Estes Park

Colorado

Welcoming you to Rocky Mountain National Park

News Information Office: Market Reach • P.O. Box 334 • Estes Park, CO 80517 • Voice (970) 586-6186 • FAX (970) 586-1929

Online address: http://www.estesnet.com/

DATE: August 26, 1997 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sally Anderson at 970-586-6186 (work) or 970-586-2645 (home)

Estes Park Unveils Samson Sculpture

ESTES PARK, CO — A larger-than-life bronze sculpture of the elk known as "Samson" will be unveiled in Estes Park on Wednesday, September 17. The 1,000 pound elk with an 8-by-9 point rack* was killed by a poacher in November 1995. It had no fear of humans and was considered by residents to be a village mascot.

The unveiling ceremony will be at the intersection of U.S. Highway 36 and Colorado Highway 7 at the east entrance to Estes Park, where the statue is to be permanently installed. The Highland Brass Quintet of Estes Park will kick off events at 3:30 p.m. At 4 p.m. Estes Park Mayor Bob Dekker will unveil and dedicate the bronze sculpture, created by Estes Park artist Carol Cunningham and financed by donations from residents and people all over the country.

In the past 21 months, Samson has been memorialized in news stories, on the Internet, with a beer bearing his name, sweatshirts, tee-shirts and other memorabilia. Proceeds from most of these sales have been donated to programs aimed at apprehending and prosecuting poachers. Samson’s poacher was convicted on two felony charges last year and received a jail term and the maximum fine allowed by law.

A citizen’s committee was formed last year to organize the fund drive which has raised most of the money for the sculpture. A portion of the funds has been raised by the sale of maquettes — smaller versions of the finished work — which sell for $2,600 each.

For information, contact the Estes Park Chamber-Resort Association at 970-586-4431 or 800-44-ESTES (800-443-7387). The "Web Tribute to Samson" is located at http://estes.on-line.com

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* The designation "8-by-9" means that Samson’s antlers bore eight points on one side and nine on the other, an exceptional trophy-sized rack.