Crowd welcomes monument of Moyer, donator of Grand Junction pool
The way Jacquie Chappell-Reid sees it, communities across the country are homogenizing, losing their identities and the things that set them apart from one another through a blur of shopping malls and big boulevards.
That’s what makes Friday’s unveiling of a statue honoring Lincoln Park Pool grantor William Moyer so important to the co-chairwoman of the Legends Sculpture Committee.
Camera shutters fired off and children ran their hands across the bronze as volunteers and contributors slipped a large purple cover off the 6-foot statue during a dedication ceremony on the east side of the downtown Alpine Bank building.
“What we hope they take away is how important it is for people to be involved in their community,” Chappell-Reid said.
The opening line of a mini biography that accompanies the statue says everything about why Moyer was honored: “William J. Moyer dived into Grand Junction with a merchant’s zeal and a philanthropist’s heart.”
Moyer founded the Fair Store department store on Main Street and helped launch Grand Valley National Bank and establish the YMCA in town. The original cornerstone of that building is incorporated into the base of the sculpture.
In 1922, Moyer and his wife, Ida, donated $25,000 for The Moyer Natatorium — now known as the Lincoln Park-Moyer Pool.
The statue, created by Utah sculptor Mike Wilson, shows Moyer placing a life preserver over a young girl as she leaps into the pool. “Moyer Natatorium” is engraved in the life preserver. A boy whose river drowning prompted Moyer’s donation stands behind them, “The Fair Store” etched into the back of his coveralls. Moyer looks toward the area of Main Street where his department store was located.
Nearly 150 people turned out for the unveiling, which also featured Mayor Bruce Hill proclaiming Friday as “Legends of Grand Junction Day.”
The Moyer statue is the second of five the Legends committee plans to erect in five years to honor men and women who helped make Grand Junction what it is today. A likeness of former Daily Sentinel publisher Walter Walker was unveiled on Main Street last year. Statues of St. Mary’s Hospital creator Sister Mary Balbina Farrell, Colorado National Monument founder John Otto and Operation Foresight founders are expected to be fashioned in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.