Less than $90,000 is needed for the repairs to the Black Hawk Statue to get started.
Roger Cain, a member of the Black Hawk Restoration Team, told team members Tuesday morning that $210,000 has been raised of the $300,000 needed for contracts to be signed for the restoration work.
“We’ve done quite well,” said team chairman Jan Stilson.
The team has been raising the private funds required to obtain a matching state grant for $350,000 finally approved by the Illinois General Assembly in late May.
The cost of the repairs is estimated at $600,000.
In early July, $59,000 was in the statue repair fund, which is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation in Springfield.
A $100,000 donation came in mid-July from E.D. Etnyre and Company, Oregon.
Other fund-raising efforts, both locally and at the Cliff Dwellers meeting in Chicago brought in more funds.
Cain said several other organizations have made commitments to donate.
ICF Executive Director Eric Schenck praised the team’s efforts.
“This is a great example of what can be accomplished when members of a local community come together to support a common cause,” he said. “These contributions have significantly narrowed the funding gap that remains and have brought us that much closer to everyone’s goal of starting restoration work as soon as possible.”
The contracts between the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Quality Restorations Inc., of Wood Dale, will be signed once the private money has been raised, Cain said, which means the work will probably begin next spring rather than later this year.
“The people of northern Illinois are waiting to see something happen,” Stilson said.
Cain said he is not sure if the statue will be wrapped again this winter to protect it from the elements.
It was unwrapped in early June after nearly four years in protective coverings.
The 48-foot statue, made of concrete and created by sculptor Lorado Taft in 1910 as a tribute to Native Americans, is situated on a high bluff overlooking the Rock River at Lowden State Park near Oregon.
Those wishing to donate to the restoration project can do so online at www.ilcf.org or to send checks to Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702.
For more information call Stilson at 815-732-7439.