AMESBURY — After a $20,000 restoration, the Doughboy statue is ready for its unveiling.
The rededication ceremony is set for Sunday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at the Middle School.
Sculpted by the artist behind the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial, Leonard Craske, the WWI-era soldier has nobly stood in front of Amesbury Middle School since 1929. The Doughboy weathered the fire that burned down the old Amesbury High School in 1964, but time took its toll by the beginning of the 21st century. The privately funded project began its fundraising efforts last summer, pulling in $7,000 by December.
“Back in January, I didn’t think it would happen because we didn’t raise enough funds,” said Ski Iworsky, co-chairman of the Veterans’ Memorials Restoration Committee and a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. “But thanks to the media support, the money started coming in. People have been dedicated to helping this succeed.”
After an anonymous couple gave a matching $7,000 donation and a pair of local banks donated $3,000 apiece, the restoration was ready to begin. Woburn’s Skylight Studios has been handling the restoration on site at the middle school for the past week in preparation for the unveiling.
“I was at the Holy Family Parish yesterday and several people came up to me and they had just caught a glimpse of the Doughboy,” Iworsky said. “And they said it is going to look beautiful.”
Mayor Ken Gray and Frances Justin, who was a schoolgirl at the monument’s original dedication, will unveil the Doughboy during the ceremony. The monument’s three separate plaques will be recognized during the event. State Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport, will dedicate the Revolutionary War plaque. State Rep. Mike Costello, D-Newburyport, will dedicate the Civil War plaque, and Veterans’ Services officer Kevin Hunt will dedicate the plaque marking the Spanish-American War.