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Details of Galt fallen heroes memorial coming together

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 9:03 am, Thu Sep 19, 2013.

Bricks engraved with personal messages lead those wishing to reflect to a trio of granite benches.

If they choose to stand, they will be shrouded from the street behind seven-foot granite walls paying respect to fallen Galt Police Officer Kevin Tonn.

His picture, taken with his beloved K9 partner, Yaro, is burned into one of the stones while another recognizes other community heroes in the military and public safety sectors who have paid the ultimate price.

Small plants soften the memorial’s edges while three flags — the state’s, the city’s and the country’s — stand tall as if paying their respects as well.

This is the vision a group of dedicated BEST Academy students from Galt High School have for the Tonn memorial. They presented the concept and a detailed three-dimensional model to the Galt City Council Tuesday.

The civic engineering and architecture students, who started work on the idea at the end of last school year, have joined up with the Community Heroes Appreciation Memorial Project, the fundraising arm. The conceptual design was created by students Seth Bathovd, Ryan Downer, Terry Dutra, Aaron Harmon, Natalie Lizama, Julian Mendoza, Julian Oropeza, Joel Ramirez, Charles VanVactor, Andrew Vogt and Nick Werblun.

CHAMP volunteers, led by Galt Police Records Clerk Lynn Hutchinson, have been selling T-shirts and sweatshirts in honor of Tonn to raise money for the memorial. It will be erected at City Hall.

To date, the group has raised about $15,000, according to Hutchinson.

She estimates the memorial will cost anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000.

CHAMP held a successful family fun run on July 4, and they are now gearing up for a motorcycle poker run Oct. 5. It will begin at the Chabolla Center and include stops throughout the San Joaquin Delta, ending at Brewster’s in Galt. Registration is available online at www.kevintonnmemorial.com.

A holiday fundraising craft fair is set for Nov. 23 at the Littleton Center.

Hutchinson is seeking volunteers for both. Contact her at 209-366-7056 or communityheroes@yahoo.com. You can also learn more about CHAMP on its Facebook page.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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