As part of Heritage Days in Macomb, a model of the women's memorial statue was displayed near Chandler Park, not far from the location where it will be located.
“It gave me goose bumps when I first saw it. It's just a wonderful rendition of exactly what we were looking for,” said Tina Belz, co-chair of the McDonough County Social Service Memorial Committee of the Macomb Women's Club.
The piece is called ”Facing the Storm.” It depicts a woman with a girl who is holding a cat. They're dressed in clothing from the early 1900s, which was a time when women fought for and gained more rights. The bronze statue includes many bits of symbolism, such as swirls to represent the wind.
“She (the woman) is defiant that she's going to get through it and she's going to protect the young one behind her,” said Peoria-based artist Jaci Willis, who will create the piece.
Willis said members of the committee have strong opinions so she listened to what they wanted and together they came up with the concept.
About 20% of the money needed to build the memorial has been raised.
“We need those funds. We need those donations so they can give me the go-ahead. It will take me a whole year to get this piece done,” Willis said.
Marilyn Pastorelli, co-chair of the McDonough County Social Service Memorial Committee, said the group is raising money by selling bricks and other features related to the monument.
“We have gray granite bricks for people to buy and have their names engraved or they can have the brick engraved in memory of someone that they've lost,” Pastorelli said.
She said there are a number of options:
- 4 x 8 inch bricks are $100
- 8 x 8 inch bricks with 6 lines of engraving are $500
- A name can be placed on a black strip of granite for $1,000
- A name can be engraved on the top or side of a black granite bench for $2,500
- A name can be placed on the black granite base below the statue for $5,000
The committee is also selling 14-inch bronze models of the statue. This is a limited edition item -- the mold will be broken after 25 are produced.