The official kickoff of a fundraising campaign to construct a building to house 9/11 memorabilia at Motts Military Museum in Groveport is scheduled at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on May 6.

The official kickoff of a fundraising campaign to construct a building to house 9/11 memorabilia at Motts Military Museum in Groveport is scheduled at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on May 6.

Three men who were on duty in New York or at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, will be guest speakers.

Lt. Dominick Maggiore, now retired, is an 18-year veteran of the New York Fire Department's Emergency Medical Services; Capt. John J. (Jack) Boyle, also retired, is a 26-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department Bureau of EMS Operations; and Alan Wallace, a retired U.S. Department of Defense firefighter and medic in the U.S. Navy, was on duty at the Pentagon. All will share their experiences from 9/11.

Early admission to the zoo and free parking are included with event tickets, which are being sold through the museum website at Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and guest speakers will begin their presentations at 7:30 p.m.

So far, $60,000 in individual contributions have been raised for the $2.5 million project, according to Daisy Motts, a member of the museum's board of directors and wife of museum founder Warren Motts.

Other funding is likely to include $50,000 from the state of Ohio and $25,000 from the city of Groveport.

State Sen. Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park), who represents District 3 in the Ohio Senate -- which includes Groveport -- requested in Senate Bill 310 that the museum receive $50,000 in the current capital budget, according to Eric Campfield, senior legislative aide for Bacon.

Last week, the bill passed the Ohio Senate; next, it will go before the Ohio House of Representatives for a vote, Campfield said.

"I was very impressed by the Motts Military Museum and especially the 9/11 exhibit. I was proud to have contributed to their efforts. The capital bill allocation was the least we could do," Bacon said.

Groveport City Council was expected to approve the $25,000 contribution at its April 25 meeting, after ThisWeek's press time.

The 9/11 exhibit at Motts Military Museum will be the second-largest in the country, after the Ground Zero exhibit at the site of the former World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City, according to Daisy Motts.

"It is very important to my husband, Warren, to preserve the memory of what happened on 9/11," she said. "He didn't want the history of it to be lost, and we wanted Ohio to have that history in the form of an educational museum at Motts."

Plans for the new museum call for the 9/11 artifacts to be housed in a dedicated building just north of and adjacent to the current museum at 5075 S. Hamilton Road in Groveport, according to Lori Motts, the couple's daughter.

Items that have been donated for the new exhibit include a crushed New York City fire truck and a police cruiser; an undercover agent's car; an antenna from the World Trade Center's north tower; marble flooring from the World Trade Center building and pieces of the Pentagon building, according to Daisy Motts.

"We do a lot of work with school groups, and this is another part of history that we can share with the kids," she said.

Some of the marble will be incorporated into the building that will house the 9/11 exhibit, she added.

Groveport city officials are enthusiastic about the proposed 9/11 memorial exhibit at Motts.

"Motts Military Museum has been a big asset to the city of Groveport," Mayor Lance Westcamp said. "The museum draws visitors from all around the United States and other countries. The 9/11 exhibit will draw even more visitors to our great city."

City Administrator Marsha Hall called the museum "a wonderful asset for Groveport."

"City officials are pleased to be a small part of the museum through donations and assistance," she said. "Their addition of the 9/11 exhibit will provide educational opportunities for years to come."