PITTSTON — Plans are underway to erect a statue of former president John F. Kennedy on Kennedy Boulevard. The project is a joint effort between members of several Pittston organizations.
The Knights of Columbus Council 372, its women’s auxiliary, the Jacquelines, and the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick are working with the city’s redevelopment authority to bring the project to fruition.
Kennedy Boulevard will also be renamed “President John F. Kennedy Boulevard.”
Julio Caprari, 4th degree knight and president of the Council 372 Home Association, say in a press release that the “statue will be life-sized, bronze and one-of-a-kind. It will serve as a memorial to all deceased members of the three organizations.”
D.J. Bawden, from Provo Utah has been selected as the artist. Two locations along Kennedy Boulevard are under consideration.
Council 372 was chartered in 1898 and was known as the Pittston Council. In 1965, the organization changed its name to the John F. Kennedy Council in honor of the first Catholic president and in the spirit of preserving his memory. The Jacquelines, named after first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, formed that same year.
The Knights of Columbus and the Greater Pittston Friendly Sons of St. Patrick have always shared a close friendship and many belong to both organizations. P.J. Melvin, past grand knight and past president of the Friendly Sons, is credited with presenting the idea and forming the committee to erect a statue.
The group estimates $40,000 must be raised to complete the project. Funds will be raised solely by donations, which are tax deductible. All donors will be recognized at the dedication ceremony.
Checks can be made payable to JFK Statue Fund, 35 Broad St., Pittston, PA 18640.