Fundraising efforts from a young musician playing violin for Arts and Artisan Show visitors to last week’s benefit at Harrison’s has helped raise around one-half of the money needed for the Veterans Memorial Park soldier statue.
Ron Re of the Veterans Memorial Committee said over the weekend that the halfway point has been reached, with more work to be done
The committee is seeking to raise $32,500 that will be needed to obtain a sculpture being designed and made specifically for the park by Timothy Schmalz of Ontario, Canada. Around $27,000 is needed for the sculpture, with the balance of the money going for a granite base, if those funds can be raised.
Re said fundraisers such as those by the Dakins at Indian Creek Fabricators, the people at Harrison’s restaurant, a man who has raised $150 collecting cans and the young woman who played the violin for donations are very much appreciated.
“Everybody wants to do something,” Re said.
In addition, Matt Buehrer of Thrivent Financial Services and his company each matched dollar for dollar the money made at the Harrison’s event.
Schmalz, known for his religious-themed statues and sculptures, offered to work with the committee at a “drastically reduced” rate to design and create a sculpture, Re said.
Schmaltz was looking for a military-theme project for a veterans’ memorial or cemetery in recognition of today’s soldiers. The artist learned about the Tipp City Veterans Memorial through research done by his agent, who had read about the effort earlier this year to raise money for another statue.
That effort did not go forward because of payment deadlines required if the committee wanted to buy a statue another community ordered but could not raise the money to purchase.
The proposed sculpture will pay tribute to all who have ever served on behalf of the country in the Armed Forces. It will stand about five feet and feature a modern GI wearing fatigues, kneeling beside a child and pointing to the engraved bricks at the memorial.
The statute’s tentative name is “Remembering Why.”
A two-foot clay model is being constructed first for around $2,000, a bill being paid with donations by four local Masonic Lodge members. The finished statue will be bronze.
Another fundraiser is scheduled the last weekend in July at Bob Evans, which will donate 15 percent from food sales to those who present a flyer in support of the veterans’ memorial fundraiser.
Tax-deductible contributions to the statue fund may be made to: Tipp Monroe Community Services, P.O. Box 242, Tipp City, 45371. Note on check memo line: Veterans Memorial Committee
Matt Buehrer, Ellen Waldron, Kathy Taylor, Ron Re and Bob Terrell