Audit Shows Disabled Veterans’ Life Memorial Foundation Financially Sound and On Target for Completion In 2010 (From http://www.avdlm.com)

WASHINGTON, D.C./DELRAY BEACH, FL – The non-profit organization seeking to build the first national memorial dedicated to America’s disabled veterans reported today that the project is on plan, on schedule and operating on a positive financial basis.

According to its latest financial statement, the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation (DVLMF) had a $2.3 million operating profit for the first quarter of 2007. The Foundation has also secured $7.5 million in additional pledges restricted to pre-construction and construction costs. “Thanks to the generosity of some 877,000 donors from across the country, the American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial project is on a very steady, focused and sound course today,” said DVLMF Executive Director Victor Biggs.

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Moreover, the DVLMF is “committed to the rights of our donors and ensuring that our operations are open and aboveboard. The Foundation fully adheres to the ‘Donors Bill of Rights’ posted on our website,” added Biggs.

The “patriotic Americans who have donated to this worthy project want to honor the service and sacrifice of those men and women who have given so much of themselves in defense of liberty and freedom,” said Biggs.

National statistics show that there are more than three million living disabled veterans, including thousands who have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Memorial, to be situated on a two-acre site across from the U.S. Botanic Garden and with the U.S. Capitol as the backdrop, will honor “these unsung heroes, as well as those who have since passed on, in perpetuity for their courage and conviction,” he noted.

The Foundation’s financial statements have been audited each year from 2002 to 2006 by a nationally recognized public accounting firm. These statements show that the Foundation has had a cumulative operating profit since its inception, and ended the 2006 fiscal year with positive cash flow and positive net assets. There has been $7.8 million paid in costs for such things as architectural design, pre-construction, public education and direct mail. These costs have been supported through the generosity and willingness of donors who understand that a project of such scope and magnitude has significant upfront costs.

For example, the Foundation’s investment in direct mail is producing profitable financial results. The Foundation has recorded a net financial gain through 2006 and is on track to achieve the goal of 1,000,000 Memorial supporters on its mailing list. So far there are 877,000 supporters of the Memorial; of the 1,592,000 donations, 50 percent have come from repeat donors.

Biggs explained the importance of the annual independent audits, “which ensure rigorous internal financial controls and absolute transparency, with the fully engaged Board of Directors validating the legitimacy and integrity of the Foundation.”

He also noted that, as established, the Foundation will conclude its work when the Memorial is completed. In the meantime, “this audit shows American Disabled Veterans For Life Memorial financially sound and on target for completion in 2010.”

Further, Biggs said that the Foundation would certainly rank “extraordinarily well” using a prominent ‘watchdog’ organization’s advice “6 Questions To Ask Charities Before Donating,” which is published on the DVLMF’s website, but not used in its rating methodology.

In December 2006, federal legislation was passed approving the Memorial site and transferring the property to the National Park Service. In November 2006, the Commission on Fine Arts unanimously approved the Memorial design concept, and the National Capitol Planning Commission unanimously approved the Memorial design concept a month later.

“We are on track for a site dedication ceremony this November to coincide with Veteran’s Day, a groundbreaking in 2008, and completion and dedication in 2010,” Biggs declared. “Fundraising is on target, and we have completed a number of value engineering tasks to keep the costs of the project on target. Hopefully, we may be able to bring the project in under budget.”

The American Veterans Disabled For Life Memorial will transcend military conflicts, service branches and generations and will express America’s lasting gratitude to the men and women whose lives were forever changed in service to our country. Commanding an impressive two-acre site within full view of the U.S. Capitol, the Memorial will be located adjacent to the National Mall, and across Independence Avenue from the U.S. Botanic Garden at Washington Avenue and Second Street.

“The Memorial will hold a special place in the hearts of all Americans,” Biggs said. “It will serve as a never-ending reminder to all of the human costs of war and conflict.”

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Contact: Victor Biggs, (703) 310-3971 or (703) 772-9010
vbiggs@dvlmf.org

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