Restoring doughboy a worthy project
July 19, 2002 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL)
In Naperville, there are always a lot of projects vying for charitable dollars.
Think of the many new projects that have been started in recent years, mostly with money raised from private donations.
These include the various Century Walk artworks, the Millennium Carillon, the Sept. 11-Cmdr. Dan Shanower memorial and Fredenhagen Park, to name a few.
These are all fine projects, but we'd like Napervillians also to consider contributing to an effort to fix up something old, a public monument that has been in our town since 1926.
It is the Spirit of the American Doughboy statue in Burlington Square Park, which commemorates the valiant efforts of American soldiers in World War I. For readers who may not be familiar with Burlington Square Park, it is that small park at the front entrance to Naperville's central train station, east of Washington Street at Fifth Avenue.
The statue was dedicated in 1926 by American Legion Post 43, but over the years this significant part of Naperville's history sadly has fallen into disrepair due to the effects of neglect and vandalism.
The statue is cracked and is missing parts, including the left hand that once held a rifle.
Now, a campaign, called Save Our Doughboy, is being undertaken to restore the memorial to its former glory.
In addition to fixing the statue, the plan calls for establishing an appropriate setting for it, including lighting, park benches and landscaping.
So far, the campaign has raised not quite a quarter of its $100,000 goal.
We would hope this relatively small amount of money, at least by Naperville project standards, would be raised quickly so the work could be completed by next Memorial Day, the goal set by Naperville artist Dee Pasternak, who started the effort.
A description of the project is included in the new Naperville Park District autumn program guide.
A check-off box for donations is included on the registration form.
Residents may also send contributions to the Naperville Park District, 320 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540. Be sure to write what the donation is for on the memo line of the check.
For more information about the project, call (630) 484-5000.