ADAMS, Mass. – A group hoping to mark the 200th birthday of Susan B. Anthony and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment needs to raise money -- a lot of it.
The Adams Suffrage Centennial Celebration Committee, also known as the ASCCC, has been planning for over a year for the townwide celebration in 2020 to commemorate the contributions of suffrage activist Anthony, who was born on East Road in 1820.
"Susan B. Anthony is not only the most famous daughter of Adams, but is also considered by many to be the most influential female figure in American history," Chairwoman Pam St. John said at last week's meeting. "2020 is Adams' opportunity to celebrate this legacy by showcasing her impact and accomplishments."
But the group has some lofty goals, with plans to hire an artist to design and install a statue of a younger and older Anthony on the town common. The unveiling of this statue will coincide with a large parade, fireworks, a women's conference, and educational and entertaining events.
In order to accomplish all of this, the committee has set a $300,000 funding goal.
"Our fundraising goals are ambitious," acknowledged St. John at the annual Anthony birthday party hosted by the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum on Feb. 18. "We estimate we will need $300,000 to meet our goals including 150k for the stature. We have written letters to our state legislators and to the top 100 women-owned businesses in the commonwealth."
To date, the committee has raised nearly $23,000 with significant donations made by the Town of Adams and the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, which presented the group with a $10,000 check at the annual Anthony birthday celebration to great applause.
Anthony's 198th birthday celebration also included a performance by Mossa Dance of Rochester, N.Y. The ballet, "Diamonds," vignettes of courageous women, in this case Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank, Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller, and, of course, Anthony.
Adams Community Bank has also pledged to match $25,000 and when the ASCCC hits $100,000, the bank will donate another $25,000.
"Adams Community Bank is a pillar of the local community and we are very grateful for their generous offer to match local contributions," Treasurer Erin Mucci said last week.
The town of Adams has been providing support funding and staff assistance and will be asked to provide future financial help. The commission was created and appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
The committee also recently sent out a mailer to all residents and businesses to solicit donations.
"If every family in Adams pledged $10 a year, we would have a minimum of $120,000 toward our goals, which would almost pay for the statue," St. John explained at the Anthony event.
Mucci added that "this is a great way for residents and businesses from around the region to really leverage their local giving towards something will have an everlasting impact on both Adams and the Berkshires."
About a dozen sculpture proposals have already been put before the commission and it hopes to announce a chosen sculptor soon after the proposal review.
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