Donations sought for Freedom Rock

A new account has been set up to finance the creation of the Freedom Rock in Fort Dodge.

The Freedom Rock Fund has been opened with the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, and donations are being accepted.

”I think this will help us with our donors,” said John Enderlin, the Fort Dodge man leading the drive to set up the patriotically painted boulder on the city’s west side.

The original Freedom Rock, located along Iowa Highway 25 in Adair County, was created in 1999 by artist Ralph Sorensen II. He has since announced plans to place a similar rock in all 99 Iowa counties.

Fort Dodge was approved as the site of the Webster County rock earlier this month. It is expected to be painted in 2016.

Enderlin estimated that it will cost $10,000 to create the Freedom Rock.

A 10 to 12 ton stone that will become the patriotic marker was placed on a hillside on Second Avenue South near A Street last week by McGough Construction Co., of Fort Dodge.

Although the stone is in place, not everyone is satisfied with the site. Leaders of the Fort Dodge Veterans Council wrote in a letter to the editor of The Messenger that they believe the stone should be positioned at or near John F. Kennedy Memorial Park north of the city or some other location where it could be viewed more easily.

Enderlin said not every tribute to the nation’s veterans has to be at that site, which is home to Veterans Memorial Park.

”This is going to be something that so many people are going to see,” he said.

He said he hopes to build a small parking area and a gazebo near the Freedom Rock.

”I think it’s something that will be very beneficial to our community,” he said.