Heisley Foundation Gives $2.5 million to Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post staff writer
Thursday, September 24, 2009; 5:23 PM

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund announced Thursday that it has received a pledge of $2.5 million toward its planned underground education center on the Mall from the Heisley Family Foundation of Chicago.

"My family was deeply touched by the Vietnam War," Judy Heisley Bishop, president of the foundation, said in a statement. "My uncle, Joseph Heisley, served in Vietnam. My father's best friend, Rocky Versace, was killed while he was a prisoner of war and received the Medal of Honor posthumously."

Family patriarch Michael Heisley and his wife Agnes, grew up in Alexandria, and have been active in tributes to Vietnam veterans.

The memorial fund said it has now raised nearly $25 million of the $85 million needed to build the center, which will feature exhibits and programs about the war and its veterans.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company