Stepping up

The spirit of community service has been etched in stone with a sizeable donation from a local organization.

The Board of Directors of the Fredonia Beaver Club recently presented a check to members of the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee. The check, made out for more than $2,000, will be used toward the “maquette,” or small-scale draft of the honorary statue that is being created to honor famed Marmaduke cartoon artist Brad Anderson and his notable worldwide artistry.

Don Sotile, a Chautauqua County native himself and the sculptor of the Anderson statue, has created the maquette for the committee to be used for fundraising and promotion purposes, and the oil and clay replica will be available to view shortly, according to Committee member Al Valentin.

“Don (Sotile) and Brad and his family worked together and the final result of the statue is Brad’s idea. Don used a lot of photographs of Brad throughout different years of his life and Brad chose what age he wanted to be depicted as,” Valentin said.

To date, the Fredonia Beaver Club is the largest donor to the large-scale project.

When the full-size statue nears completion, the committee hopes to have raised more money through donations like the Beaver Club’s, as well as through marketing initiatives.

Committee members are currently working on rolling out several fundraising projects, some of which will include marketing an exclusive line of items featuring the character Marmaduke.

“The statue will feature Brad and Marmaduke of course, but many may not know that Brad’s dog Marmadee, also a Great Dane, was the inspiration of how Marmaduke is positioned in the statue. The way Marmaduke will stand is inspired by Marmadee,” added Valentin.

“We’re very thankful to The Beaver Club for this wonderful donation and for making this commitment to our project,” Committee Chairman Jerry Boltz said.

The Beaver Club has expressed to committee members that they hope to remain an active part of the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee as it realizes its goal to have the statue of Brad and his famous cartoon character standing with pride in his hometown of the Village of Brocton.

“The Fredonia Beaver Club is a very vital and helpful member of our local community and we’re fortunate to have a project taking place centered around such a notable artist. It’s definitely a project that the Beaver Club’s board of directors believes in and wants to be a part of. We just can’t thank them enough,” concluded Valentin.

The two thanked the board of directors by presenting them with a photograph of the maquette, which will be framed and displayed in the club quarters.

Committee members are aiming to have the official maquette ready for display as early as the Portland Bicentennial Celebration’s Kick Off Dinner slated for April. Any businesses, individuals or organizations wishing to learn more about the tribute to artist Brad Anderson can contact Boltz or Valentin directly at the Portland Town Hall where they both serve as town councilmen.