The national president of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks dedicated an elk sculpture outside the club’s building on Saturday, Aug. 1, during the group’s state convention in Jamestown.
Paul Ryan, whose official title is grand exalted ruler, said the “majestic rendering of our order” well represented the organization at the brief ceremony.
Created by Corey Bohl and Brad Bohl of Bohl Iron Works, the lifesize sculpture is about 6 ½ feet tall and is made of steel and rebar with steel accents, they said. The project began in June and the finished sculpture was covered outside the Elks building at 324 3rd Ave. SW before it was unveiled before the convention-goers.
Dwaine Heinrich, Jamestown Elks trustee and a state Elks past president who is Jamestown mayor, said the project to add a sculpture outside the building began last year when the state convention was in Devils Lake. Jamestown Elks members attending that event saw the Devils Lake lodge had an elk statue and began a mission to get a sculpture here, he said.
Heinrich said Todd Lippert was the Elks member who spearheaded the project along with the help of Al Tewes. Donations were sought to fund the project and “people just opened up their checkbooks,” Heinrich said.
Being able to have the national Elks president dedicate the sculpture at a state convention meant a great deal to the Jamestown Elks, he said.
Although the sculpture is finished, a few tasks remain to complete the project. The sculpture will be placed on a concrete pad surrounding a flagpole outside the building where the Elks club is located. The existing concrete pad is being raised a foot, Heinrich said. In the pad will be four plaques. Three of those plaques are in the existing concrete pad. One plaque marks when the Jamestown Elks Lodge 995 was chartered (July 20, 1906); one is for when the flagpole was dedicated on June 14, 2016, Flag Day 2016, honoring those who served in the armed forces; and one plaque has the Pledge of Allegiance. The fourth plaque to be placed will mark the elk sculpture dedication by the national president of the Elks.
Two spotlights will be added at the site, one shining on the flag and one on the elk sculpture. Heinrich said surveillance camera equipment will also be installed at the site.
Heinrich singled out the Bohls in creating the sculpture.
“To realize we have this type of talent in our community is very humbling,” he said.