INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis City Market is raising funds needed to erect a plaque telling the story World War II and Indianapolis Fire Department veteran, the late James “Jimmy” O’Donnell, as well as the story of the USS Indianapolis on which he served. The City Market has been honored to house a statue of O’Donnell on the Whistler (west) plaza for several years. But the statue does not tell the story of the worst U.S. naval disaster in our country’s history, or of O’Donnell’s part in it. This plaque will serve to enshrine these stories for generations to come.
The fundraising campaign’s goal is to raise $5,500 to erect a bronze cast plaque; it runs through Kickstarter, and is an all-or-nothing campaign that ends on Friday, Oct 27.
To raise funds for the campaign the City Market is partnering with Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Union Local 416 to hold a fundraiser dinner at their union hall on Thurs., Oct 19, from 5-8 p.m. Admission will be $10 and will include food and drink, with all proceeds being donated to the campaign. Local 416’s union hall is located at 748 Massachusetts Avenue.
Local bar and restaurant Mass Ave Pub will also lend a hand by holding a give-back the same day as the fundraiser dinner, Oct 19, by donating 15 percent of food sales to the campaign during their hours of operation, 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
James E. “Jimmy” O’Donnell was a born-and-raised resident of Indianapolis, a graduate of Tech High School Class of 1938, and a Water Tender Third Class in the U.S. Navy on the USS Indianapolis. After surviving the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, O’Donnell remained in the Navy until 1946. O’Donnell returned to Indianapolis and continued to serve his community as an Indianapolis firefighter; he retired from department in 1981. O’Donnell and his wife Mary Alice were active parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes; he was a member of the American Legion #0495, the Disabled American Veterans, F.R.A., Amvets, the VFW, Our Lady of Fatima Council of Knights of Columbus, an honorary member of the Sertoma Club, the Firefighters’ Union, and the Stage Hands’ Union. O’Donnell passed away in January 2013.
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