GOSHEN — An elk statue that was damaged this summer has been repaired and will likely return to its home at a park on the northeast side of Elkhart in October.
Child and Parent Services of Elkhart County, or CAPS, discovered in early July that one of its elk statues was missing antlers on one side of its head. The vibrantly painted elk dubbed “Block Party” was one of more than 30 statues sold in 2011 as part of a fundraiser for the nonprofit organization.
“Everybody was worried how it was going to get fixed,” said A.J. Rosenbrock, a part-time maintenance supervisor at CAPS. “People have made such large contributions for these elk to support CAPS.”
Rosenbrock had recently started a new job as a special projects coordinator at Turtle Top, an automotive manufacturer headquartered in New Paris, and asked his supervisor whether he could donate materials and use an empty space at the company’s plant in Goshen to repair the statue. Michael Potis, the company’s manufacturing director, had seen the CAPS elk statues placed around Elkhart County but said he didn’t know much about the organization before Rosenbrock brought it to his attention.
“We feel like it’s important to be involved with the community in any way possible,” Potis said, explaining why he wanted to help CAPS. “We also work with Feed My Starving Children in Nappanee. Whenever there is an opportunity where we can assist the community, we’re there.”
CAPS ordered a new antler, and the day after it arrived at Turtle Top, a parks department employee found the original piece that had been broken off the statue. Using the original antler, Rosenbrock repaired the elk. He does not believe the statue was intentionally damaged and suspects that someone was hanging onto the antler when it broke off.
Volunteers and employees at CAPS called Turtle Top frequently to check up on Rosenbrock’s progress as he worked on the statue.
“The community is very invested in these elk,” said Stacey Anderson, an events coordinator at CAPS. “It’s great the companies in this community can be so generous and forthcoming with their services to help us solve a problem so quickly and seamlessly.”
Anderson has contacted Jeff Stillson, the artist behind the statue’s colorful design, to repaint the elk’s antler. She hopes to have the elk back at Walker Park by mid October.