Alki Statue of Liberty plaza fundraiser tonight: $57K to go

More than 50 people attended a cozy fundraiser upstairs at Duke’s on Alki tonight for the Seattle (Alki) Statue of Liberty Plaza Project. It marked the start of one more big push for the $57,000 that SSLPP leaders Libby and Paul Carr say they still need to pay for their group’s full vision of a plaza to surround the recast statue and its future new pedestal. They’ve already raised more than $100,000, including $50,000 from the city and other donations including this one announced by Walter Reese from Delridge’s Nucor steel mill (introduced by Libby Carr) at tonight’s event:

Here’s part of the opening remarks by KIRO Radio talk-show host Dave Ross, who emceed the evening, telling a story about appreciating the US – and its icons such as the Statue of Liberty and replicas like the one on Alki – after a trip in Eastern Europe long ago:

Other dignitaries who attended (but didn’t make speeches) included West Seattle-dwelling Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, his newly elected fellow Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tim Burgess, new city Parks Superintendent Timothy Gallagher, and West Seattle’s County Councilmember Dow Constantine. Here’s one more clip, as Paul Carr explains the state of the SSLPP finances:

Throughout the event, where guests got to nosh on a serious hors d’oeuvres buffet provided by Duke’s (including even their fabled chowder), the Carrs and Ross repeated the $ pitch and all the options available to potential donors (detailed on the website). How close will they get? We’ll know in less than three weeks. Meantime, if you want to catch up on the developments that brought the plaza plan to this point, all of our coverage is archived here.

22 Replies to "Alki Statue of Liberty plaza fundraiser tonight: $57K to go"

  • Michael December 28, 2007 (4:27 am)

    I’m going to say this again: the plaza is not a good idea.
    This money could do SO much good donated to area charities, while a simple, updated pedestal would keep the Alki beach landscape balanced and, well, beach-like.
    It would truly be the best of both worlds.
    (BTW, the good folks at WSB need to fix the inability to create paragraphs in the comments.)

  • k December 28, 2007 (7:31 am)

    not sure why i feel this way, but i think there are better uses for that money.

  • Kayleigh December 28, 2007 (7:47 am)

    We have a statue of liberty in NYC, which is quite lovely and meaningful. A small one here just doesn’t move me.

  • m December 28, 2007 (10:24 am)

    I agree. There are so many better uses of time and money.

  • acemotel December 28, 2007 (1:52 pm)

    The statue of liberty at ALki is just fine as it is. The beauty of Alki Beach is in the water, the sand the storms and wind, not in the plaza, IMO. It’s nice to have the plain and simple plaza as a backdrop, rather than a paean to overinflated egos – as symbolized by bricks with names, which strikes me as a kind of tragedy. One can possess neither the beach nor “liberty” per se. Both these belong to everyone, and attempting to possess them or “mark” them (like dogs) with names is wrong. And I hate to say this, but that statue, especially compared to the real thing, is butt-ugly. Something is wonky with the proportions. But an ugly statue on a plain base is OK for Alki. I am sorry to see Alki deFremonted.

  • Jo December 29, 2007 (8:23 am)

    Libby or Paul:
    I’m (and others, too, I suspect) am unable to fully access the video of Paul’s financial reporting.
    So, would you please give us all a run-down here of where the project stands financially at this time?
    Would be most appreciated.

  • Goody December 29, 2007 (12:01 pm)

    I really, really wish that all other non profits would promote themselves as the Committee has- the accomplishments are great. Take a page and make a note! All projects that truly benefit the community, should follow them as they have done well in media relations.

    So all of you organizations with real life projects-like feeding the needy, youth programs, elder care and things that directly benefit living being, please pay attention.

    I am still against the plaza and for the statue. Glad we are getting a new base. This extended project seems to be a stepping stone or hoped for demonstration project so that the Committee can do it in other cities. It is veiled in all of this talk about what liberty means to us and the implied messages made along the way appear to say,”If you are not for the Plaza, you are not for Liberty, Peace, Freedom, Justice, etc. etc.”
    I don’t want to fund someone else’s career changes.

    I like the part where there flyers for the big fund raiser said it was $150.00 to attend and then it was stated that was a mistake. Plans were changed and anyone could come.

  • Jan December 30, 2007 (12:17 am)

    Jo….if you go to the Carr’s website , there is a financial rundown….here’s a link…

  • Jo December 30, 2007 (8:41 am)

    Thanks, Jan.
    That financial reporting on the website was as of 12/12/07. Libby said she’d give us a new one just before the Duke’s fundraiser. The clip above of Paul giving a financial report is what I can’t access (?) and is the latest. That’s the report we’d like to have.

  • Jan December 30, 2007 (9:35 am)

    aha…I just watched the video…and, yes, there’s an update…he said that they now have about $105K…and listed a couple of expenses…maybe they’ll be kind enough to put that in their website…

  • Goody December 30, 2007 (1:34 pm)

    Who paid for all the constant PR?

  • Libby Carr December 30, 2007 (4:09 pm)

    Hello to Everyone:

    Here is my latest fundraising report: At the end of the evening with Dave Ross, we had raised $106,785 including accounting for expenses to Dec. 27th.

    As of today, we have raised another $9375 for a total of $116,160. We estimate we will spend another $5000 in fiscal sponsor and PR consultant fees by the end of the campaign. The amount we now need to raise, net of expenses, is about $45,840.

    We very much appreciate the great outpouring of support we are now experiencing from the Alki and West Seattle, and even larger Seattle community. Our phone is ringing (206-938-8720) numerous times each day with offers of volunteer help, people wanting to buy bricks, (and, Yes, the Holiday Special of 3 bricks for the price of 2 is still on!), or inquiries about benches, landscape plaques or being on the Major Donor Plaque on the pedestal.

    We still want to encourage company participation as well, which is especially powerful with employee matching funds which is available from many of Seattle’s larger (and smaller) employers.

    As an FYI, we are now down to having 5 benches (out of 14) left to sell and 3 landscape plaques (out of 6), so they are going FAST. If anyone out there wants one of these items, please let me know asap. Benches are $5000 and landscape plaques are $2000.

    By the way, since some on this Blog think that we are changing careers to do this across the country, read my lips — I don’t think so! Sure, if other communities want to talk with us as they rebuild their sites, they are welcome to call us to hear about how we and our friends and supporters organized a new committee and started the fundraising process here, but they will know best how to restore their own statues. Several communities already have.

    In the meantime, if people want to call me for independent insurance services, please do so and I’ll be absolutely delighted to work with you. My practice focuses on personal and group insurance in the form of Long Term Care, Life insurance, Disability Income, Health and annuities.

    Thanks and we will keep you posted as we progress and please, call us NOW to make your contributions.

    Libby Carr, Co-Chair, Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project (206938-8720)

  • Jo December 30, 2007 (5:11 pm)

    Thanks, Libby

  • Goody December 31, 2007 (3:33 am)

    I believe that came from your earlier statements and articles where you wanted to do this full time across the country. Or was it that the fundraiser would cost $150.00 according to the distributed flyers and then that was a “mistake”. Maybe it was when you were castigating the character of all who were doubters of this project.

  • Florence Harvey, W.Seattle January 4, 2008 (1:30 pm)

    Reading comments from critics of this project reminds me of Teddy Roosevelt’s speech about Citizenship in a Republic. Forgive the gender usage. His speech was given in 1910.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man (read “person”) who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face in marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    As for “all that money would also be better used giving it to the poor. I only hope the people who want to help the poor move their commitments into actions that are as effective in producing results as the Carrs. I enourage you to get up from the computer and get in ACTION!

    I for one, being about the same age as the citizens who created this project, am thankful there will be a lovely space for us aging baby boomers to enjoy Alki. Obviously we represent a generation of folks who care about Alki’s history. One of the people who worked on this project was in elementary school when those Boy scouts raised the original statue. She saw the plaza as recapturing the space for community enjoyment as well as a reminder of the larger statue of Liberty and what it represents.

    A lovely landscaped tribute to Madam Liberty for us older Alki types to sit and enjoy the water will be delightful. We have plenty of fire pits, bars, and cops paid for by our taxes to keep young adults enjoying Alki and skateboarders and cruisers in line. Perhaps an intergenerational influence and some lights at night might be just the things to send young thugs somewhere else to act out.

  • Goody January 5, 2008 (5:29 pm)

    This project is hardly comparative with the notions or actions of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt did not berate his detractors in such a manner as the organizers did before they used community donations to hire a PR person to tell them to play nice in the sandbox.
    Not all of us find this a worthy cause-you are being assumptive in thinking we are all on the same page. Lots of sanctimonious comments going on here as to the worthiness of the organizers versus anyone who would dare question where the money is going. “I only hope the people who want to help the poor move their commitments into actions that are as effective in producing results as the Carrs. I enourage you to get up from the computer and get in ACTION!”
    I am not against the statue, not against liberty, nor am I less of a person, citizen or even patriot because of my views on a lesser plaza.

  • David Hutchinson January 6, 2008 (3:01 am)

    I am sorry that you seem unable to see the relevance of the Theodore Roosevelt quote by Florence Harvey. As she pointed out, this comes from a much longer speech he gave in 1910 at the University of Paris on the topic of “Citizenship in a Republic”. It is also known as the “Man in the Arena” speech. This quote should be inspirational to anyone who is trying to accomplish a worthy goal against tough odds when critics are constantly finding fault and berating your efforts. In short, constructive criticism can be valuable and should be welcomed, but to simply engage in endless accusations and speculation serves no useful purpose. It’s always easier to stand on the sidelines and criticize than to actually get involved in the process and make a substantive contribution.

    A couple of earlier T. Roosevelt quotes express this same idea:

    “…the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic—the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done.” (1891)

    “Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger.” (1894)

    My wife and I have lived at Alki for the past 35 years. We became involved with the Seattle Statue of Liberty Plaza Project as volunteers, maintaining the database of inscriptions to be placed on the bricks that together with the 350-400 others sold by NPA will be used in the new plaza. It is a very rare occurrence for any public project to receive unanimous public approval. Each of us has our own opinion of what is best for our neighborhood and city. Citizens who chose to be involved have consistently attended and openly participated in the public meetings held during all phases of this project. The majority of them expressed their support then, and hundreds more have expressed continuing support through the purchase of bricks and benches that will make the new pedestal and plaza a reality later this year.

    To those of you who have expressed your displeasure over this project, why not become involved in a constructive and meaningful way. There will be a new plaza built this year. If you feel that you have some ideas that will improve the project, contact the SSLPP through their website or call and volunteer in these final days of fund raising. Participate in making this new plaza a place we can all enjoy and be proud of.

    David Hutchinson

  • Jo January 6, 2008 (9:39 am)

    From David: “To those of you who have expressed your displeasure over this project, why not become involved in a constructive and meaningful way. There will be a new plaza built this year.”
    I have been involved in a constructive and meaningful way from the very first meeting held in early July 2007. I’ve been working with representatives from the State Legislature, the Parks Dept. and the Mayor’s Office since that time. The statue is back up on her existing base, isn’t it? That was my (and many others) goal.
    Now we’re working with these same people to ensure the new plaza, when built, has some of the following modifications:
    .Statue facing out the way she is now, not rotated towards the mountains.
    .Comfortable benches, with backs, not the low, hard, backless concrete benches.
    .Simple pedestal, not all swirly and fancy, possibly even higher than SSLPP design.
    .More attractive (stone) pavers to be engraved. I’ve heard that there might be some available.
    These are simple modifications, though when presented to SSLPP and architects many, many times, have generally been dismissed and ignored. All we hear is “No, can’t be done. No, No, No.” Their design stands as is. Or, if modified, is changed by only them, i.,e., the recent addition of more hard, low, backless concrete benches.
    Remember, the Parks Dept. has the final say.
    So, please, you supporters of the SSLPP plaza don’t be so sanctimonious (as Goody posted). We respect your right to support what you want, we’re only asking for the same courtesy.
    Jo Ofsthus

  • Jo January 6, 2008 (9:52 am)

    P.S. to my above post.
    In my ‘real’ world, I’d prefer:
    keep the existing pedestal updated and spiffed up;
    install the sold, engraved pavers in an attractive design; and
    add new comfortable benches.
    In other words, Keep it simple!

  • David Hutchinson January 6, 2008 (10:46 am)

    I applaud your constructive participation. This is the type of involvement that is useful and can lead to improvements in the overall concept. I feel that the latest phase of this project got off to a bad start and focused too much on the personalities of the participants rather than on any adjustments in the specifics of the design.

    I believe that the statue will not be rotated as much toward the mountains as you might think. One of the artist renderings does not accurately show the way it will face. It seems to be facing The Brothers, when in reality it is a rotation of 20 degrees. If 12 o’clock is the way the statue faces now, a shift of 20 degrees would move the minute hand only 3-4 minutes to the left. I emailed Matt Hutchins, one of the architects, about this and he agreed that that one renderings placed the background of the mountains inaccurately.
    You referred to this project as the “SSLPP design”. The design for the plaza dates from the NPA period and did not originate with the SSLPP. The final scheme (which was arrived at after public input from meetings held on Feb. 27, 2006 and April 6, 2006) was presented at a community meeting on April 27, 2006 and before the Community Council on May 18, 2006. Shoreline approval for the project was given by the City Department of Planning and Development in June of 2006.
    No benches have been added to the original fourteen. What was added were the landscape plaques to provide a donation level less than the cost of a bench but accommodating those who wanted to participate at a higher level than the bricks.
    Thanks for your involvement, which I know dates from the early days with the Liberty Deli effort in the 90’s. I hope that others who share your views will follow your example in making their comments.

    David Hutchinson

  • Jo January 6, 2008 (11:19 am)

    Thanks, David.
    As you know, I’ve tried very hard not to get involved with the
    ‘personalities’ aspect of this project. I don’t like it and it’s counter-productive.
    All any of us know is that ‘whatever’ will be built and it will be fine.

  • kurto January 6, 2008 (1:01 pm)

    As far as determining the design direction for this project and for those who do not support the more, what could be arguably described as, ostentatious design proposal by the SSLP committee, you’d be better served by contacting the parks department with your preferences and concerns since they have to ultimately decide the design of the plaza and base. They will ensure that the project reflects the community’s desires.

    I think the design of the base should reflect something more akin to the design elements of the base of the statue in NY (for example: the current base has some of the radial elements and proportions of the NY base). The proposed design’s modern interpretation clashes with the NY design, the waterfront and the cherubic/adolescent quality of the Scout’s statue.

Sorry, comment time is over.