MASON CITY, Iowa - He was an influential figure in Mason City.
Now, the next time you come to the public library, it will be hard to miss a beautiful bronze statue commemorating the life of late Mason City council member Alex Kuhn.
The sculpture, which was designed by Bobbie Carlyle of Loveland, Colorado, depicts Alex reading to his two sons, Rylan and Collan, a reference to his days volunteering in reading programs at the library and at schools. In addition, one of the boys is perched on a basketball in a nod to another of Alex’s loves.
Alex's father Mark says the statue serves as a wonderful tribute.
"A lot of people knew him. He reached out to a lot of different people. He was a very good city council person, he took that work very seriously. there's a lot of people that recognize the work that personally, some of the things he's done in the past."
As Alex dealt with depression at the time of his passing, Mark hopes that the sculpture can serve as a reminder for those who may be in a similar situation to seek help.
"Help is available. And hope is a word worth living. It means a lot to people to reach out, and we hope that people can take that message to heart. Especially in these times when mental health issues are so close to the surface, we need to do what we can to make sure everyone cares about their own mental health."
To make the sculpture a reality, over 400 private donors and businesses locally and across Iowa contributed to the statue. In addition, about $16,000 were donated from guests at the All-Iowan Lawn Tennis Club, which Mark owns and operates.
While there was no public dedciation ceremony for the statue when it was installed earlier this month, Kuhn anticipates a future date for a dedication to be set hopefully sometime next year.