As a way to honor Edward Lee and Lulu McClain for their gift of the high school to the community of Greenfield more than a century ago, fundraising efforts are underway to have busts made of the philanthropic couple for display at the school.
According to information provided by McClain High School journalism students, the plan is for two white marble busts, one to depict Edward Lee McClain and the other to depict his wife, Lulu. The busts will be placed near the marble staircase at the school.
The fundraising campaign is headed up by the Edward Lee McClain Day Committee, which needs to raise at least $20,000 for the project. According to committee member Linda Penn, the money will purchase the busts, the marble pedestals on which the busts will sit, and glass cases that will house each bust.
Penn said the idea originated with the McClain Alumni Association, and as members talked to others about the idea, it grew. It was with the Edward Lee McClain Day Committee that the idea took off, and the plan that initially was for just a bust of Edward McClain came to also include a bust of Mrs. McClain.
“With a school full of art pieces that includes statues, busts, friezes, murals, and paintings, everyone thought having two busts made would be “a fitting way to recognize the McClains for their gift to Greenfield,” Penn said.
The committee was behind the inaugural Edward Lee McClain Day which was recognized at this year’s Greene Countrie Towne Festival in July, nearly a year after the school celebrated its 100th year. The day of recognition is something Penn said the committee and the association hope to see continue each year.
According to the information provided by the students, “A donation of $1,000 will give donors gold status, $500 donors will have silver status, and $250 donors will have bronze status. More than one name can be included with any of these donation amounts.”
Plaques bearing the names of donors to the project of at least the bronze status will be near the busts, Penn said. “This is everyone’s chance to be a continuing part of McClain’s history,” she said.
Funds received beyond what is needed will go to the Alumni Association’s Art Restoration Fund, which supports the ongoing and years-long restoration of the art pieces displayed throughout McClain High School.
According to the information provided, about four months will be needed to create the busts of the McClains once the order is placed, but the committee members hope to be able unveil the busts during the 2017 Greene Countrie Towne Festival next July.
Tax deductible donations can be made by check, which should be made payable to The Greenfield Foundation with the notation “McClain Bust” in the memo line. The Greenfield Foundation’s address is P.O. Box 210, Greenfield, Ohio 45123.
For more information or if you have questions, contact Edward Lee McClain Day Committee member Linda Penn at 937-981-3590 or committee member Jason Potts at 937-981-7731. Other committee members include Jimmy Jones, John Wilson, Ron Coffey and Larry Roosa.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.