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Community Digest

Long Beach : King Statue Drive Falters

January 02, 1986

A campaign to erect a nine-foot bronze statue of Martin Luther King Jr. at a Long Beach park by Jan. 20, when the slain civil rights leader's birthday will be celebrated, has fallen far short of its fund-raising goal. Organizers say both the monument and a proposed scholarship and youth-activity fund are in jeopardy.

So far, only $25,000 of the $100,000 goal has been raised, monument fund co-chairwoman Carrie Bryant said.

Although $11,000 has been paid to a South El Monte foundry where the bronze King statue was cast, at least $19,000 more is needed to get the monument to Martin Luther King Jr. Park in central Long Beach and mounted on a six-foot granite-and-concrete base, Bryant said.

Another $40,000 is owed to Long Beach artist Larry Stokes, who has spent much of the past year sculpting the statue on the promise of payment, Bryant said. Stokes' fee was the lowest bid from three artists who had been interested in doing the sculpture, she said.

If the $100,000 goal is reached, at least $20,000 would be left for a scholarship and youth-activity fund, Bryant said.

"Now we're hoping the churches in this area will come to the rescue," she said.

For more information, call the Miracle Tabernacle Martin Luther King Jr. Monument Fund at 591-6656, 599-3091 or 433-2096.

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