The doughboy will soon have company.
More than a week ahead of schedule, the “crowdfunding” mechanism employed to draw support for installation of the Spirit of the American Navy statue in Burlington Square Park hit its $77,000 goal.
Century Walk Corp., which purchases and installs public art throughout Naperville, will now be able to put the copper sculpture into place in time to celebrate its arrival at a dedication set for Oct. 13, which is the Navy’s 238th birthday.
“The goal was hit eight days before the deadline,” Citizinvestor co-founder Jordan Raynor said in an email Sept. 27. “Thanks to generous Citizinvestors in Naperville and across the country, the City of Naperville and Century Walk will have the resources they need to install this statue in Burlington Square Park.”
Brand Bobosky, Century Walk’s president, noted that the nonprofit has paid the cost for the statue itself, one of eight copies of the World War I monument created in 1927 by sculptor E. M. Viquesney.
The artist intended the sculpture, nicknamed “Sailorboy,” to complement his Spirit of the American Doughboy piece, a replica of which has stood in Burlington Square Park since in 1926. That sculpture, reproduced for public display more than 150 times, was designed to honor the memory of World War I veterans, fondly referred to as “doughboys.”
Bobosky said the arrangement proposed by Citizinvestor, a first for funding local public art, called for the city and Century Walk each to provide $25,000 toward the estimated $75,000 cost for installing the sailor figure, with the remaining one-third share to be raised through the public funding tool. If it fell short of that sum, Citizinvestor would not be paid its 8 percent fee. The goal was reached with participation from 54 investors, according to the Century Walk’s website.
“In our case, 8 percent of 25 grand is two thousand bucks,” Bobosky said in explaining how the $77,000 goal was set.
The funds raised will pay for the installation of benches, sidewalk, some lighting, landscaping, and the granite base itself, which represents nearly half of the expense.
The installation is set for 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the park, 307 N. Ellsworth St., Naperville.
“The public is all invited. The Navy band is going to be there and participate with our municipal band,” Bobosky said. “So it should be a nice day and it should be a good addition to Burlington Square Park.”