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Letter: Community support is needed to fund Earhart statue

"We are scheduled to retrieve the statue in April, at which time we must have raised $42,039 to complete the payment."

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Letter to the Editor
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To the Editor:

The Community Appearance Committee of the Worthington Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank The Globe for helping us get started with fundraising for a statue of Amelia Earhart. The Globe sponsors a chair auction each year at the Regatta in June and this year, the money from the sale of the chairs was awarded to our committee for the Amelia statue.

The Globe generously gave us $5,000, which made it possible to place our order for the statue. It is being made in the studio of artist Gary Lee Price, who created the statue and has a studio in Utah. We are scheduled to retrieve the statue in April, at which time we must have raised $42,039 to complete the payment. The statue is made of bronze so it will endure our often blustery wind, sleet and snow.

The statue is a bench upon which Amelia is sitting and looking out over Lake Okabena. It is 66 inches wide and Amelia is life-size. She is dressed in flight gear, and her helmet is resting on the end of the bench. The committee feels this is an attraction for tourism as well as local enjoyment.

“Come sit down by Amelia and have your picture taken!”

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During Amelia’s growing up years, which date back to the early 1900s, she spent many summers in Worthington visiting the Mann family who had a farm located where the Freese home now stands. In an extensive biography of over 400 pages by Susan Butler, the author writes of Amelia’s visits to Worthington and includes pictures of her here.

One of Amelia’s loves while visiting here was for a pony named Prince, which she rode and played with. She also experienced a lot of other “firsts” here. She learned to milk a cow, bale hay, play tennis and took her first car ride in a Reo, and of course spent many hours on Lake Okabena fishing and swimming.

Amelia became internationally known because of her flying adventures. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic twice, first as a passenger and the second time she flew solo. She set many more records and is regarded as a leading feminist icon, encouraging women to follow their dreams. She also authored books and designed clothing which was featured in Vogue magazine.

Amelia was recently honored by her home state of Kansas by placing her statue in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

She has earned international fame and we are happy and proud to say she is coming back to Worthington, a place she loved. The statue will be placed along the Sailboard Beach area.

We ask for community support as we go forward with the Amelia statue. If you are interested in donating to this project, please call the Chamber at (507) 372-2919, Ken at (507) 329-0158 or Zuby at (507) 360-1076.

Ken and Zuby Jansen
Committee co-chairs
Worthington

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