Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Saving the Lincoln Highway's Chief Black Hawk-- Part 1: Meet the Rausas

From the Jan. 2, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Activist Undaunted by diagnosis" by Ted Gregory.

Most folks driving along the old Lincoln Highway make a side trip in western Illinois out to see the 103-year-old Eternal Indian statue (referred to most as Chief Black Hawk) located in Lowden State Park in Oregon, Illinois.  Those seeing it right now would hardly recognize it as it is now shrouded in a green nylon material and scaffolding as it awaits restoration slated to start this spring.

And it has that material because of the efforts of Charron and Frank Rausa who have pulled off an improbable campaign to save the 48-foot, 270-ton statue.  They have raised some 90% of the money needed to renovate it at its site on the bluffs above the Rock River, some 100 miles from Chicago.

Sadly, Charron, 79, has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer which has spread throughout her body.  She had decided not to find out how long she has to live as she is determined to be around for the statue's unveiling sometime late in 2015.


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