News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Mark Bennett B-Sides

October 8, 2009

MARK BENNETT: Larry Legend Foundation working to raise money for Larry Bird statue

(Continued)

TERRE HAUTE —

Gene Crume, president of the ISU Foundation, agrees.

“The uniqueness of this effort is that it is solely student driven,” Crume said. “With that student emphasis, you get a freshness of ideas.”

And the ability to look past the baggage.

The ISU Foundation supports Fenton’s Larry Legend Foundation with advice and by serving as a financial steward for donations to the cause. Interested people can contribute to the project through the ISU Foundation by making a donation in the name of the Larry Legend Foundation, Crume said. That can be done by visiting larrylegendfoundation.com, and then clicking on the link to the ISU Foundation. The partnership with the ISU Foundation shows the Larry Legend Foundation’s legitimacy, Fenton said.

Soon, Fenton hopes to discuss the statue and perpetual scholarship idea with ISU President Daniel Bradley — “ironically a Michigan State grad,” Fenton said, chuckling. Fenton also wants an information table for the Larry Legend Foundation set up during Sycamore basketball games this season. Sometime during the following 2010-11 season, he hopes the bronze likeness of the university’s most recognizable figure will overlook Hulman Center’s doorway.

Wolfe has had that vision for several years. A few years ago, he sculpted four 28-inch-tall bronze maquettes of Bird, with the intention of someday creating a full-scale statue for the Hulman Center grounds. Three of those miniature statues are kept at ISU, while a fourth in on display at Ivy Tech Community College south of the city. All four are for sale, Wolfe emphasized.

Fenton wants the ultimate Bird statue to stand a towering 13 feet. That’s because a statue of Magic Johnson outside Michigan State’s Breslin Center is 12 feet tall. Actually, Wolfe prefers Bird to be at least 15 feet tall. “We can’t have Larry smaller than Magic,” Wolfe said, laughing.

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