April 25, 2023
Dear Friends of Secretariat for Virginia,
We have great news! The beautiful bronze ‘Secretariat – Racing into History’ is generating contagious enthusiasm all over Virginia.
Ever since the statue arrived for temporary display in Ashland on March 31, a steady stream of people have come to see it from all over. They get out of their cars, stand, pose for selfies, smile and marvel at what a work of art it is. Then they open their wallets to show their appreciation. Donations are pouring in. In just two months of fundraising, we are well over halfway towards our goal of $695,000! Specifically, we have received over $80,000 in cash, over $20,000 in pledges, at least $100,000 in in-kind donations, and assurances from organizations, companies, private donors and foundations of $200,000 more. And the momentum is building. If you are one of our donors, your generosity has made an important contribution to this effort. We are very grateful.
Watching the visitors, I have been trying to articulate why people respond so emotionally to the statue and to the horse himself. As to the statue, it is obvious: it is an astonishing work of art. As for Secretariat, he was an equally astonishing athlete. He still awes us. But he also makes us feel good. In the 1970s, people said he restored their faith in humanity. How did he do that?
I think he inspired us because as humans, we are drawn to beauty, to stories or myths and to nature, especially to animals. Secretariat’s feats have become mythic. The way he ran was joyful. And he allowed us to experience pure animal power at its finest.
This is why I am working so hard to put this statue in Ashland. Mom spent the last 40 plus years of her life telling Secretariat’s story and connecting with the people who loved him. She recognized that’s what Secretariat did—by running so fast, by being so beautiful, by demonstrating so much heart—brought comfort and joy to people. She wanted to spread that feeling.
The monument is demonstrating the same effect as Secretariat had in the 1970s. It is a celebration of unparalleled achievement. Of grit and determination of the people who bred and raised him, including the grooms, the exercise riders, the jockeys and the trainer. Of the legacy of Central Virginia as the cradle of American horse racing.
The Secretariat monument is a permanent work of art that will inspire us and make us smile every time we see it. As you may know, the statue is leaving April 27 for the Triple Crown Tour. We want to make certain it returns, so please continue to support this campaign to bring Secretariat home to Virginia and install it in Ashland.
Thank you for your encouragement and assistance.
Kate Chenery Tweedy
HOW TO DONATE:
- Send checks payable to Ashland Museum with Secretariat in the memo line. Mail checks to PO Box 633 Ashland, VA 23005
- Ashland Museum: http://www.ashlandmuseum.org
- gofundme: https://www.gofundme.com/f/bring-the-secretariat-monument-to-ashland-va
- Contact Wayne Dementi (804)363-0160
FOLLOW THE TRIPLE CROWN TOUR www.SecretariatForVirginia.com