LEBANON, Missouri- The Route 66 Mural Project gained another $5,300 in donations Saturday as the first of three murals was unveiled in Lebanon’s Boswell Park.
Steve Russell, secretary-treasurer of the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society, reported Monday that donations of $1,000 each were received from Detroit Tool Engineering, Heritage Bank of the Ozarks, the Cave State Cruisers Car Club and Starnes Auto.
A $500 donation was made by Maurice and Betty Reagan in honor of their family’s former business, Lebanon Marble and Granite Works, which was located on Route 66.
Other donations Saturday were from Garner and Associates, $250; Perry and Carolyn Rein, $200; Jeanette Whipple, $100; Parker and Cooper Blackburn, $100; Tony and Donti Hawkins, $100; and David and Marietta Chastain, $50.
Donors of $100 or more will be listed on a tile plaque on the back of a mural. The size of the donors’ names will depend on the size of the donation.
With the new donations, the total raised for the $75,000 mural project is $61,400. The Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society is trying to raise the remaining $13,600 in time for the all three murals to be completed before the Lebanon Route 66 Festival on June 17.
Checks should be made out to the Lebanon Area Foundation with the notation “Route 66 Mural Project.” They may be sent to the Route 66 Society at P.O. Box 66, Lebanon, MO 65536.
Remarks from Councilmember Chuck Jordan:
“I became involved in this project through many avenues. I am a member of Lebanon City Council, Laclede County Route 66 Association, Cave State Cruisers Car Club, and an aficionado of Route 66, its history, and mystique. What you see before you today is the result of many people, working together for many years.
In the early part of the last century, the members of the Nelson family were doing business alongside this road. When the idea of improving the highway came along, they were members of the group that successfully led the charge to get Route 66 routed through Lebanon. Their generosity provided right-of-way for the new road and, in later years, land for Nelson and Boswell for the enjoyment and betterment of the citizens of Lebanon and Laclede County.
The mural we dedicate today is the first of three that will be on display here to pay homage to the spirit of the travelers and the history of the people who provide rest, food, and comfort to those who traveled past this place on their way to the adventures and opportunities that awaited at the end of their journey.
From the vision of Bill Wheeler, the continuing generosity of successive generations of the Nelson Family and the support of many people who have provided funds for this project, we have arrived at this point. What you see before you has been privately funded by the citizens of Lebanon and Laclede County and fans of Route 66 from far and wide.
My wife Ellen and I have traveled Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angelese and have seen many fantastic sights along the way. I must say, without reservation, what we have here ranks right up there with the best. If you haven’t experienced “The Road,” I urge you to do so.
On behalf of Mayor Josh Ray and the members of City Council, we thank you for being here today to help us unveil this first mural. Come back and see the other two murals and the recreation of the Nelson Dream Village fountain as construction continues.”