AMESBURY — A fundraising push to restore the deteriorating Doughboy monument has so far failed to gain much traction, and residents coordinating the restoration effort are urging residents and local businesses to help contribute before it’s too late.
“We’ve got about $7,000, which is nowhere near what we need,” said Rosemary Werner, one of the volunteers behind the restoration effort.
The Amesbury Veterans Memorials Restoration Committee is seeking donations from the general public to help fund a complete restoration of the Doughboy. The funds raised would be used to clean the monument and its three panels, and also repair damage caused by acid rain and natural wear and tear.
Werner said the goal is to have the restoration completed in May, that way the rededication ceremony could coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.
In order to do that, the committee said they would need to raise $20,000 by February so that the work can be completed on time. At the rate things are going, there is no way the monument would be ready by May.
“We’re encouraging people to donate in memory of loved ones that have been in service,” Werner said. “Remember that there are 18 monuments in town, and we need to take charge of getting them brought back to where they should be.”
Werner said she hopes this fundraising push would be the first step in an ongoing process to eventually restore each of the city’s other war monuments. She said it was important to start with the Doughboy because it’s by far the biggest and most prominent monument in town, and a community fundraiser would be appropriate given that that’s how the monument was built in the first place.
The Doughboy — which was sculpted by Leonard Craske, who is most famous for crafting The Fisherman in Gloucester — was originally dedicated on Armistice Day in 1929.