Happen is proud to welcome sculptor John Hebenstreit to the Happen Make It space as he works on his sculpture of Cincinnati Boxing legend Ezzard Charles.
And we welcome you to Stop, Look and Learn all about this project through the Make It space window even as our Regular programming remains suspended. This is a unique opportunity for Happen families and members of our community to see a master artist at work on a world-class sculpture of a world champion athlete. And also to learn all about the project, the artist and the subject through a collection of informative posters in the Make It space window. We hope you take an opportunity to stop by and maybe see John hard at work on this incredible piece of public art.
John Hebenstreit is a sculptor and artist living right here in Cincinnati and he has been a long time friend of Happen, even volunteering at our first location in our very first year of operation. He has a number of sculptures on public display in Cincinnati and across the country including at the Black Brigade of Cincinnati installation at Smale Riverfront Park and also plaques of famous musicians at the Guitar Center Rock Walk in Los Angeles. The 13 foot sculpture of Ezzard Charles that John is working on now has even been to Happen once before. John brought the head of the sculpture by during Happen's Fund-a-Thon broadcast in April of 2019. We're grateful to John for sharing his talents with the community by bringing his statue of Ezzard Charles to Happen's Stop, Look and Learn window.
Ezzard Charles is one of Cincinnati's first true athletic heroes and a truly remarkable person both in and out of the boxing ring. Though he was born in Georgia in 1921, Ezzard Charles grew up in Cincinnati's West End and graduated from Woodward High School. He began his boxing career while still a teenager and and won all 42 of his amateur bouts. In 1940 he turned professional and continued his winning ways for the next several years but didn't fight professionally in 1945 as he served in the U.S. military during WWII.
After returning to the ring, Charles moved up through the divisions fighting primarily as a light heavyweight. On June 22, 1949 he defeated Jersey Joe Walcott to claim the Heavyweight title and would successfully defend his title eight times and would continue to fight for another decade.
Throughout his life, Ezzard Charles championed education and community and was also a great lover of Jazz. He was a respected double bass player and would even sitting for a session with Duke Ellington once. The composer George Russell wrote a piece in his honor called "Ezz-thetic". At Happen we are grateful to share in the creation of the historic monument to a truly great Cincinnatian.
This statue of Ezzard Charles has been a long time coming and the result of the hard work of many people and organizations. In addition to John Hebenstreit the team includes Andrew Vansickle, Kailah Ware, Jason Snell, Steve Ramos, Tom Hankinson and the Cincinnati Parks Department all working tirelessly to bring the finished statue to Laurel Park in Cincinnati's West End. We look forward to being able to visit the 13 foot bronze statue in the not too distant future and hope that everyone takes the opportunity to stop in front of Happen's Make It Space to see work in progress.
MIND, MONEY, MUSCLE & NEVER GIVING UP
Everyday seems to be a new day of obstacles and unknowns. But we see every obstacle and as a new opportunity to use our creativity to move ahead. We are dedicated to take on the new challenges and develop new ways we can serve the community. It's what Happen has been known for over the last 21 years and will be for well into the future. We would like to thank all the volunteers that have been providing their expertise on a weekly and sometimes daily basis to help prepare for new Happen programming.
And as much as we rely on those volunteers we also rely on our friends and neighbors throughout the community to help support Happen financially. Even as businesses in the state begin to reopen we continue to experience uncertainty around our previously scheduled summer activities. Throughout the summer months Happen relies on revenue from paid group activities to cover our operation costs and this summer we expect a significant disruption to that revenue. We know things are likely equally uncertain for you but if you are able we ask that you help support Happen, Inc. with a donation. Just click on the link below to make a one time or recurring donation to Happen, Inc. And remember that that Happen's BFF program form Businesses, Friends and Family continues, when you make a donation of $100 or more just let us know in the comment box on PayPal how you would like to be recognized and we will thank you on a future KMNH Broadcast. We appreciate your support.