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Dateline Dixon: Reagan to the rescue

Statue plan to be seen Thursday at City Hall

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 12:29 p.m. CDT

DIXON – Michael Jordan and Ronald Reagan now have something in common – other than their connection to Illinois.

During a news conference at City Hall on Thursday, the proposed design for the Ronald Reagan lifeguard statue will be unveiled, according to the city's news release, and it was done by the same art studio responsible for the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center in Chicago.

Rotblatt Amrany Fine Arts Studio in Highland Park, and sculptors Omri Amrany and Gary Tillery, will create a statue that depicts a young Reagan running to rescue one of the reported 77 swimmers he saved in 7 years as a lifeguard at Lowell Park, according to the release.

In addition to the Jordan statue, Amrany's work includes statues of Chicago Blackhawks great Bobby Hull, the Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and a Holocaust memorial at a synagogue in Northbrook, according to the studio's website.

Amrany and Tillery worked together on the Pat Tillman statue for the Arizona Cardinals in Tempe, Ariz., according to the website.

The cost for the 7-foot tall Reagan statue was estimated at $200,000, according to the city's new release, and will be paid for with corporate and individual donations and sponsorships.

Sauk Valley Media reporter Matt Mencarini covers government and happenings in Dixon. He can be reached at mmencarini@saukvalley.com or at 815-625-3600, ext. 529. Follow him on twitter: @MattMencarini.

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