A drive to raise $20,000 to fund a statue of the king of rock 'n' roll stands nearly $13,000 shy, according to Dianne Patrick, president of the local Elvis' Angels Fan Club.
Shreveport's Downtown Development Authority also has committed $40,000 toward the $60,000 statue. However, that money is contingent on the remaining funds being raised by the fan club. Time is running short.
The statue by Houston artist Eric Kaposta, formerly of Shreveport, is being timed to take its place in front of Municipal Auditorium for the 50th anniversary of Elvis' first career performance, Oct. 16, 1954, at the Louisiana Hayride.
"We're still plugging along. We've gotten a lot of calls, a lot of feedback and have heard from people all over the world -- Ireland, Belgium, Germany. We've got the word out just about everywhere," Patrick said.
Last month, Patrick said more than 700 notices were issued to presidents of Elvis fan clubs during Elvis Week in Memphis. "We're doing everything we can," she said.
The Graceland-sanctioned Elvis statue will stand on a granite base. Patrick said there are plans to include the names of individuals who contribute $3,000, or businesses who contribute $5,000, on the base of the statue.
The cost of the project is actually $80,000, but Kaposta volunteered to drop the price.
"Elvis is a big hero of mine," said Kaposta, who is also a musician. "This is a challenge and an honor. There are people in the world who have never dropped their affection for him.
"I see this as an economic engine for the city of Shreveport. People will come from different states just to see this piece, but then they'll also see a great city on a beautiful river, entertainment right down the street, and just a beautiful little city. There are multitudes of Elvis fans who will go out of their way just to see something like this."
To contribute :
Elvis Presley Statue Fund
Citizens National Bank
Account No. 4201035
P.O. Box 6266
Bossier City, LA 71171