Rock citing freedom coming to FD

A boulder adorned with patriotic art work will grace a hillside on the west side of Fort Dodge beginning in 2016.

Leaders of the effort to place a Freedom Rock in all 99 Iowa counties reported that Fort Dodge will be the site of the Webster County version, according to John Enderlin, the local man who pushed the effort to secure the stone.

”We did get it,” Enderlin said Thursday afternoon.

He said he received an email Wednesday from Maria Sorensen of the Freedom Rock Tour reporting that it will be painted in 2016.

Iowa’s first Freedom Rock was created in 1999 when artist Ray Sorensen II painted a boulder near Menlo with a patriotic theme to thank veterans for their service. That rock has been repainted with different images of soldiers, sailors airmen and Marines every year since.

Recently, an effort to place Freedom Rocks throughout the state began. There’s already a Freedom Rock in Rolfe in Pocahontas County. Other rocks are planned for Calhoun, Humboldt, Kossuth, Sac and Wright counties.

Enderlin said he saw a report on the Freedom Rock Tour about three weeks ago.

”I just thought it was so neat,” he said. ”So I went out and started running my mouth.”

He said he quickly secured a rock estimated to weigh 10 to 12 tons and a $500 donation. He added that within three hours, he secured all the money for the $1,000 down payment that’s necessary to secure a Freedom Rock for a community.

Getting the money quickly was important, because the first town in a county to make the deposit gets that county’s Freedom Rock, he said.

The City Council endorsed Enderlin’s effort Monday. He said Councilman Mark Taylor has been ”very good helping with this.”

The painted rock will be placed on a hillside on Second Avenue South on the west end of the Karl King Bridge.

Although the $1,000 deposit has been placed, the project will cost about $10,000, according to Enderlin. He said the artist will have to be paid $4,000 plus all expenses incurred while working in Fort Dodge. Donations of any size are being accepted for the effort.