Pin It
Favorite

$10,005 Down 

by KEVIN TAYLOR & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & he poignant story of Spokan Garry, a tribal leader who wrestled with the cultural upheaval of white settlement, made a profound impression on Jon Osterberg as a boy growing up on a cattle ranch near Rathdrum.





A different story about Garry -- that a deteriorating and vandalized statue in his honor had been demolished and removed from Chief Garry Park in early May -- also made an impression on Osterberg, who is now a marketing and communications executive for PEMCO Insurance in Seattle.





Osterberg's co-worker Heidi Ob'bayi was in Spokane on business earlier this month when she chanced across a story in The Inlander about the demolition of the Garry statue, how the city planned to replace it with an abstract totem sculpture it got for free, and how 8-year-old Victoria Schauer thought it so important to have a statue honoring Garry in the park named for him that she donated $5 of her allowance money to build a replacement.





Ob'bayi, knowing of Osterberg's interest in Garry, carried the article to Seattle. The PEMCO officials were touched by the 8-year-old's courage and generosity.





"I read this and said this is right up PEMCO's alley," Osterberg says. "We are a homegrown company, we are familiar with the history and the culture and saw this as an opportunity for PEMCO to step up and honor one of Spokane's significant historical and cultural figures."





His pitch for involvement hit pay dirt: PEMCO is offering $10,000 for a more permanent replacement statue.





"We'd like to put this on the table as seed money," PEMCO Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Rod Brooks says. "We'd like to develop interest for other businesses to step up and take that $10,000 and somehow make it $50,000 or $60,000 or $70,000."





This initial pool of money from business, corporate or other large donors would be used as a matching fund to double donations like the $5 from the soon-to-be fourth grader Schauer.





The company has used this approach successfully in previous fundraising efforts, PEMCO officials say.





"Oh that is wonderful news," Spokane Mayor Mary Verner says. She has said the expected cost for a more permanent statue, such as a bronze, is in the range of $100,000 to $150,000. A fund-raising committee is being formed and is expected to start work in late July, she says.





Garry's great-great-great granddaughter Jeanne Givens is excited about the insurance company's involvement. "What's so positive about PEMCO's donation is it indicates there's more support out there. That you can trust people to do the right thing if given the opportunity."





[email protected]
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Put Kids First
  • Put Kids First

    Why adults in Olympia must come together to pass the Early Start Act
    • May 27, 2015
  • Teacher Of Generations
  • Teacher Of Generations

    Publisher's Note
    • May 27, 2015
  • A Persistent Life
  • A Persistent Life

    Scott Reed won more cases than he lost in life, and the beauty of the Coeur d'Alene area has been the beneficiary
    • May 27, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
9th Annual Lilac City Comicon

9th Annual Lilac City Comicon @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., May 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • On a Roll

    Just-announced reforms do little to safeguard Spokane against the danger of oil trains
    • May 6, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation