PEPPERELL -- The Global War on Terror Monument Committee will be selling T-shirts to raise money for the construction of a monument in Pepperell to honor those throughout the area who have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The T-shirts are produced entirely in the United States, a condition that Chairman Robert Connolly said was very important to the committee. The shirts were produced by Bayside, a company based in Leominster.
"Most of the shirts we were looking at were made in China. We really wanted ours to be American-made and based locally," said Connolly.
The shirts were designed by Lee Rich of Dario Designs, and feature outlines of Iraq and Afghanistan on the back, as well as the committee's mantra, "All gave some, some gave all."
The first order was for 50 T-shirts, which the committee will be selling through word of mouth and at various community events. They will be at Grotonfest on Sept. 21, and are hoping to also sell the shirts at the Townsend Band Concerts and the Pepperell Farmers Market this summer. The shirts cost $20 for all sizes except XXL, which costs $22.
The committee is hoping to raise $100,000 to construct the monument by Veterans Day 2015. They plan to fund the construction as well as set up a small maintenance fund entirely through donations.
"We're hoping the entire monument can be built out of donations so we can hand it over as a gift to the town," Connolly said.
Committee members plan to raise the money through T-shirt sales, individual donations and a series of fundraising events, which they hope will be occur every other month. So far the committee has raised about $10,000.
The next planned fundraiser is a motorcycle "Freedom Ride" on Sept. 7. Entrance in the race will cost $25 per bike and $15 for passengers. The ride will be followed by a barbecue with live music at the Pepperell VFW.
Connolly said the committee is actively seeking members from Pepperell and its surrounding towns. There are no requirements to join the committee.
He said the monument will be a way to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed in the Global War on Terror.
"We've had a lot of young kids go overseas and face hardships constantly," he said. "We're trying to show people that their deployment doesn't just affect them.
"We want to just thank everybody for what they've done, and I don't know of a better way to do it," Connolly said.
For T-shirts or information, go to the GWOT Facebook page.