$3 Million Added to Project Fund
90% of Goal Raised; Construction Might Begin This Year
The project to build a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. amid the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin has received $3 million from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, officials announced yesterday.
The donation raised the project’s fundraising total to $90 million of a $100 million goal.
A crescent-shaped memorial is planned for a four-acre site between the Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson memorials. It will feature a 21⁄ 2- story granite sculpture of the civil rights leader, who was April 4, 1968.
“The time is now to fully understand the meaning of our father’s dream to this nation and the world, and to make it a reality,” King’s son Martin Luther King III said during a conference call with reporters announcing the donation.
Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and chief executive of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, said, “This memorial will be in a beautiful setting amongst the cherry blossoms, blooming generally the week that Dr. King was assassinated.”
Johnson said construction could begin this year, and the project could be completed by next year.
Sterling K. Speirn, president and chief executive of the Michigan-based Kellogg Foundation, said, “The best monuments are where we learn history and are inspired to make history.”
Other large donations include $10 million from General Motors, $5 million from the Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation and $3 million total from the National Basketball Association and Women’s National Basketball Association. Contributions can be made at www.buildthedream.org.