Jason Olson, Deseret News
Daniel Bolz stands with a scale-model of his Statue of Responsibility at his office in Spanish Fork.<BR>

SPANISH FORK — American Leadership Academy students will lay out 72,000 pennies in 300 linear feet of space Thursday representing the height of the proposed Statue of Responsibility.

The statue of two gripping hands was designed by Springville artist Gary Price and is planned for the West Coast as a bookend to the Statue of Liberty, which is also 300 feet tall. Together, they equal freedom, say those pushing for the new monument. The idea came from Austrian psychologist Viktor E. Frankl in the 1960s, who said that freedom was the combination of liberty and responsibility.

Academy students will spread the pennies out in a 300-foot trough of halved PVC pipe on the charter school's football field beginning at 1 p.m. Payson Junior High students also collected 72,000 pennies.

American Leadership Academy is considered a "pilot school" in the "Pennies for Freedom" fundraising effort, said Daniel Bolz, foundation president and corporate executive officer, headquartered in Spanish Fork. It will be featured in a DVD documentary by Creative Media Group in Orem to be used in gaining interest of other schools around the country to participate.

The film crew will shoot some of the event from a helicopter, Pullman said. Other pilot schools in Michigan and New York will also be in the fundraising DVD. Payson Junior High and the academy are the only pilot schools in Utah, but three more will likely be added, Bolz said.

Primarily a school program, the fundraiser is based on the effort newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer created in 1883 to raise money for the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. Pulitzer printed the name of every schoolchild who contributed in his newspapers.

Schoolchildren who contribute to build the West Coast statue will find their names running across: SORfoundation.org, and later in the visitors center as donors.

The Payson students raised their pennies in just four days, he said, then went on to exceed their goal and reached a donation totaling $1,000.

American Leadership Academy, with an elementary, junior high and senior high, also gathered the thousands of pennies quickly. The pennies will be brought to the field in an armored car. Officials from the Bank of American Fork, the statue foundation, the school administration and students are scheduled to speak.

Reese Haller, 11, of Bay City, Mich., suggested schoolchildren raise the money. Her idea was to raise enough pennies that if stacked up they would reach upward 300 feet.

The foundation has identified four cities as possible candidates for the statue: Seattle, San Francisco, Long Beach and San Diego.


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