By Amanda Dyslin
Free Press Staff Writer
The placement of "Going for the Goal" on the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour was pretty much perfect.
Right in front of the Verizon Wireless Center where the Mavericks take the ice many a winter weekend, the bronze statue of a little boy playing hockey has been a favorite on this year's walk. And folks at the City Center Partnership don't want to see it go when the sculptures are taken down March 23 and returned to the artists.
"Obviously, with Minnesota being such a huge hockey state, and Mankato being a big hockey community, we just thought this seemed like a great fit," said Noelle Lawton, CityArt coordinator. "We just want to see it stay."
City Center Partnership is hoping to raise $20,000 by the end of March to keep the statue in front of the civic center. The asking price for the statue by artist Dee Clements is $16,000. Other expenses will include $3,000 for the Kasota stone base and a permanent plaque with the names of donors of $200 or more, Lawton said.
CityArt committee chair Tami Paulsen, the driving force behind the fundraising campaign, reported that about 30 percent of the funds already have been raised.
The sculpture originally was commissioned by the City of Paramont, Calif., where in 1946, Frank Zamboni invented his ice-resurfacing machine for his ice skating rink. The city built a faux ice rink outside the original Zamboni building and the hockey player was one of the eight bronze figures Clements created for the space.
Lawton said donations of any amount would be appreciated, but people who donate $200 or more will receive a commemorative hockey puck. And those who donate $1,000 or more will receive a full-size commemorative hockey stick.
A special Chuck-A-Puck fundraiser will be held at the Maverick hockey game against the Gophers Saturday night.
Each year of the sculpture tour, the people's choice winner is purchased for permanent display. The people's choice this year, "Guidance" by Colorado artist Deb Zelenak, is a cairn with branches symbolizing the different paths to take in life. The sculpture cost about $12,000 plus a $3,000 bonus to the artist.
The next round of CityArt sculptures will be installed May 18.
For more information, call Lawton at 708-703-7326 or visit