To date, more than half of the total funds for the project have been raised through significant donations from several contributors. The local group behind the project, led by the Monticello Elementary School Community Council, seeks to raise an additional $20,000.
The kick-off event for the community is a Fall Feast Dinner and Raffle sponsored by the Lions Club. The event is on October 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Monticello Elementary School cafeteria.
Proceeds from the event, which will include dinner and a raffle, will benefit the fundraising effort.
The raffle will include dozens of items with a total value worth thousands of dollars.
The Lions Club has a long history of making contributions to community projects.
In addition, proceeds of cupcake sales from One Sweet Slice will also be donated to the effort.
One Sweet Slice owner Janell (Randall) Brown, winner of Cupcake Wars, is a Monticello native.
Flights of Learning, by Monticello sculptor Bryce Pettit, represents a young child reading a book. The sculpture features six beautifully crafted birds bursting from the book.
Pettit, who owns the Pettit Wildlife Art Studio, explains that the owl represents science and math; the falcon, history; the jay, literature; the meadowlark, music; the hummingbird, fantasy; and the tern stands for the arts.
Pettit’s daughter, Lydia, is the model for the female version of the statue. She is a sixth grade student at Monticello Elementary.
Other versions of the sculpture have occasionally been displayed in Veterans Memorial Park in Monticello. The latest sculpture at the park is now displayed at a permanent home at a library in Hawaii. Pettit reports that the statue can be found in locations across the country.
The San Juan School District Education Foundation will handle the funding for the project. Tax deductible donations can be sent to the foundation at 200 North Main St, Blanding, UT 84511. On the donation, identify MES statue as the project to be supported.