jackRussell The Associated Press reports via Billboard:

The slow road to build a permanent memorial at the site of a nightclub fire that killed 100 people 12 years ago is getting shorter, as organizers said they are inching closer to raising the $2 million they need to complete it.

The Station Fire Memorial Foundation has now raised $1.3 million after recently receiving several large donations, and the end is in sight for the years long effort, organizers said this month.

“By this time next year, we should be done,” said Jody King, whose brother, Tracy, was killed in the blaze.

The 2003 fire in West Warwick, R.I., was started when the rock band Great White set off pyrotechnics inside The Station nightclub, which had flammable foam lining its walls and ceiling as soundproofing. More than 200 people were injured.

A temporary memorial cropped up on the site shortly after the fire, with handmade crosses and personal mementos. The memorial foundation secured ownership of the land in 2012 and began to actively raise funds, but that effort got a slow start.

The pace has picked up recently after multiple donations of $50,000 to $150,000, fundraiser Daniel Barry said. Around $500,000 of the total is in-kind donations of goods and services from trade unions, construction companies and other groups, he said.

Among the donors is the Rhode Island Foundation, which with United Way gave $150,000. Both groups helped to aid victims’ families and survivors after the fire. While they don’t typically fund memorials, Rhode Island Foundation president and CEO Neil Steinberg said they chose to support this one because of their history with those affected.

“We thought it was fitting, we thought it was appropriate, and we thought it was something we could do to permanently memorialize this tragic event and the victims,” Steinberg said.

The site was closed more than two years ago to begin work on the project. Construction started over the summer. Workers have smoothed out the land and done extensive work on the parking area. Next year, they will install landscaping, monuments and an open-air gazebo.

They will not dig on the site where the nightclub burned to the ground for fear of disturbing human remains.

The memorial foundation’s president, Gina Russo, said she was excited about the positive feelings the project is creating. Russo was severely burned in the fire and lost her fiance, Fred Crisostomi.

“We’re trying to build it so we can heal in some way,” she said.

In related news, it was recently reported that Great White singer Jack Russell is currently working on a documentary about the fire.

source: billboard.com

2 Responses

  1. Its hard for me to believe that I used to be a huge Great White fan. I saw them open for Priest on the Defenders tour and was hooked (get it) ever since. Jack perpetuating this is loathsome to say the least. I can’t imagine what his take/spin on this will be. Nothing about a documentary is going to work to his favor and I hope to God he’s not going to attempt to profit from this (not that I can see this being a profitable venture). Oh well, we’ll always have his band of pirates days that we celebrated a couple of years ago on this glorious site.

  2. Huge Great White fan here. Jack would never hope to profit from something so horrible as the tragic fire.One thing most folks don’t know is that the band was not Great White. it was Jacks hired guns that us longtimefans used to refer to that incarnation of Great White as :”fake White” Regardless it is a known fact that the band wasn’t at fault. it was the fault of club owners and paid off fire inspectors etc. But what a tragedy. Jack has nightmares along with all the family members etc. So to say that he wants to profit from this is crazy. He has had his ups and downs like most of us had but he is a good guy and loves his fans. it is very nice to see the money needed get there for a memorial on the site.Always in our prayers are for those that lost loved ones.This tragedy did cause some awareness in regards to club owners and fire codes and not bending the rules.My point is that Great White cant be blamed in anyway whatsoever.And they feel just as bad as anybody about what happened that horrible night.So in closing- Great White is still out there! Us die hards know that. 2 camps. 2 bands. Great White music!. Best band in the world!

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