Police Department at 517-663-8118.

Former Eaton County Sheriff and State Senator Rick Jones is offering a reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

He posted on Facebook on Tuesday that the reward is now at $2,000.

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