Fundraising is currently being conducted for the purchase and installation of a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Worker Statue at Roaring River State Park. Project organizers hope to place the statue in the park by May of 2013 in recognition of the 80th anniversary of the CCC.
"Currently there is only one statue in Missouri," said Naomi Shaw, who is spearheading the local fundraising efforts. "Some states have several, and some have none."
The CCC Worker Statue on display in Missouri is located at Jefferson Barracks, which was originally the National Association of CCC Alumni headquarters.
"Over the years, the members have gotten old and died," said Shaw. "The overseer of the headquarters was one of the members who passed, and when he did the momentos and other items located there were taken to Edinberg National Museum in Virginia.
"The statue, which was the second in the nation, is not seen by anyone now," said Shaw. "It will stay where it is because it was purchased with private funding, but we want to have one more visible."
In 2010, Shaw visited Roaring River State Park and Branson with her father, a former CCC worker, for the national CCC reunion. After visiting the new memorial at Roaring River, Shaw's father said that he would like to see a CCC Worker Statue placed at the park to complement the memorial.
"The CCC Worker Statue is a recognized statue, and work completed by the CCC was done during a very important time in our national history," said Shaw. "They had a huge part in the course of recreation in our country. We felt this statue would help promote and recognize that time in history."
Currently, around $5,000 has been collected for the purchase and installation of the statue. Shaw hopes to collect $25,000 to cover the cost of the statue, which is $18,000, and shipping and installation costs.
"One hundred percent of donations will go toward the statue," said Shaw. "There are no administrative costs. My dad put up the money for the promotion."
Donations are being collected by CCC Legacy, which is located in Edinburg, Va. All donations are tax deductible.
"I would also like to encourage people to become members of CCC Legacy," said Shaw. "Many of us have family members who were connected in some way to the CCC."
According to Joan Sharpe, CCC Legacy president, the idea for the CCC Worker Statue was initiated in 1996 by a group of former CCC workers in Michigan.
"We have statues in all but 13 states in the nation," said Sharpe. "In September we will place the 59th statue in Pennsylvania. We are encouraging others to put up these statues in their areas. They are very nice.
"They get attention, which draws people in to read the story of the CCC," said Sharpe. "They offer a wonderful learning experience and a terrific way to honor the men who built the CCC parks. Roaring River is the perfect spot for one."
From 1933 to 1942, the CCC built 800 state parks, 46,854 bridges, 4,622 fish rearing ponds, 1,865 drinking fountains, 27,191 miles of fence, 204 lodges and museums, 3,470 fire towers and 8,065 wells and pump houses.
CCC workers also planted around three billion trees, restored 3,980 historic structures, installed 5,000 miles of water supply lines, improved 3,462 beaches and surveyed and mapped millions of acres and thousands of lakes.
The program taught 40,000 men to read and write and produced over 45,000 truck drivers each year. More than 102,000 young men were enrolled in the program to help develop Missouri's resources.
Shaw was required to write a proposal and receive approval to place the CCC Worker Statue in Roaring River State Park.
For more information or to make a donation for the CCC Worker Statue, call 540-984-8735, visit www.ccclegacy.org or write to: CCC Legacy, PO Box 341, Edinberg, VA 22824.