Mary I. Hendrickson and Ted Paris, co-chairs of the Charles B. Hall Memorial committee, hold a $500 check from Allstate Insurance, that is to be used toward building the memorial.
They received $500 and have $35,500 to go.
The committee that is building the Charles B. Hall Memorial Foundation at the intersection of U.S. 40 and S.R. 59 has a long way to go, but they are optimistic they can raise the money needed to build a permanent tribute to the Tuskegee Airman from Brazil.
Hall, a member of the 99th Fighter Squadron, was the first African-American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft.
The squadron "went to North Africa in April 1943 and flew its first combat mission against the island of Pantelleria on June 2, 1943," according to the Web site, AfricanAmericans.com.
After World War II, Hall became a successful insurance agent in Oklahoma City.
"This is our fund-raising kickoff," Co-chair Ted Paris said Tuesday. "We have people applying for grants, but more help is needed."
If readers would like to contribute, they may contact Paris at his Allstate office, 213 E. National Ave., Brazil, or make donations to the Charles B. Hall Memorial Fund through the Clay County Community Foundation.