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Statue honoring Chambersburg founders planned

April 20, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A statue honoring the founding family of Chambersburg could be in place for this fall's AppleFest if the Chambersburg Borough Council agrees to cosign an unsecured loan for the project.

The statue, depicting founder Benjamin Chambers welcoming home son James and grandson Benjamin following their six-year absence during the Revolutionary War, will be placed in Fort Chambers Park and unveiled Oct. 20 for AppleFest, said Paul Cullinane, president of Downtown Chambersburg Inc. and co-chairman of the Founding Family Memorial Statue Committee.

"We've already raised about $75,000 and all expenses have been paid to date," Cullinane said. That includes a life-size clay statue by sculptor Wayne Hyde of Bedford, Pa.

The committee has $21,000 remaining in the bank, and needs about $40,000 more to have the bronze statue cast and placed in the park, Cullinane said.

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At its Monday workshop meeting, the council reached a consensus to back a request by the Chambersburg Development Corp. that the council sign the loan on behalf of the committee, Borough Secretary Tanya Mickey said. The council is expected to act on the request at a regular meeting in May, she said.

"The borough would not have any fiscal burden to pay it back," Cullinane said of the loan. The committee intends to raise the rest of the money within the next year, he said.

"We don't want this project to drag out any longer," Cullinane said. "We've been working on it for several years."

Action on the loan is needed in the next month to be ready for the Oct. 20 unveiling because casting the statue is a four-month process and getting it moved to the park will take a couple of more weeks, he said.

By that time, the Village on the Falling Spring project, which includes expansion of the park and installation of walkways, lighting and footbridges across the Conococheague Creek and Falling Spring, among other amenities, will be completed as well, Cullinane said.

In the meantime, Cullinane said engraved bricks and pavers that will be laid near the statue can be purchased to support the project. The $50 bricks, $500 8-inch-by-8-inch family pavers and $1,000 1-foot-by-1-foot corporate pavers can be purchased through the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce, he said.

Checks made out to the Founding Family Memorial Statue will be accepted by the borough, Cullinane said.

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