Bald eagle statues will be auctioned to help vets
By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
PORTSMOUTH — A total of 46 American bald eagle statues have been on display at businesses along the Seacoast to support Veterans Count, and soon local residents will be able to take one home.
Artist Debbie Curtin, who painted the 110-pound, four-foot tall eagle that was on display at TD Bank on State Street in Portsmouth, said this year’s project started in March. Eventually, the designs were chosen, and artists picked up their sculptures at Calling All Cargo in Dover.
The Red Sox eagle was unveiled at Fenway Park on May 15. A number of the eagles were painted and coated in time for the Celebrity Preview Event at Red Hook Brewery in Portsmouth on June 15.
All 46 were ready by the Serving Our Soldiers Event June 25 at Service Credit Union in Portsmouth, Curtin said.
Some businesses that hosted the sculptures purchased them outright, but 40 of them will be auctioned off at Great Bay Community College on Nov. 10. The auction starts at 5:30 p.m.
Curtin chose her theme, “On Eagles Wings,” because the popular hymn spoke to her.
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“It was my one and only choice as the words are very powerful. It’s important to support veterans, service members and their families in any way possible,” Curtin said. “They have always stepped up to serve our country whenever and wherever called, and we need to continue to show gratitude to our past, present and future military generations.”
Joe Emmons, the senior director of development at Veterans Count in Manchester, said the goal is to raise $150,000 through the parade and auction. Ninety percent of the money will go directly to service members and their families, Emmons said.
Veterans Count helps to fill in the gaps for those who have served in the military, Emmons says. They help with issues involving housing, substance abuse, transportation and heating costs.
This is the second year the Eagle Parade has taken over the Seacoast. Emmons said they are starting one in Manchester, and the hope is Nashua and the Lakes Region’s chapters will also participate.
Veterans Count is a program of Easter Seals.
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