Bicentennial seeks ideas
for $250,000 Legacy Gift grant
far three entries
have been received for consideration
(November 2008) Madison, Ind.s Broadway
Fountain has become an enduring symbol of the city. Throughout the years,
countless community and private events have been held around the monument.
Dedicated in 1886, the fountain was a legacy gift presented to the city
during its 100th birthday celebration.
Now the Madison Bicentennial Celebration Committee is
hoping to present a lifetime Legacy Gift of its own to the city. Proposals
are being sought, and approximately $250,000 has been earmarked for
the Legacy Gift. The deadline for such projects has been extended to
Jan. 9. Madison will celebrate its Bicentennial throughout 2009 with
an extensive list of events and festivities.
The Legacy Gift is a permanent addition to the city; it can take
the form of virtually any kind of project, said Joe Carr, chairman
of the Legacy Gift subcommittee of the Madison Bicentennial Celebration
Committee. The project does need to be tangible, a symbol of Madison
and its heritage, highly visible and widely supported by the community.
The Legacy Gift proposals should reflect some aspect of the rich heritage
of Madison, Carr added. Potential subjects can include hydroplane racing,
the Underground Railroad, architecture, the Ohio River with steamboats
and keel boats, Native Americans, railroading, and a whole host of other
topics, according to Carr. Artists are also encouraged to submit ideas.
Proposals can build on these themes and point ahead as well,
he said. Organizations and individuals need to think long term;
just as the Broadway Fountain is an enduring symbol of Madison, so can
this proposal become an enduring symbol for the next century.
Jan Vetrhus, chairperson of the Madison Bicentennial Celebration Committee,
said funds have already been earmarked for the Legacy Gift, and plans
are under way to raise the rest of the amount needed for the event.
A Bicentennial Ball is planned for spring 2009 to help raise money for
the project. We are very excited about this gift, she said.
Our goal for the bicentennial is to have a great party and leave
a great gift.
Already several proposals have been presented as possible Legacy Gift
Projects. One project will include a historic bridge reconstructed over
Crooked Creek with a viewing area that will allow hikers on the Heritage
Trail of Madison to enjoy a panoramic view of the area.
Tom Pritchard, president of the Heritage Trail of Madison,
said the proposal would be a good gift to the community because of its
historic value. The bridge itself is a historic treasure,
he said. It would be another icon rich in historical value for
Another proposal is to create a memorial tribute to Irene Dunne, the
Hollywood star who grew up in Madison. Dunne, known as the First
Lady of Hollywood, had 22-year film career spanning the 1930s
and 1940s, starring in more than 40 movies. She was nominated five times
for an Academy Award as Best Actress but never won.
She is one of the most famous people ever to live in Madison,
said Amy Christner, president of the Irene Dunne Society. Honoring
her by naming a park after her or establishing a theater in her honor
would be a wonderful legacy to leave to the city. Christner is
working out the details of her proposed project.
Community volunteer and enthusiast Bob Greene has presented a proposal
that will tie the history of Madison to future economic opportunities.
His River Cliff Park project will save and open to the public
10 undeveloped acres along Madisons western riverfront. That area
will be the primary building block for River Cliff Park,
which will eventually extend up the Madison Railroad incline and include
the Heritage Trail of Madison and the historic cat steps
going up to the Madison State Hospital. The park will connect the Madison
Riverwalk Project that runs along Vaughn Drive to the Heritage Trail
of Madison and the other historic trails being developed in the area.
An education center to explain the interrelations of river life and
the railroad is part of the future plans for the park.
River Cliff Park has both real economic and recreational value,
he said. When completely finished, it will be an interactive site
that will draw visitors from across the country.
Greene played an instrumental role in clearing the land of debris and
trash to help connect the hilltop portion of the Heritage Trail to the
riverfront portion. He has also worked diligently for months on clearing
debris from the historic railroad incline. He has garnered much support
from around the community for his work on the various projects.
For more information about the Legacy Gift
Project, contact Joe Carr at (812) 265-2335 or visit: www.madisonbicentennial.com.
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