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Black Hawk fund nearly at goal

August 16, 2018 GMT

OREGON – It looks like spring will bring a rebirth of the iconic Black Hawk statue.

About $600,000 is needed to repair the historic concrete monolith, which is crumbling after weathering more 108 years of wind and snow and rain on the bluff it sits on high above the Rock River.

About $300,000 must be raised before the state will turn over a matching $350,000 grant approved by lawmakers in late May.

A $100,000 donation from E.D. Etnyre & Co. last month, about $25,000 raised by Oregon Together, local fundraising events, individual donors, and other contributions, and pledges from local foundations has raised about $265,000, Eric Schenck, executive director Illinois Conservation Foundation, said in a news release Wednesday afternoon. The IFC is administering the statue repair fund.

That means the funding gap, which was about $90,000 a week ago, is down to less than $35,000.

“Once these last few funds are fully secured, ICF will be able to match state funds that have been appropriated to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and sign a contract with the conservator to begin restoration,” Schenck said.

The IDNR, which oversees the statue in Lowden State Park, will hire Quality Restorations Inc. of Wood Dale to make the repairs, probably in the spring, organizers have said.

“I cannot say enough about how impressed I have been with the outpouring of support that I have seen from the Oregon community,” Schenck said, “With a final push to secure remaining funds, I am convinced we can make this happen.”