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Local firm gets fundraising contract for Mideast war memorial

By Rachel Lippmann

St. Louis – A local public relations firm is in charge of raising money for a memorial to the soldiers killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

St. Charles-based Live Image Group is trying to raise at least $12 million for the US Fallen Heroes Foundation, which wants to build a memorial in Texas to soldiers killed in the Gulf War, and in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Live Image executive vice president Amanda LaPlante worked with the chairman of the foundation before coming to the company. She says the other employees were shocked and overwhelmed when they got the news.

"You know, how many people in their lifetime can say that they worked on a project like this. It just doesn't happen," she said. "You just don't get to do things that are this magnitude, especially when you're a small firm in St. Charles Missouri."

LaPlante says the company will be using Facebook and text pledging in its campaign.

"And with the type of project that this is, and the way it touches the hearts of everyone that I've talked to thus far, I don't think the recession is going to be an issue for us, I think the American people love these soldiers and they want to do the right thing and that is to honor them," she said.

LaPlante said the memorial will use no public funds, and a national competition will be held for the design.