FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Nineteen custom-made benches commemorating Indiana becoming the 19th state in 1816 have been installed at city parks as part of the local bicentennial celebration.
One of the several officially endorsed Indiana Bicentennial Legacy Projects undertaken in Allen County this year, the effort was organized by the Allen County-Indiana Bicentennial Task Force with the assistance of Historic Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation.
Eight corporate and philanthropic sponsors made tax-deductible gifts starting at $2,500 to sponsor the benches. The donors, number of benches each sponsored and locations include:
- Vera Bradley (1): Lakeside Park
- The Journal Gazette Foundation (5): Lawton Park, Weisser Park, Swinney Park, Nuckols Memorial Park, Johnny Appleseed Park
- PNC Bank (1): Solomon Farm Park
- PHP – Physicians Health Plan (1): Foster Park
- Parkview Health (2): Klug Park (installation pending), McCulloch Park
- Ash Brokerage (1): Rockhill Park
- Steel Dynamics (1): Historic Fort Wayne
- William and Bonnie Hefner Foundation (1): North Side Park
- Allen County-Indiana Bicentennial General Fund (6): Vesey Park, Seiling Park, Camp Allen Park, Bloomingdale Park, Moody Park, Reservoir Park
The six-foot-long benches were manufactured by Wabash Valley Manufacturing in Silver Lake, Ind. They are laser cut with an outline of the state of Indiana, the word Bicentennial and the dates 1816-2016. The powder-coated cast iron and steel commercial benches are mounted on concrete slabs and include a plaque honoring the donor.