Archive for Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fund drive features wide-ranging activities for Eudora statue

April 27, 2006

If Eudora Fish were alive today, she might develop an ego ---- or at least a warm welcome from the town named after her.

A series of monthly events are being planned from now until EudoraFest 2007 to raise money for a statue of Eudora and her father: Chief Paschal Fish.

The unveiling of the statue is set to take place at the October 2007 celebration to coincide with Eudora's sesquicentennial.

"We're really starting to get some partnering with the community," Lions Club member and project organizer Tom Tucker said.

The events will work in conjunction with a memorial brick sale sponsored by the Lions Club and the city.

Tucker said orders were already coming in for the $50 bricks, including a trio purchased by Patrick Jankowski of the Eudora Planning Commission.

Jankowski made a challenge to the rest of the commission to purchase a brick for the project.

"I'm thinking his challenge also applies to the city council members," Tucker said.

Before informing the Eudora City Council at the Monday meeting of the upcoming benefit events, Tucker said the team behind the statue continued its conceptual development.

Lawrence sculptor Jim Brothers and Tucker are both continuing research into the dress and character of Eudora Fish.

"He's already started a clay figure of the statue," Tucker said.

At an earlier meeting, council members voted to commission the statue for $58,000. With the base and lighting, the entire project would top off at $75,000.

The price includes time and effort donated by Brothers, Tucker said.

With the goal clear for supporters, the supplementary events couldn't begin too soon.

The first monthly happening occurred Tuesday when Gambino's Pizza/Hero Deli donated a percentage of the day's profits to the project.

The fund drive will be kicked up another notch with a benefit show May 12 by Annie's Country Jubilee from Tonganoxie, Tucker said.

"We're calling this the kick-off concert for the statue project," Tucker said.

The show will be at 7 p.m. in the Eudora Middle School auditorium.

"I'm hoping we'll actually fill the auditorium," Tucker said. "I do encourage people to purchase tickets in advance."

Tickets for the show will be $9 for adults and $5 for students.

"We tried to put something in every month and we tried to create quite a variety," Tucker said.

In June, project organizers will trade the jangle of old-time music for the rumble of motorcycles and the clicking of dice.

Matt Montgomery of DC Custom Cycles will organize a 50/50 dice run.

The run will feature a motorcycle ride that will span from Eudora to De Soto to Baldwin and Lawrence and eventually end up back in Eudora and will feature game stops in between.

"That should be a nice fund-raising event," Tucker said.

The ride should also bring more business into town, Tucker said.

"That's what we're really trying to do ---- make it a win-win situation," Tucker said.

Project organizers have also planned a bingo night put together by the Knights of Columbus in July and a garage sale in August.

Tucker said the school district might get involved more heavily after August.

Tucker said there are plans for a talent show in November and a return of the holiday home tour.

Council member Lori Fritzel volunteered to help organize the home tour.

"Two or three years ago the Relay For Life did a holiday home tour that was very successful," Fritzel said. "So we thought we'd use that for background."

Tucker said in addition to the events, the city is also looking into hiring a grant writer for the project.

"There are funds out there," Tucker said."We just need to go get them."

Councilman Bill Whitten addressed Tucker after his presentation.

"I'd just like to say thank you to the Lions Club for setting up such great fund-raising activities," Whitten said.

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