The Rausas immediately got to work on saving their statue. Frank Rausas wrote a grant for money that was rejected. They then established a group, The friends of the Black Hawk Statue Committee and were able to have it placed on the National register of Historic Places.
They then began speaking at various organizations like the Rotary, alumni associations and historical societies. They came up with a "Pennies for Black Hawk" which encouraged school children to contribute coins. A computer graphics class at Sterling High School produced a 13-minute DVD on the Eternal Indian.
Their efforts did not go for naught and caught the attention of bigger benefactors. The state came up with a $350,000 grant. The Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin contributed a $150,000 matching grant. The annual Oregon Trail Days celebration in Oregon raised about $50,000 over five years. Other organizations also contributed.
The restoration fund rose to $740,000. The total, however, may come to more after crews begin tearing off deteriorating sections and better understand what is needed. The Rausas have set a final goal of $825,000 to cover it and start an ongoing maintenance fund.
Some Really Great People. --RoadDog
WLS Top Ten for July 22, 1968: "Born To be Wild"
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