NEILLSVILLE (WAOW) – A Marshfield business owner who volunteers and raises thousands of dollars for The Highground Veterans Memorial is honored with the Jefferson Award for March.
"It is an emotional place and you get a good feeling from giving back," David Droste says about the 155-acre tribute to veterans just outside Neillsville.
Highground volunteers nominated Droste for the award because of his efforts to raise money for large tributes at the park, fireworks displays and veterans events that take place each year,
"He is always here and doing things. He is committed," said Kirk Rodman, a leader at the Highground.
"He is not a veteran but he comes from a family of veterans and he is easy to work with, fun to work with and has great ideas," volunteer coordinator Kay Anason said.
Droste, who owns three Hardee’s restaurants, raised $30,000 for the Persian Gulf Tribute, which was dedicated in 2016.
He has already committed to fundraising for a new welcome center.
"He has taken the lead in getting the POW tower built for the center and promised that it will get done," Rodman said.
Droste began volunteering at the Highground eight years ago and looks forward to working on more projects.
"I am fortunate. It is good for everyone to give back to their community," he said.