"They wanted something to help everyone who visits Tampico to also see the statue on the cannon where Ronald Reagan used to play," said Amanda Boettner, whose grandparents, Amy and Lloyd McElhiney, worked at the Reagan Birthplace in Tampico, Illinois, for over ten years.
Boettner says the eight-food tall boyhood statue of Ronald Reagan that was unveiled in Tampico on Sunday was once a dream, now a reality to her grandparents.
"They have dedicated so many years to the Reagan Birthplace, and literally saw it as their baby. They just loved it," she said.
But the couple felt the town needed something more to honor our 40th president.
"They wanted to donate funds time for the birthplace, and they wanted something to recognize Ronald Reagan here in Tampico for," Boettner explained.
So they decided to build a statue. It took six years to gather the $50,000 needed. And, all thanks to the help from people in and outside the community, the statue has now finally been unveiled to the world.
"Finally we got down to the final $10,000 that we needed and we had two local people who pitched in and finished it off for us so we could get the statue done," said Joan Johnson, President of the Tampico Area Historical Society.
The statue was done for everyone to see except for Lloyd, who sadly passed away in 2006. The unveiling was specifically held on Sunday November 3rd, because that is the day Reagan was elected president back in 1980.