More money donated to Sam
A major donation pledge has brought the statue of Sam Sharpe closer to reality. A $10,000 “challenge donation” has been made by the Jericho Foundation, a charitable foundation of the Richard Muir family of Uxbridge. The Jericho Foundation donation will match new donations to the statue project from June 1 to a total of $10,000.
The statue project will see a life-size bronze sculpture of Lt. Col. Sam Sharpe installed in the centre of downtown Uxbridge, honouring the local World War I soldier who succumbed to “shell shock” as it was then known, and whose name and reputation were buried for 100 years after he took his own life.
“Today, we know it as PTSD – post-traumatic stress disorder – and we treat those who suffer, not hold them in disgrace”, said Richard Muir. “This statue conveys a real message, and encourages recognition of PTSD as a serious mental condition that requires treatment and understanding.”
The donation from the Jericho Foundation is the third in the “Foundation Donor” category, with gifts of $10,000 or more. The Rotary Club was the first such donor, followed by a commitment from the Roxy Theatres to allocate proceeds from their “Movies, Manicures and Martinis” event early next year.
The Sam Sharpe statue project received a $70,000 grant from the federal government, and needs to raise an additional $70,000 from the community.
“We need access to the Jericho Foundation’s challenge donation, so we encourage people that are thinking of donating to do it now because their contribution will be effectively doubled”, said Brad Buss, president of the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society, which is the proponent of the project, and will provide charitable tax receipts.
The sculpture is being created by Uxbridge sculptor Wynn Walters, who also created the statue of Lucy Maud Montgomery in Leaskdale. “We’re portraying Sharpe not as a proud military hero, but in a very reflective mood – he’s not celebrating victory, but agonizing about life and death,” said Walters. “For a sculpture of a military hero, it will be quite unique.”
The statue will be installed in the small parkette beside the CIBC bank in the centre of Uxbridge. “The use of their land has been generously given by the bank,” said Walters. The statue will be unveiled on May 25, 2018, 100 years to the day after Lt. Col. Sharpe’s death. It is expected that construction work to prepare the site for the sculpture will begin in mid-June; it will include replacement of the retaining wall near the bank that has collapsed.
Donations to the Sam Sharpe statue fund to help match the Muir family donation can be made through the Uxbridge-Scott Historical Society, P O Box 1301, Uxbridge ON L9P 1N5, or on line at www.ushs.ca/samsharpe. Tax receipts will be given for donations of $20 or more, and donations of $1,000 or more will be given permanent recognition at the site.