CVTC Jason Zunker Memorial Bench at new and bigger location on campus

Published: Jul. 16, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A bench honoring fallen Chippewa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Zunker now sits in the middle of campus of the Chippewa Valley Technical College Emergency Center in Eau Claire.

“So the bench was really in front of our campus here. When we decided to do our referendum project and remodel our emergency services campus the bench was displaced,” said Karen Kohler, executive director for the CVTC Foundation.

She said the Tribute Circle where the bench honoring the deputy who died after being struck by a vehicle in 2008 is located also gives the community an opportunity to honor first responders.

“So, the pavers are all in place right now. They are blank. We have a paver adoption process going on right now. What we’ll do, when someone adopts a paver we will have that engraved. Those pavers will be replaced with the engraved pavers,” said Kohler.

She said those adopt the pavers would also be contributing towards training future generations of first responders.

“The proceeds from that will go to our programs and out students that are involved in our programs that are related to emergency services,” said Kohler.

She said the gesture is small in comparison to what first responders do for the communities they serve, day in and day out.

“Our emergency services personnel put their lives on the line every day, and it often goes unrecognized,” said Kohler.

She and the foundation hope the memorial reflects the gratitude the community has for all that first responders do.

“It’s never enough, it really is never enough. But, this is a permanent fixture on our campus and it’s in the center of our campus. And it’s really a way for us to, in a small way, to say thank you,” said Kohler.

According to her, more than 20 pavers have been adopted. There will be a special ceremony to formally introduce the new Jason Zunker Bench Tribute Circle with the engraved pavers on September 12th.

If you would like to adopt a paver in honor of a first responder, you can call (715) 831 7299 for more information.