Internationally known artist Peter Wolf Toth's arrival here to restore the Whispering Giant statue is not just a Dunkirk happening, it is a Chautauqua County and Western New York event.
With that said, it was good to see a number of county leaders in attendance at the welcoming ceremony for the artist last week. Those leaders included: Dunkirk Mayor Anthony J. Dolce, Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe, County Executive Vince Horrigan, County Legislator Janet Keefe and Dunkirk Councilman William Rivera. Even Todd Tranum, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce executive director, offered Toth an honorary membership.
Also in attendance, and just as important, were members of the Dunkirk Citizens Advisory Committee, specifically Donna Keith, chairwoman, and Danny McGill. Gina Kron, who contacted Toth about coming to Dunkirk, said the city committee was responsible for bringing attention to the deteriorating condition of the famous statue that formerly stood on Route 5.
"This isn't just a Dunkirk project, this isn't even just a New York project; this is part of a national project, an international project, and it's one man's life mission," Kron said at the welcoming ceremony for Toth at the Clarion Hotel's Dockside Cafe.
Donation boxes and raffle tickets are available at various outlets in the local area to help pay for the artist's expenses to arrive in Dunkirk and his materials. Toth, whose work tent is set up between the Dunkirk Tim Hortons and the Clarion, is likely to be here through the month.
If you could not make it to last week's ceremony, the community is welcome to visit him there.