The Verdin Company and Iowa Fairgoers create Veterans’ Tribute Bell at State Fair

Verdin Company created The Spirit of Iowa Tribute Bell, a two-foot tall, 255-pound bell, August 12-14, 2017. The bell is a symbol of support in honor of military veterans and service members across the state. Casting and dedication of the bell was number eight on the “Top 11 Reasons” to attend the 2017 fair. The Spirit of Iowa Tribute Bell is made possible by donations from Bankers Trust, DuPont Pioneer, Kaplan University, Principal®, Military Warriors Support Foundation, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo team members led the effort to bring the tribute bell to Iowa.

“Iowa has a deep tradition of honoring and supporting our veterans,” said BG (Ret) Jodi Tymeson, executive director of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. “This is a gratifying experience to know that Iowa will have another way to reach Iowa veterans to educate them on the benefits available from the state. This is such a unique and special way to recognize and honor the sacrifices our veterans have made and continue to make for each and every one of us.”

The Verdin Company led the on-site casting of the custom bell in its mobile bell foundry. Fairgoers participated in the three-day process, toured the “Foundry on Wheels” and learned how a bell is made. After the bell was finished and dedicated at the State of Iowa, it remained on display for the rest of the fair. The bell is to appear at community events around the state to raise awareness and funds for veteran support.

The Spirit of Iowa Tribute Bell initiative will support work of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, specifically the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to veterans for dental care, emergency housing assistance, emergency car repair, job training or education assistance, and unemployment assistance.

“The bell will be a reminder to all communities to ensure that our veterans receive the treatment and tributes they deserve,” said Jim Verdin, president of The Verdin Company. “It’s also an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to veterans in honor of their selfless service to our nation.”

“We believe this effort will inspire all Iowans to give back in support of veterans and families who have given so much for us,” said Jeff Chavannes, military community programs manager for Wells Fargo. “I’m proud of Wells Fargo’s continued investment in veterans’ initiatives across the company since 2012 Wells Fargo has contributed more than $75 million to military and Veteran-related nonprofits in support of housing, career transition, and financial education”