In early 2010 OTORA (the Old Town Orcutt Revitalization Association) decided to bring a Gateway Monument to Old Town Orcutt. David & Jennifer Stockdale was the first to "seed the fund" with a donation of $1,000.00 at Berto van Veen's Birthday Party. Paul Enstad from Orcutt 76 soon followed with another $1,000.00.
At the time OTORA was working on another beautification project at the intersection of Clark Avenue and Gray Street. This involved a lot of time and dedication to ensure that the project resulted in OTORA's "quality of design" requirement. OTORA was instrumental in getting 8 street trees planted, brickwork in the sidewalk, stamped concrete crosswalks, and landscaped planters. Berto van Veen and Steve LeBard worked tirelessly with the County staff going back and forth until they finally got the results that they were looking for.
Eventually the OTORA Board voted to move ahead with the Gateway Memorial Project earmarking $5,000.00 in initial funding. This did not include other donations and contributions that were starting to flow in.
OTORA President Steve LeBard volunteered to research the flagpole costs, height, materials, flag size and design ideas. After much research including calling and emailing flag/flagpole manufacturers, calling and visiting commercial flagpole owners up and down the Central Coast of California and on the internet Steve decided to start designing the monument.
"Things seemed to just fall in place almost like you're thinking something has to go wrong but it never did...in fact it just seemed to get better and better...like this was supposed to happen...it was being directed from above. I went to sleep thinking about it and woke up thinking about it. Everyone I talked to was very enthusiastic. I especially remember Bob Cherry from Cherry Cabinets; he had cut some plywood for me and helped me make some parts for the model. I asked him how much I owed him and he said matter-of-factly "you don't owe me nothing, is there anything else that I can do to help you".