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Offers of Help Replace Plaque With Misspelled Astronaut’s Name

February 1, 1987

TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A businessman said Sunday he would help replace a $1,500 memorial plaque that bears the misspelled name of Challenger astronaut Judith Resnik, and a monument maker in New York also offered aid.

Bob McGarity, who owns an advertising firm in nearby Daytona Beach, said he called Mayor Truman Scarborough about replacing the plaque after hearing news reports Saturday about the error.

The plaque bears the misspelled name of ″Judith A. Resnick,″ along with the correctly spelled names of the shuttle’s other six crew members. All seven died when the Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff Jan. 28, 1986.

″I just feel somebody ought to help out for what they can,″ McGarity said Sunday. ″So on the spur of the moment I called up the mayor at his house ... and I offered whatever we can do to help out.″

Members of the city’s Flag and Memorial Committee, which raised about a third of the funds for the $36,000 memorial which bears the plaque, have known about the mistake since the plaque’s unveiling last June.

They said they were upset about the spelling error but did not have the $1,500 they thought it would cost to replace the 2-by-3-foot plaque.

McGarity, a wholesale distributor of plaques and awards, said he is confident the plaque can be replaced for less than $1,000.

″I did not write them a blank check on replacing it,″ McGarity said.″I said I would help.″

Vito Sorrentino, 55, of the Presbrey-Leland Monument Co. in Valhalla, N.Y., said he too planned to call Titusville and tell officials that ″in one way or another, we’ll help out.″

″We’ll either offer our services, or we’ll help them pay for it,″ said Sorrentino. ″That’s what life’s about.″

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